A digital divide of usability

September 22, 2008 — 6 Comments

So I told my mother on the weekend to try Google Chrome after life long Internet Explorer die-hards and Firefox haters like Steve Hodson tell me that they’re sold and have switched for life. My mother still uses IE and refuses to use Firefox, no matter how many times I’ve tried to convince her otherwise, because it’s “not the same.”

Next day she tells me she tried but, but she didn’t like it and switched back to IE. I ask why, and she says that Chrome doesn’t have the “favorites” (bookmarks for the rest of us) in the sidebar. I had to get her to explain the concept to me. Basically, she has a left hand sidebar open in IE with all her favorite sites, and she doesn’t like using a drop down menu to access them. In my mothers defence, sight isn’t her strong point and she has a large monitor set to the wrong size (at one stage it was 800×600) so she can see things. For her, the sidebar was easier to read than the drop down menu + she’d become use to it.

That’s a digital divide… of usability. Of all the things to consider, I’d have never thought of that.

PS: happy birthday mum.

6 responses to A digital divide of usability

  1. My mom does the same thing. Whenever I see her browsing, I say, “What do you have that bookmark bar open for! Why are you cutting down your available space like that?”

    Ah well.

  2. I'm happy to see that somebody actually wonders about those things as most tech bloggers don't.

  3. I have noticed that a lot of the people in the 50+ age bracket in my workplace (small to medium sized government Department) do the exact same thing with IE. Personally I hate having any sidebar inside my browser and I don't understand it at all.

    I do find it interesting that it really seems to be a generational thing but I can't for the life of me think why that would be the case.

  4. Hi Son & others
    Yep I am nearly 60 and still have an open mind

    My big issue with Google Chrome – BTW I do not have my Favourites aka Bookmarks- older generation or should I say younger generation included – opened all the time I am browsing & my resoloution is set to 1280×760 now I can afford a larger monitor

    Whoops back to the Big Issue with Chrome – I was unable to keep “Favourites” open when I chose – the other issue – text size on some pages – IE7& allows you to set a default size – Chrome – sure you can change when on a particular site but reverts back to their sizing the next time you open

    Yes I do have a sight problem but not that BAD – as yet no Labrador

    My biggest whinge is these people who set up sites with black backgrounds and white or red text!!!! May look “pretty” but a pain in the neck to read

    That is why I like IE7 with Google as my home page – No Frills – Tab Browsing which I love & the options to choose how I see it plus if I want to keep My Favourites open I can

    Love Mum

  5. Hi Son & others
    Yep I am nearly 60 and still have an open mind

    My big issue with Google Chrome – BTW I do not have my Favourites aka Bookmarks- older generation or should I say younger generation included – opened all the time I am browsing & my resoloution is set to 1280×760 now I can afford a larger monitor

    Whoops back to the Big Issue with Chrome – I was unable to keep “Favourites” open when I chose – the other issue – text size on some pages – IE7& allows you to set a default size – Chrome – sure you can change when on a particular site but reverts back to their sizing the next time you open

    Yes I do have a sight problem but not that BAD – as yet no Labrador

    My biggest whinge is these people who set up sites with black backgrounds and white or red text!!!! May look “pretty” but a pain in the neck to read

    That is why I like IE7 with Google as my home page – No Frills – Tab Browsing which I love & the options to choose how I see it plus if I want to keep My Favourites open I can

    Love Mum

  6. Hi Son & others
    Yep I am nearly 60 and still have an open mind

    My big issue with Google Chrome – BTW I do not have my Favourites aka Bookmarks- older generation or should I say younger generation included – opened all the time I am browsing & my resoloution is set to 1280×760 now I can afford a larger monitor

    Whoops back to the Big Issue with Chrome – I was unable to keep “Favourites” open when I chose – the other issue – text size on some pages – IE7& allows you to set a default size – Chrome – sure you can change when on a particular site but reverts back to their sizing the next time you open

    Yes I do have a sight problem but not that BAD – as yet no Labrador

    My biggest whinge is these people who set up sites with black backgrounds and white or red text!!!! May look “pretty” but a pain in the neck to read

    That is why I like IE7 with Google as my home page – No Frills – Tab Browsing which I love & the options to choose how I see it plus if I want to keep My Favourites open I can

    Love Mum

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*