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.