I just wanted to write a little something about an issue an elderly new computer user had today, who came to me for advice. This is a gentleman I have worked with for the past 11 years, and a week ago he got his first computer and first Internet connection. I’m not going to mention who he bought his computer from, but it’s a Linux based computer.
Anyway, being known as a Linux enthusiast at work, he came to me in a panic asking me what the password was for his computer. I told him he probably had to set it, but he said he had never been asked to do that. So I asked him if he had even been online yet, and he said no, because he needed the password to do anything. I suggested looking in the wifi manual, because it might have been the wifi passkey. He said it wasn’t. So I asked him if he had tried any others, and he said he had tried all the ones he had been given, but none had worked. All he knew was it had to be in capitals. I told him I was at a loss, because there were many passwords it could have been.
And therein lies the problem. I try to give thought to UI and UX design. I give my production laptop with whichever version of Simplicity I am working on to a friend of mine who has no idea about computers, Linux or the Internet, and let him get online, only giving him my wifi password. I then let him do whatever he wants on it. If he can’t, I have failed, and I redesign. Asking for “A” password isn’t useful. Especially if you’re marketing your OS as easy to use. You should specify which password it is you want. This is why I don’t say Simplicity is easy to use or aimed at x, y or z demographic. It’s just a lot more straightforward making the move from Windows or from nothing than it is to something like Unity in my view.
Anyway, just wanted to get that out of my system. It’s not aimed at anyone in particular, just bad UI and UX design annoy me.