A technology learning curve too far?

Two days ago Matt Baxter Reynolds posted an article on ZDNet.com asking the question… Will 90 percent of users always hate Windows 8?

The article asks a fundamental question about all technology, not just of Windows 8.

Just how far are you willing to go to ‘learn’ how to use a new piece of technology?

Windows8 was launched to help cross the gap from PC to Tablet/Mobile market which in many ways was a necessary leap for Microsoft, but this leap brought with it a change in usability that may be a challenge to some… and the question remains. Will most people have the energy or inclination to learn how it all works?


Matt explains:

For me, Windows 8 does a good job at being a desktop operating system, but something happened that has made me wonder whether actually Windows 8 is actually a total miss-hit for 90 percent of consumers.

A good friend of mine directed me to a book she had been reading called Simple and Usable by Giles Colborn. She pointed me to a section in the book where Colborn breaks down the following:

A tiny percentage (say one percent) of users are experts, with a high tolerance for learning.

  • A few more (say nine percent) of users are willing adopters — they have an expectation that the product will meet their needs, and some (albeit low) tolerance for learning.
  • The remaining 90 percent of users just use technology to get a job done and have no tolerance for learning at all. These are mainstreamers.

That realisation made my heart sink as I realised the mistake that I’d been making with Windows 8: I actually cared about trying to make it work and did, although that wasn’t an entirely deliberate and conscious process. Although Colborn doesn’t put it exactly like this, 90 percent of the people (particular consumers) who will sit down in front of Windows 8 most likely will not care a jot about learning how it works or about any of the history and thought that’s gone into making what’s technically a very clever product.


[h3a]When looking at technology as a whole, all providers of software are constantly challenged to find a balance between ease of use and overall effectiveness.[/h3a]


So the question remains of Windows 8 – will the mainstreamers in Microsoft’s customer base be ready to have to learn?

You can read Matt Baxter Reynolds full article at : www.zdnet.com