from the that-depends-on-the-user dept.
rtphokie asks: "The story about the TiVo get-together along with some recent trials and tribulations rolling out a knowledge base along with the time I've spent recently helping my 80 year old grandfather with this VCR and TV has gotten me thinking about user interfaces and the elusive "user-friendly" label. When someone who thinks of themselves as 'non computer savvy' works with a gadget like TiVo and compains that it's 'too complicated', how should we react? Why are users immediately forgiven for not even taking the least amount of effort to look for a solution to their confusion in the manual. The tendency has always been to blame the interface and ultimately the engineers who designed it but isn't there a point where users have got to share some of the blame?
Why do today's software and consumer electronics users expect to be able to fire up their new toy and magically have a complete understanding of how to use it?"
That's the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they
really hate is lousy programmers.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle in "Oath of Fealty"