Lately I have been paying particular attention to the relationship between the speed at which technology changes versus the average person’s ability to comprehend (or care) and this quote sort of summed it up:
“I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.” — Bjarne Stroustrup, Danish computer scientist
It seems that once I step outside the advertising arena where most of us in some form or fashion practically live on our computers, iPhones, iPads or some other electronic device, there is a huge disconnect or I don’t care attitude out there. Many feel that everything is changing so fast it is impossible to keep up, so why try? And I think the greatest challenge to us in the Biz is to keep in mind that everyone is not as tethered to technology as we might be. There are days I feel I am drinking from the technology fire hose… and I live, eat and breathe this stuff.
This has been a huge topic of discussion here at the agency and I have even done some informal research. I have asked over 400 people this question about web site navigation: If you are on page twelve of a website and want to get back to the home page and there is no Home button, what do you do? (The answer to this question is at the bottom of this post.) Only two people have given me the correct answer, a programmer for IBM and my 10-year-old nephew.
And this is just the most trivial (and almost absurd) example. Last week I wrote about Popcodes. The US hasn’t even fully embraced QR Codes and there’s something new out to replace it. One day everyone on Twitter is extolling the virtues of a new app for geo-positioning and the next week the same people say it sucks and that some new app is better. Now don’t get me wrong. I am in favor of advancements in technology. I am an early adopter of most technology and as I mentioned, live in this arena and struggle to keep up.
So here’s my question: Are the developers of all this wonderful technology paying attention to Joe Q. Public’s ability to keep up or are they all talking (and developing) for themselves? Will there be a technology backlash in the near future because of this?
Let me know what you think and how you are keeping up. Oh yeah, The web navigation answer I promised is: on nine out of ten sites, if you click on the logo, it will take you back to the home page.