Monday, April 14, 2008

Easy To Use

My parents Windows machine was on its last legs. I suggested that they get a Mac for their next machine "because it's easier", and I believed it. They purchased an iMac and I set it up for them. They were very impressed with the all-in-one design, and some initial "oooo ahhh" moments with the integrated camera, microphone, speakers and slot loading optical drive.

That was about it.

Then it came time for them to do what they were used to doing on the Windows machine. Even though it took fewer clicks and let them do things in a more seamless fashion, the Mac UI was not the same as the Windows UI and they were easily confused.

Being able to make changes and then just close a window instead of having to click "Apply" and then confirm that you did in fact want the changes was not seen as easier. It was seen as unsettling.

Being able to just pop in a CD and have it ripped by iTunes was seen as inferior to inserting a CD and then playing it with Microsoft Media Player.

The list went on.

I got them all set up for e-mail, browsing, pictures, music, etc. and have left them copious notes on how to do each task they want, and their home office looks much neater than it did previously with no more cord insanity, and the monitor is much nicer than their old one, but I am still nervous about them simply amusing me by taking up my suggestion.

My hope is that over time I have helped them with a good decision, but I thought it ironic that I did not take my own advice about being techgnostic about their technology setup. I am buying off my conscience by telling myself that the iMac will over the long run be much easier to use and less prone to viruses and such.

Hopefully I'm right.

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