nullstream weblog - Who are these 'new users' anyway?

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Who are these 'new users' anyway?


April 21, 2008 10:40 AM PST

I was reading a random computer article, as I always do, when I came across a classic argument that I must have heard a million times by now. The article was contrasting two different UI approaches to file managers and it concluded that XYZ approach was best because "it seemed easier for new users to learn how to use." I'm not sure why, but it hit me, just who are these 'new users' anyway? I mean we have been using arguments like this in computer debates for so long now, that no one has bothered to notice that there are NO new users anymore. I mean 15 years ago we had entire generations of people to convert to using computers. We also had a small existing computer base to convert from command line to GUI. But what about today, 2008? Anyone in an older generation who has not already learned how to use a computer is not going to learn one now, period. That problem is dying off (literally). As for the truly 'new' users, no one needs worry about them. My kids both were using computers before they could ride a bike, talk or even walk for that matter. They have no problems with UIs that don't somehow map to the physical world of paper and yellow file folders.

The old rules and arguments, just like the old 'new users', no longer apply.

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