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My mother and the smart TV

Sogeti Labs
August 08, 2013

MARILLIER, PATRICEI have always being feeling stupid in front a copy machine, a video recorder, a camera or even a TV. I always need to read the manual to be able to use them (I must recognize that I am the kind of person who loves reading manuals, no joke here). I consider these machines as not intuitive at all, and the more powerful they become, the less usable they are, even if they are now full of touch screen and other kind of powerful supposed-to-be user-friendly technologies. There is still a lot to be done to make these devices really easy to use. So, what about your mother, will you probably ask :-). Well, she is now an elderly person, but still in good shape, thank-you. She has been now retired for a while, and during her professional career never had to use a computer. At home, the computer person is my father, and she had no idea and no will to use one. Too complex for her she had decided. And I agreed that at her age, it would be much better for her to continue painting, her passion, than to spend time learning what is a file, a mouse, a graphic interface and all these kinds of complex things we have been used to. And then came the iPad. I decided, along with my brothers to offer her one for Christmas two years ago. It was the good choice. The iPad became her “computer”, as she calls it now. Finally, a tool she could do complex things with, without having to learn complex concepts. From video-calling his son (myself) to making her shopping, without having to learn what is SSL, VoIP, H264 or this kind of repelling concepts for any non computer literate person, she had now in her hand the tool she missed without even knowing it. A computer made for the people, not by computer scientist who have decided what is good for users without even asking them what are their feelings on the matter. So if it is possible to make simple the use of the most sophisticated mainstream tool created by the man (the computer), why is it still looking making a jigsaw puzzle when you use, for example, a “Smart TV”?

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