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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tech Support.

Hi Again, I've heard lot of jokes about humorous calls in Tech Support. But, I never intended to actually experience one. But, I was wrong... Dad's been asking me to do some tech support lately. Not the serious kind. Some rather kiddish kind, such as copying files, saving files and such things. Mostly, for friends of my Dad, who had just acquired a computer. But, today, Dad called me from the Sales Tax Office. They needed to save a File on a Floppy Disc. But, they had Absolutely No Idea about the Program they were using or the Operating System. Since it was a Government Office, I supposed maybe they might have Linux, since Dad also reported the Program to be "Something Resembling Word, but Not Word...". Saying so, Dad handed the Phone over to the woman who was supposed to be handling the Computer Systems. I asked her what was the Program she was using, and she said that she had no Idea. Them I asked her what OS, but that too, she said she's never heard the Term.... So, I asked her what was on the Bottom Left of Her Screen. I was simply trying to determine if it was Windows or Linux. But, the Reply I got Surprised me : "Samsung!". Well, do I have to tell you that I could hardly stop laughing ? But, then, I asked her what was on the bottomleft corner of the Screen and above the Samsung, and she said : "S-T-A-R-T Yezhudiyirukku..."(It's written S-T-A-R-T). So, It was Windows after all..... So, I relied on the use of the Common File Save Dialog Box and asked her to find "F-I-L-E" Written on the Top Left. She found it after some time and then, in the same way, I guided her to the Save-As Option. She successfully clicked it and brought up the Save-As Dialog Box.. Now, I have to make her Navigate to the Floppy Drive. So, I asked her to type A: (A-Colon). But, then, she reported that she's typed A:C-O-L-O-N. Well, Now, My Phone didn't have a Hold Button, so I had to cover the mic with my hand... Luckily, I had shown dad before how to enter a FilePath, and he intervened and succeded in changing the Directory to A: and saving the File... While It did leave me in Fits of Laughter, it also left me wondering about User Interface Design. These kinda not-so-bright users seem to be the predominant ones working in places like Government Offices. But, what hit me most was that most of those People worked in places where Marks were used to select the Candidates. Obviously, Marks don't measure the Stupidity of a Person. Also, maybe, IUI may seem to atleast reduce those Kinda Complaints. Word Processors such as these would offer 2 Interfaces : 1 IUI and the Other the Normal One. For, IUI would atleast prevented this kinda thing, provided it has some kinda promenient option named : Save in Floppy Disk. But, then, It's kinda a Complex Decision, one which I don't think I have the Brain or Experience to make or comment about... Anyway, on a side note, Finished the English II Exams Today and, I didn't have enough Time. But, I finished everything just in Time. Well, Mom's started shouting already, but that's not very bad, considering I have Maths I tomorrow... Where are the Comments ?


Blogger Saurabh said...

Hehe ... good job !

I've had my share of problems with the people you mentioned ... but now thats the thing of the past.

But then the point you brought about the UI was a pertinent point.

We had this teacher ( probably the only good one in Engg ) who had said that "If you guys dont understand the stuff ... its not yours but my fault"

We should try to make our apps as Idiot Proof as possible.
If you get the latest build of Azureus ( and even MS Antispyware asks you this ), it will ask you what kind of user you are and manipulate the UI accordingly.

What we should have is a shell, which could plug into Windows Apps and instead of showing the regular drop down lists and stuff, approach the problem in a "What do you want to do now way"

If you've used Longhorn, most of the dialog boxes have become more user friendly.

Something to think about !

( Now hows that for a long comment ? )

12/13/2005 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Yuvi Panda said...

Thanks Saurabh, and, that Professor is Right. And, I suppose Vista is gonna have some more of that IUI Stuff. And, XP is also much better than 9x...

But then, as you should surely know, Stupid people are found everywhere. And, In governments, the basic qualification for any post or Political Thing seems to be that you have to be Stupid beyond imagination...

And, BTW, that was also a Hell Long Post for a Long Comment, right ?;)

12/14/2005 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger Aswin Anand T.H. said...

Dude!! this is funny ha still able to see some banking sites that give some technical error name, which the user is never interested or doesn't want to know.

12/14/2005 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Sriram said...

The whole idea of asking the users how advanced they are and configuring yourself is broken.

It's because people have inflated opinions of themselves. An expert in Excel might think of himself as being good at computers but he would be at sea if WinDBG configured itself for an 'advanced user'.

8/27/2006 05:26:00 PM  

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