Monday, December 14, 2009

Generation Gap in Usability

I got to tip my hat off to dad. He's approaching 80, but his effort in learning his way to online banking amazes me. Occasionally he needs help but it couldn't stop him.

This week he's asked for help to his newly online account provided by a mainland bank. The website (link) looks busy and "ugly". My immediate thought is how little mainlander understands usability. A supposingly quick setup of user setting and login detail takes more than fifteen minutes. I could only feel relieved afterward.

Dad then goes to work, after memorizing the login steps. He wants to walk through it all on his own. He doesn't seem to get much stressed by the clumsy design.

As gen-x, I have the baggage of perception that web design should be neat and user-friendly. But for the older user, usability has a simple and straight-foward meaning.