Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Paradise by the Dashboard….right.

If middle aged women designed this machine it would do something like this…..

The “dashboard” to which one must return constantly when working on some programs would be renamed “Location of Main Topics” Then these menus (were people hungry then they designed this world?) would be called my “things I may need to do under each major topic….like a “to do” list, list”   And before I forget, (we are middle aged here, keep that in mind) but every 30 seconds, a “be sure to SAVE your progress” box would flash right in the center of the screen and not go away until on clicked on it.  (I just saved this…)

The issue of moving the mouse once one has decided to click on the “expand this category and show me the ‘to do’ list arrow, would not go away if one tends to be a bit wavy on mouse control. Our eyesight isn’t what it used to be and the distance from face to screen is too far for reading glasses but not far enough for regular glasses. The screen floats someplace just out of focus but clearly visible. Little mousy arrow/dot doesn’t run a steady course but how many dang times do I have to go back and expand that “to do” list because I veered off course a millimeter or so? (just saved this….)

If this machine were truly smart, it would know that if I have done the SAME THING at least 5 times in row, I am probably going to want to do it at least once more. If I wanted my progress go back 5 steps each time I push save (hang on….needed to save again) then that is what I would be doing on my own, but I’m not. Just keep going in the direction I have been for the last couple of hours. I do not enjoy mousy time going back and forth pulling up (or out or down) my “to do” list  (save) then tiptoeing through the tulips to get back to my same spot, over and over and over…..

A really smart machine would notice if I do something I have not done before, like push a button that does something I do not understand…because my eyesight isn’t what it used to be and my finger slipped. This machine would flash a sign (like the Save sign…hold on, gotta save) that would say “hold up lady, are you sure you want to do that? You hit the C or F or whatever button and this feels unfamiliar….why don’t I fix it for you and if you really wanted to do that maneuver, you can hit it again and we will both know what you intended. Oh, and DO NOT hit save if you have not responded to this message.) Because if you do….in little text will scroll the words….”ah shit, now I have to text my kid at work or his girlfriend at school and ask for help “

I think that options should be offered for that hand symbol with the raised index finger. Sometimes a raised middle finger seems more appropriate.

A great feature would be the ? button. If one were to push the ? symbol about 6 times in a row (because we are irritated), a box would pop up that asks you what’s wrong? You type in your problem and the machine fixes it. It doesn’t TELL you how to do it, it just corrects the issue. Issues like stuff suddenly disappearing. A finger slip again and lots of work all gets sucked up into cyber purgatory. (save).  If that happens, why can’t a little guy carrying sign appear on the bottom of your screen, a sign that says, “it’s okay, everything is right here, all saved, just click in my sign when you need it back, no need to have a panic attack {he’s a little poet too}.

Labels should make sense. Header and Footer? I know, they are grammar terms for page layout, but why is it so hard to say top and bottom? Maybe I want a Lefter and a Righter…why are those not options?

Could we get these machines with two options of operation…and don’t ask me about “operating systems”. Half the time I can’t get the system I think is logical to operate in a method that is systematic. There should be an “efficiency” option and a “conversational” option. Those who like checking boxes and drop down lists would be happy and those of us who feel this machine works FOR me would be happy. Conversational option would pop up questions which we can answer such as “what color would you like the background?” I could type in “light blue would be nice, not too robin’s egg though” and it gives me one. It should give us feedback or affirmations such as “nice choice” to which I can respond “thank you”.  I wonder if I need to get back out with real people more often? (save).  

The Word document I am on now has a little paintbrush up by the scissors, paper and paste images. I think it needs a rock symbol. Come on, rock, paper, scissors would be funny. I understand the use of the scissors to cut, the papers to copy but the paintbrush is a big disappointment. It doesn’t paint anything. It is format related. I want a rock. You click on the rock when really ticked off and want to throw one through the screen. A box would pop up – in conversational option of course – that would first apologize for pissing me off, then ask what it can do to help me. (save) I really want those paper and scissors buttons to move. That would be fun, to have the scissors open and close, the papers shuffle around….how hard would that be?

There are also too many ways to do the same thing. Want to “find” some text, push this button or that one or type in the words or do a hundred other choices. Why not just proofread the document? Remember how we had to actually re-read our papers before turning them in? We made the choices for words and usage and had to check our spelling. We learned from that. This thing tells me that half of what I write is wrong. Good thing James Joyce didn’t write on a computer.

How about little bike flags that appear on documents which get hidden by others as “pages” pile up on the screen, the proverbial messy desk of yore. When a page gets covered by another on the screen, I’d like one of those orange flags on a long stick to sprout out from the top of the page so I know its back there. Of course in middle age world, the flag would be like a post-it note with a word or two on it so I would know which page it is without having to click on it. (save)

I could rant about the “blackboard” which really isn’t or any number of other techno technicalities but I will “save” that for another time. Right now I need to go use my hands and make something, which alas, I will have to photo and upload and all that jazz on this machine. Sometimes it takes longer to do the mechanical part than it does to do the manual part. Thank you for allowing me to vent. (And thank you for all of the Birthday wishes, one big positive aspect of cyberworld is the instant communication between friends and family near and far). 

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