Why Don’t Users Read??

This is a post on user interface design for the web. I promise this will not be a technical article.

Why is it that when you provide concise instructions on a web page, even in bold text, that a user will skip right over them, start clicking, and then email you when they don’t understand how to use it?

I think that the “Information Age” is also coming with some nasty side effects.

1) Handwriting is declining rapidly because everyone types everything now.

2) Because everything is typed, nobody needs to know how to spell thanks to spell-checkers. (A great poem demonstrating my point…) (Why spelling matters)

3) Knowledge is declining as well. Nobody needs to remember anything because they can Google it. Heck, even my references for this article were Googled.

4) The introduction of Attention Deficit Disorder (in adults). I have worked with hundreds of people at this point in my life, if not thousands. I would be willing to say nearly 50% could qualify as ADD candidates. Not because they need to be medicated, but because they just can’t think. They will ask the same question 4 times, because the first three answers just didn’t set in. They will breeze by instructions only to get confused about how something works. These people have a learned disorder. They have learned to take the path of least resistance at all costs. Is it far easier to click a button, not understand, and then email someone to help you understand it, than it is to just read two sentences, and try to understand it on your own. These individuals need life spoon-fed to them, and I’m tired of holding the spoon.

When did personal responsibility disappear? Don’t even get me started on frivolous lawsuits. The same person that doesn’t read instructions only to complain that they don’t understand is the same person that spills coffee in their lap and places the blame anywhere but themselves. I’m sure if it wasn’t McDonald’s fault, it was the car manufacturer for putting the cupholders too far away.

/angry rant

One thought on “Why Don’t Users Read??

  1. Good post. I just accidentally ran into your blog looking for something about the TV show “ER”.It’s not part of the curriculum. At least not for many schools in my area.I also agree with you that people are getting lazy when it comes to learning. People suck sometimes!

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