All programmers and testers share one weakness: they don't know what it's like to not be familiar with computers.
Easy to laugh - but in IT the equivalents to push and pull signs aren't so obvious.
(Cartoon from The Far Side, in case you live on another planet.)
I have a confession: for a long time, I couldn’t get the 3G internet to work on my smartphone. When I bought it six months ago, I could make calls and connect to wi-fi, but the mobile broadband stubbornly refused to work. I read the manual from beginning to end, trawled the internet, fiddled with every setting and swore at it, before I finally realised mobile broadband wasn’t switched on. After all the times I’ve been showing off making things look easy that other people struggle with, I can consider this a taste of my own medicine.
But, embarrassment aside, that was a good lesson in what it’s like to not be a techie. As a late entrant into the smartphone market, I was getting to grips with things that are second nature to most users. To someone who is familiar with Android, checking 3G internet is activated is such an obvious thing it’s not even worth mentioning, any more than a locksmith would consider it worth asking if you were pushing a door with a “PULL” sign. But little things like this add up and can stop people using new products completely. This is where usability testing comes in.