It always amazes me (even after more than ten years) how un-intuitive computers can be for many users. One call I fielded today was from a computer user who has been using computers for many years, but had a befuddling question. She was trying to browse to her bank’s web site, but couldn’t get there. After talking with her for a few moments, it became apparent that she was typing the address to her bank in a search engine’s search box instead of the address bar. The clue came when she exclaimed, “I get a list of credit unions instead of my own.”
I explained to her that if she knows the address of where she wants to go, use the long white address bar at the top of the browser. Only use the search engine if you don’t know the exact address of where you need to go. This is an important lesson for everyone out there. I see it time and time again…people taking the extra three or four steps to type a known web address in a search engine.
If you know a web site address, simply type it in the long white address bar, then press Enter on your keyboard. Also, you don’t need the www or the http://; simply type cnn.com, usatoday.com, etc and press Enter.
This type of question illustrates how many computer users struggle to perform what should be a basic computer function. The fault, in my opinion, lies more with software engineers than with users. I see with my own kids (whose generation is supposed to understand computers) many of the same questions and issues.
It’s definitely not a generational issue.