My top 6 simple things the Average computer user doen't know how to do


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Tha Bloo Monkee

Although I don't work with phone support or anything, I absolutely can't stand helping people (friends, family) do their computer deeds over the phone. Drives me mad. I should just start installing some kind of remote desktop on my family's computers lol.

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SyntaxError

I believe if you have a computer, you should at least know the basics of operating it, not just surfing the net and checking your email. Unfortunately, that's just not how it is.

I saw this old guy once who was trying to click an icon on his desktop, and instead of putting his pointer on it, then clicking, he would position the pointer so it was pointing at the icon. And he couldn't figure out why nothing was happening. Sure what he was doing made sense, but I still had to keep myself from laughing out loud.

This happened in a computer class for senior citizens a friend used to teach, and it wasn't the first day.

Although I don't work with phone support or anything, I absolutely can't stand helping people (friends, family) do their computer deeds over the phone. Drives me mad. I should just start installing some kind of remote desktop on my family's computers lol.

Good luck. I've been there. It didn't work out well at all.

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Tha Bloo Monkee

^ I don't get it. So he just put the pointer over it and didn't click?

Well I hate it because unless I have a computer in front of me to step-by-step it myself, I don't know it. Like you can't just someone "find the options menu", instead you have tell them exactly how to get it ("go to Tools > Options or Edit > Preferences"), depending on the program so I need a computer in front of me to help someone on the phone.

And I still go crazy.

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SyntaxError

No. He was placing the pointer near his target, so the arrow was pointing at it (not on it), and clicking away like crazy.

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Tha Bloo Monkee

o i get it now.

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tablet_user

They should made it mandatory to take SAT like test to get a license to purchase a computer.

why? then IT people are out of a job if people learn everything they need to use one. Thats like saying everyone should learn to fix a car before buying one. I have a mechanic so i dont have to learn squat.

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Giri

I oh-so agree with #1. People signup for hosting plan and then publish their website and type their address in the search engine and expect their website to come up .. lol .. hilarious :)

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hotdog666al
I think half the problem is by default windows installs updates at 3am and a lot of people turn off their computers when they go to bed. I think Microsoft should change it to 3pm.
This. Oh god this. (Y)
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Kirkburn

3pm, in the middle of the work day?

Anyway, I thought by default they were installed the next restart of the PC.

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+warwagon

3pm, in the middle of the work day?

Anyway, I thought by default they were installed the next restart of the PC.

Then 7pm. That way they should still be up and the computer shouldn't be off just yet.

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Anibal P

My customers can't find the start menu. The button on the bottom left hand of your screen.

I get that every other call

So frustrating, especially when it';s someone who's obviously in their 20's

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Anibal P

I'd argue that it is easier in Vista and 7, since the Start orb has a distinct shape; most people know what blue is. Most people know what a circle is. If you tell a user to click the blue circle at the bottom left hand corner of the screen, you'll probably be OK.

Two other things; I think that support specialists blame users' ignorance despite their own inability to effectively communicate concepts. Computing terminology isn't particularly easy to grasp. Scrollbar, titlebar, icon, menu, double-clicking; these things that we understand and take for granted actually are specialized vocabulary. Scrollbar and titlebar are just normal words with -bar added to the end. An icon is something that they see on TV. A menu is what they order from at a restaurant. Double-click? Do you mean click with both buttons at once, because that is what the words mean at face value.

The second real shocker is that end users don't actually need to know any of this to use the computer to accomplish tasks. They can sit down, click on an icon, open up a program, crunch numbers for 8 hours, and then leave to do better things. A computer is no more holy than plumbing, or the circulatory system, to the end user. They expect it to function well enough to perform some task. If it doesn't, they call the tech specialist, the plumber, or the doctor. Realistically, when you get hired as a user support specialist, you should be expected to "make things work" without the end user having to know jack **** about what an icon is.

When I hgave to explaint to a customer three times to click on the circle on the bottom left before they "get"it", I can guarantee it's the customer and not me

Just yesterday I had to explain to a young fella (~20's) four times how to plug his phone into his modem, I about quit, after the third time he literally said " I don't understand what you mean", and I've taught Computer classes to Seniors, so I do know how to explain things at a kindergarten level

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Anibal P

I hate when people can't figure out how to type in a website even though you've clearly spelled it out for them. I tell people at least 10 times a day to go to:

ithelp.openroad.com but they'll say it isn't working, or that opendns blocked it. I'll ask them what they typed in and they'll repeat it back to me... then i'll ask them to read the address bar and it's usually either www.ithelp.openroad.com or ithelp.open.road.com and once even www.it.help.open.road.com. Then getting them to navigate to the support section to open up our teamviewer app is even harder even though it's right on the top menu!

It amazes me that they can't even access their webmail unless they do it from a favorite too. It's as if mail.openroad.com is impossible to figure out.

I've even had one before that said her computer wasn't working and that she moved the mouse nothing happened. I opened up the desk where the computer was and hit the power button. This same person came to me two days ago and asked me where her icons and her clock went (the windows 7 clock widget)... I walk over to her computer she's logged in as someone else. I mean... really? Your two names aren't even remotely similar, and it's obviously on the start menu when you click it.

and as for speedstr3789: yes, i can do all of those. Can you replace a connecting rod and a piston in a motor? How about a valve and retainer? It has nothing to do with the extra stuff that we know how to do that they don't. What you really should have asked is have you ever owned and operated a car before (since thats the closest to this topic)? It's all about the fact that this is BASIC computer knowledge, and some of these people are 20-25 years old that I'm working with and can't type in a web address or even realize that their computer is off.

Oh... I had another one... This guy asked me why his saved passwords in autocomplete weren't there anymore. I told him it's because I gave him a new computer today. He asked if there's any way to get his files back... I said no (the hard drive quite literally melted). The guy almost teared up and cried because he couldn't remember any of his passwords and the file he saved them to was on his "backup" folder on the hard drive that fried. I told him to e-mail me and I'll update them when I get around to it and walked away. I can't wait till he remembers that his e-mail password was in that file.

Our remote desktop url is literally ool1.com that is sometimes a five minute process just to get the url typed in correctly

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justmike

I work as phone support and i have to say i agree whole heartedly with #1. IMHO the search bar is the bane of my existence.

IMHO the search bar(s) are the bane... My record is 6 search bars :wacko:

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Sadelwo

My #1 peeve which someone mentioned is that you clean the persons PC of malware and all other unecessary programs (IE toolbars) and they call you and hour or two later to tell you there's another problem, you show up and IE again has all the same toolbars you removed. When u ask them why the Google Toolbar, Ask Jeeves Toolbar and Yahoo Toolbar are there, they said that they "need them".

Or they really want that flash game!

Though the best one was my gf's uncle who is also computer illiterate. His speakers died. I told him to buy new speakers, he said "no, I ordered a Mac and won't have problems anymore" *facepalm*

If you only knew how many times I've heard something similar...

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+warwagon

Our remote desktop url is literally ool1.com that is sometimes a five minute process just to get the url typed in correctly

Try www.fastsupport.com

They always tell me..... did you mean vast .... I say "No Fast..... F.A.S.T"... then they say is that support with 2 P's or just one? I tell them 2 p's. Then I proceed to spell it out for them again.

I ask them if the website is asking them to enter their name and support key. They tell me... no all I see is just a bunch of search results. Now I don't have users kick on links in that list because I don't know what they will be prompted to install or what website they will be taken to. So I have them do it all over again, telling them to make SURE to type it in the address bar. They tell me once again it takes them to search results for fast support.

After about 6 attempts of walking this person through the process unsuccessfully I have them press windows key+R on the keyboard which brings up the run box. This way you know they are entering the URL in an address box and not in some god damn ****ing search box. They typed in the URL pressed enter, and Prest'o they arrived at the correct site first try. This is a prime example why I use the run box and don't even mess with the address bar.

Then I tell them to make sure to type the support key in the "Support key" box. So I give them the key and they usually say.... "Oh wait, I typed it in the name box". So we do it all over again.

I'm not a huge fan of the gotoassist install process. It could be far simpler. While it may already seem quite simple, for the average dumb ass it's still confusing. For instance.

Once they enter their name and support key and click on "Connect for support" the next page they see tells them to "Click yes or always if prompted". 98% of the time the response I get from people who just read that is "What do I do?' (True Story)

So then gotoassist goes through some kind of Validation process and prompts them with a "Download" Software button" which I always have to instruct the user to click. After they click it they are prompted with a run or save box. I wish they would take the "Download software button" out of the equation and just prompt them to run the file. This is how it worked when I connected with a support person at a customers house for some specialized software assistance. Typed in the key and was immediately prompted to run a file. Now all of these customers I connect to know my name is Adam *******. Once the install is complete a little box popops up saying "Adam ******* has invited you to join a support session do you wish to join the session, yes or no? Now 99% of the people always ask me, what do I click?

Now I did actually have one smart person say ... "Well if I click no then this would have all been for nothing" in which i'm thinking "Finally a smart ****er"

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CoadyTech

One of my favorites that I still laugh at today is

Me:

Please right click on my computer.

Customer:

your computer?

Haha.. I've had similar!

What's always got me is i'll see someone copy/paste some text around, then they'll ask me for help and when I tell them to copy and paste something they give me a blank look. :huh:

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Ci7

One of my favorites that I still laugh at today is

Me:

Please right click on my computer.

Customer:

your computer?

at least with win7

they no longer use my "something"

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NinjaGinger

There is a button called help, my mum says not on here. the only computer in the world without that button. Then it miraculously appears, all by itself. Hmmm.

Typical phone call. I'm her tech support BTW.

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Max

I might have mentioned this earlier, but I know I'm in for a hard time when I say over the telephone "Type x and y in the box and press enter". I swear to god, the next time someone says "Wheres enter?" I'm going to eat the phone.

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Tha Bloo Monkee

I decided to look up some back-pages that I haven't read yet in this thread...

I'd argue that it is easier in Vista and 7, since the Start orb has a distinct shape; most people know what blue is. Most people know what a circle is. If you tell a user to click the blue circle at the bottom left hand corner of the screen, you'll probably be OK.

Two other things; I think that support specialists blame users' ignorance despite their own inability to effectively communicate concepts. Computing terminology isn't particularly easy to grasp. Scrollbar, titlebar, icon, menu, double-clicking; these things that we understand and take for granted actually are specialized vocabulary. Scrollbar and titlebar are just normal words with -bar added to the end. An icon is something that they see on TV. A menu is what they order from at a restaurant. Double-click? Do you mean click with both buttons at once, because that is what the words mean at face value.

The second real shocker is that end users don't actually need to know any of this to use the computer to accomplish tasks. They can sit down, click on an icon, open up a program, crunch numbers for 8 hours, and then leave to do better things. A computer is no more holy than plumbing, or the circulatory system, to the end user. They expect it to function well enough to perform some task. If it doesn't, they call the tech specialist, the plumber, or the doctor. Realistically, when you get hired as a user support specialist, you should be expected to "make things work" without the end user having to know jack **** about what an icon is.

Thank you. THANK YOU. Someone who gets it! This is what I've been trying to say the whole time.

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00000000000000000000000000

Google for a solution

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Harreh

I can guarantee it's the customer and not me

This mentality is what holds us back though. We've gotta find a way to explain things to a moron in a way that they understand.

Perhaps in that instance you're right - you did explain what to do properly and worded it properly but alot of the time I think we do it in a way that belittles them or comes accross as impatient. They pick up on this and become defensive, which isn't helpful as they'll disregard what you're saying.

The other problem is that they don't trust the tech supporter as tech supporters have a horrendous history of being rubbish (note: this statement is their view. From their perspective you were at fault for not communicating to them properly).

you know... I really don't want a job in IT... looks dreadful.

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SyntaxError

These days, we have the collective knowledge of mankind at our fingertips. It's called the Internet. Pretty much everyone in the Western world has net access somehow, even if it's at the public library. The majority of the people on Earth have net access these days.

Sure, there's a lot of crap to filter out in order to get to good info, but since it is the internet, it's usually pretty easy to cross reference and confirm stuff.

Given these facts, there's no excuse for people to be so ****ing stupid.

I'm no genius, but I learned the basics of MS-DOS in 8 hours flat, on my own with a Tandy 1000 Dos manual in my lap, and I've been going strong ever since. I am completely self taught.

If I can do that without the internet, then why can't everyone else do it WITH the internet? Yeah it's always the same damned excuse: "I don't know how to search" Bulls**t, you just haven't tried. I've heard it a million times.

It's not like Windows and the mouse or even the internet are brand new concepts. They've been around for more than 20 years now, and the basics of using them has changed very little. Same with the terminology.

As for the Windows start button, it's been in the same place and called the "start" button for at least 15 years, maybe longer. Only it's appearance has changed, and rather slowly I might add. So there's no excuse for people to not know where it is or what it is. Especially since it actually said "start" right on it until Vista came along.

Given all that, I just can't understand why the average computer user is so damned stupid. There's simply no excuse for it.

/rant

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dezzo

I'd argue that it is easier in Vista and 7, since the Start orb has a distinct shape; most people know what blue is. Most people know what a circle is. If you tell a user to click the blue circle at the bottom left hand corner of the screen, you'll probably be OK.

Two other things; I think that support specialists blame users' ignorance despite their own inability to effectively communicate concepts. Computing terminology isn't particularly easy to grasp. Scrollbar, titlebar, icon, menu, double-clicking; these things that we understand and take for granted actually are specialized vocabulary. Scrollbar and titlebar are just normal words with -bar added to the end. An icon is something that they see on TV. A menu is what they order from at a restaurant. Double-click? Do you mean click with both buttons at once, because that is what the words mean at face value.

The second real shocker is that end users don't actually need to know any of this to use the computer to accomplish tasks. They can sit down, click on an icon, open up a program, crunch numbers for 8 hours, and then leave to do better things. A computer is no more holy than plumbing, or the circulatory system, to the end user. They expect it to function well enough to perform some task. If it doesn't, they call the tech specialist, the plumber, or the doctor. Realistically, when you get hired as a user support specialist, you should be expected to "make things work" without the end user having to know jack **** about what an icon is.

Totally agree with you. Well said!

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