The Hamburger of Enlightenment: how my mom learned to love pressing buttons
Remember when I told you about how my mom was learning to navigate new technologies, specifically YouTube and smart phones? If you recall, her discovery of DIY videos led to a widowed man learning to do laundry (and ultimately falling in love with my now street smart mom). Today, they’re married, and like many older people, they’re on restricted diets. This poses a challenge as they love to try new restaurants.
Recently, mom was complaining to me about the terrible websites many restaurants produce. She and Ron proofread for me, and apparently this has transformed the two foodies into connoisseurs of fine website design as well.
When I asked her what the trouble was, she told me that restaurants didn’t have any useful information on their websites. That spells trouble for her.
If she can’t preview the menu to make sure there’s something she can eat with her restrictions, she’s not going. It’s just that simple.
Curious, I asked if she had clicked on “The Hamburger” menu.
….. silence ….
“It wasn’t a hamburger restaurant, Betsy,” she said.
OK – teaching moment.
“Mom, do you see a few lines in the upper right hand corner of the website?”
“No…. oh yes! I see them.”
“What happens when you tap on that?”
Lo and behold, there appeared links to the menu, hours, specials, info on catering.
Her mind was blown.
“Well, how would I have ever known to click on that?!” she said.
“Mom, don’t you ever just click on things to see what they do?”
“No way! Something bad might happen!”
Believe it or not, this is an all too common fear, and it’s not just a fear among older adults. We’ve all experienced technology-related loss. At some point, you’ve spent time and energy filling in a form only to have the information disappear with one false click. At some point, you’ve had that gut sinking feeling of terror when an accidental back arrow complicates an online transaction. Technology can be scary, and it’s not unusual to want to limit potential damages by keeping interactions to a minimum.
Unfortunately, minimum interaction means minimum impact. Gradually, my mom has overcome her fear of something bad happening as a result of an errant click. Mostly. In fact, she and Ron are now local experts on The Hamburger, and as usual, they’re out educating their friends on the subject.
“Well, don’t you know about the hamburger?” Ron asks his fellow silvers foxes, like you’d have to be silly not to have noticed it before.
What about you? Take a look at your business website. Is it clear to visitors what you do and why you’re the best at it? Is your site easy to navigate for a noob? Does it provide impactful, intuitive interaction? If you’re not sure, get in touch. I don’t just help moms with technology. I also help businesses get more out of their digital resources.