In a study published in 2004*, researchers found that more than 38% of the time spent on a computer was lost because of frustrating experiences, such as error messages, dropped network connections, long download times, and hard-to-find features. I realize 2004 is a long time ago, but do you think the situation has improved since then? The causes may have changed, but I believe frustration with computers is still alive and kicking our butts.
Now, I will confess to you that my nickname is “Research Monkey.” I enjoy doing academic research (an occupational hazard from my days as a librarian). When I have a question that isn’t answered by an easy web search, I turn to the library’s online journal indices, and expect to find an answer there.
In the case of dealing with computer frustration, I didn’t find much. Oh, I found some articles about computer frustration’s existence (human-computer interaction is the subject heading, if you’re interested). But ways to combat it–not so much.
Computer frustration is an integral part of why authors have a difficult time mastering the online marketing tools they need to be successful. But it occurred to me that knowing just what frustrates you would be more helpful than making generalizations.
Here’s your chance to help yourself and other authors. Complete this 3-question survey, and let me know what your computer frustrations are. I’ll be blogging about how to overcome these frustrations in future posts.
It’s better for you than screaming.
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*Irina Ceaparu, et al. “Determining Causes and Severity of End-User Frustration.” International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 17, no. 3 (2004): 333.