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.
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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.
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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.