Help, I have been Stricken with Technology Blindness!


"Technology Blindness is when a person experiences anxiety about new technology and mentally freeze, unable to comprehend it.", "technology blindness", "Technology for Dummies", "new technology", "user friendly"Have you ever tried to explain some sort of technology, be it software or hardware, to someone who is less than receptive to the idea? It usually starts with them saying either “How does this work?” or “I can’t figure this out”. As you begin to explain, if they are already in a state of anxiety over their lack of comprehension,  a common reaction is them throwing their hands up in the air, either literally or figuratively, and experiencing a temporary case of ‘technology blindness’.

Technology blindness is a brain freeze caused by sheer anxiety. Often, the victim has experience in frustration with technology and has convinced themselves that software and “gadgets” just aren’t their thing. The human mind doesn’t particularly like feelings of incompetence or failure and might recognize those feelings about to descend upon it. Whatever the reason, the victim’s mind goes blank and their immediate reaction becomes, “Would you do it for me?”.

IT support people have dealt with technology blindness for many years and often develop a distain for its victims. One can almost read an IT person’s mind when a request for help arises- ‘”Yes, you dummy, I will perform miracles now”. You can’t blame them though when recipients of their wisdom typically gush praise when their problem is solved, often with a couple of keystrokes.

As many a psychologist will tell you, until victims of certain maladies want help, they must suffer.  One personal favorite way to cure technology blindness is to take a deep breath and remind yourself that most things are designed with the average person in mind. Onward, to the help files!

You Are Not Blind, Relax.

Ovation’s hiring platform was designed to be simple and it really is once you walk through it. Admittedly though, some users have had trouble getting going. Fortunately, for us, the stumbling blocks seem be limited to a couple of things that we are working on to make them more obvious. I have encouraged more than one user to give it a try and I tell them that if they hit a wall to give us a call. We also offer a weekly WebEx QuickStart demo on Thursdays.

Here at Ovation, we take turns with the after-hours requests for support. Incoming calls are forwarded to our cell phones and we can usually talk through problems quickly. Last week, I took one of the support calls from a user in California, Lane,  who stricken by technology blindness, wanted to know “What do I do?”. My first question was whether he had signed-up for the application. Hearing him say “How do I do that?”, I knew he had an extraordinary severe case of blindness and needed some tough love to regain vision.

I asked Lane if he would do me a favor. I said that our intent was to make Ovation a very easy to use, effective hiring platform.  I asked if he would go ahead and sign-up at the “Try it for Free” button and give it a try on his own. I was very curious to see if and where he might hit a wall in posting that first job. I made sure he understood that he could call back at any point and I would lead him forward. I ended the call with optimism.

Fifteen minutes later, I received a call from Lane. He said that he was successful in signing up and had a job ready to post. When he went to open the job, the system reminded him that opening the job would use the free first job post credit and asked if that was the intent. However, Lane couldn’t see where to click to agree and was stuck.

My blindness is cured!, technology blindness, help I'm stuck, It's a miracleI was already glad to hear he made it on his own. I knew what the problem was- browser incompatibility.  He was using an early version of Internet Explorer and it sometimes misses in rendering pop-ups completely. I walked him through switching to the Chrome browser and re-logging in. Now, the problem was fixed and he opened the job with ease. While I was on the phone, we walked through publishing the job to Indeed and SimplyHired and I congratulated Lane on his success. Lane was really relieved and happy. He was cured!

As we develop and improve our platform, we have the user in mind. Ovation is designed to make hiring easier and organize the process. And, cure blindness!

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