Struggling with Technology (again?)

I used to be good at technology

I used to be good at technology. Honestly, I used to be the person who introduced new technology to my colleagues, who stared at their mouse as if it would yield answers on its own. The irony is that it would have yielded those answers if they only used it to search menus and drag objects.

It’s not my fault

I find myself worse at technology than I used to be, and I refuse to say it’s my fault, because I’ve been using the same techniques to teach myself new software. It’s not working. I have decided it’s not me, but the software available to me.

Photo by Ann Nekr on

It was inevitable that the increasing complexity of programs and apps would result in some inscrutability. My first experience on a computer was a DOS machine. The entire WordPerfect program sat on a 8″ floppy disk (1.2 MB storage) and I had room to store my homeworks. Now we download megabites of code, invisible to us, and store programs on our terabyte hard drives, and our documents in the cloud.

Increasing complexity

Why has the size of programs and apps increased so greatly? Because progress demands programs be increasingly complex, doing more things, and doing them beautifully. I demand this myself; it’s always a bonus to me when I can type myself rather than using a secretary; format my own books; develop my own videos. Some of these programs are not made by big companies, as is evidenced by the Apple, Android, and Microsoft Stores.

The consequences

The consequences of increasingly useful and complex programs and apps are threefold:

  • Increasing margin for mistakes
  • Increasing difficulty in making logical and intuitive interfaces.
  • Information overload

I’m running into these, but usually the latter two. I do, however, occasionally run into buttons that don’t work, captions that float over other essential functions, and other errors. (WordPress, why do I have to click twice on “Select” to get into the photo archives like Pexels?)

Logical and intuitive interfaces — menus and buttons where the function pops up when you scroll over it; context-sensitive menus. Learning Photoshop has been challenging due to its many, many menus where menu options are not always intuitive. In these cases, a robust help menu helps, especially for those of us new to the program and not so new to the world. WordPress, on the other hand, has context-sensitive menus, although it took me a bit to figure out which menu to seek — is it the plus sign or the menu on the right?

The last is information overload. This is where you see so much on the screen that you can’t focus. Photoshop again is a good example of this. Numerous menus with numerous options — don’t get me wrong; I’d rather that than a plethora of programs that are less complicated.

I don’t want to throw away functionality, especially as I am a DIY person. Maybe better help and more consumer testing and some idea of the language used on Photoshop.

But I have a question for you:

Do you know any good books on Photoshop? On WordPress? Please let me know!

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