By Jason Snell
April 30, 2020 5:04 PM PT
The future of help
Software is hard to use. This has been true since the moment the first computer was switched on and it’s still true. Yes, my daughter navigates the mind-bending Snapchat interface like a dolphin swimming through warm Hawaiian waters, but the other day I still had to walk her through a complicated cache-clearing troubleshooting session on her Chromebook, which in turn unearthed a DNS-caching problem on our home network. And all because Netflix wasn’t loading correctly.
And isn’t that almost everyone’s experience? You get really good at a few key things, but so much else is complicated and mysterious unless you’re a tech expert, like many of you are.
There was a time when the tech industry recognized that it was making complicated and frustrating software and, in a rare moment of introspection, decided to fix the problem. The result, unfortunately, was a wave of stuff that has either been forgotten or is remembered ruefully.…