Dan Russell, one of Google’s anthropologists, conducted a largeish survey of user behavior and discovered that 90 percent of American Internet users don’t know that crtl-F will let them search documents including Web pages. I recently discovered that a smart and technologically literate friend had never heard of alt-tab for application switching; alt-tab being my single most used key combo!
It strikes me that we could probable come up with a list of ten (or even three) things you could teach to the people around you the next time you sit down to help them with a technology problem, “three things every technology user should know.”
One statistic blew my mind. 90 percent of people in their studies don’t know how to use CTRL/Command + F to find a word in a document or web page! I probably use that trick 20 times per day and yet the vast majority of people don’t use it at all.
“90 percent of the US Internet population does not know that. This is on a sample size of thousands,” Russell said. “I do these field studies and I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve sat in somebody’s house as they’ve read through a long document trying to find the result they’re looking for. At the end I’ll say to them, ‘Let me show one little trick here,’ and very often people will say, ‘I can’t believe I’ve been wasting my life!'”