Computers are one of the major causes of stress in the workplace. Many people are wary of them, and this is something they are reluctant to admit to their colleagues. Things change so fast it’s hard to keep up with the tsunami of new ideas and apps. Just as you get used to one interface there’s an upgrade: the familiar landscape shifts. Because improvements have to be visible, probably the easiest way for software companies to do this is by renaming things, making them sound more edgy. A toolbar becomes a ribbon. Explorer becomes Edge. One Drive is somewhere to store things, nothing to do with cars. If you don’t inhabit an IT world, you tend to regard these changes with disquiet. You are expected to take the upgrades in your stride without any pause in the pace of your work. Software companies seem to forget we associate words with what we are familiar with and something as seemingly trivial as a name change can cause an inordinate amount of frustration and wasted time. It’s only natural that developers want to impress with how clever they are by including as many new features as they possibly can in their updates.
But not everyone is tech savvy or started coding before they were ten. While many people highlight the importance of teaching kids how to code (such as making it an alternative in school to learning a foreign language), how about those whose school days are a distant memory? Do we all need to sign up for ‘Code Academy’ to understand the data around us? Instead of equating Big Data with Big Brother in our minds, why not look at how we can humanize data so that it communicates directly with us in a language we are comfortable with? Namely, everyday English (or whatever happens to be the language of your life or work)