Than wiring “offline network blind” and, more importantly, make them feel useful network

yesterday, hunting cloud network editor jun compiled articles, let everybody know to let in the world. Due to lack of experience of the Internet, these offline population not establish proper mental models, don’t know the working principle of the basic network services also does not have consciousness to use the Internet. In this article, we will continue to explore offline the mental models of the population does not have, so that the world’s most influential thinkers can come up with the best strategy to solve the problem.

the lack of mental models

in order to get all sorts of possibilities, I and my team has been in the population of unrealized networking or just realize networking for usability testing. A great research value of South Asia technology incubators, Plan 9 and the availability of a local mobile operators team assist for our test. With these help, each test with the high standards and high quality control. The next is part of our results.

GIF test objects are in this picture he could think of the most simple keyword in Google search. He chose the IPL (Indian premier league acronym). He typing spent about 10 seconds, slower than in their mobile phone keyboard for 7 seconds. In other words, for the test object, virtual keyboard in the smartphone screen does not bring convenience.

in a number of usability tests, we found that for most unrealized networking or just realize networking, virtual keyboard using smart phones will be much more difficult, it makes them reluctant to change their own equipment. Of this frustration because they haven’t realized the Internet on smartphones, more efficient than the most advanced function of machine.

on the other hand, when implementing networked people use smart phone for the first time, they have formed a QWERTY keyboard mental models to help them solve the problem, the impact is not big. Unfortunately, for to realize networking, their mental model of the formation of the keyboard is made according to the ITU E 1.161 international standard mobile phone keyboard, these two kinds of standard keyboard is very different.

GIF in the test object is search his favorite bollywood actors – Shahrukh Khan. But he under many spelling errors and much help to correct spelling. It is worth noting that his first attempt at due to too many mistakes, so that Google’s “Showing the results for” function can’t normal use.

to summarize, for people to realize networking, due to the use of the Internet for the first time can’t find what you want to search, can produce a feeling of anxiety. Serious to search term and search the name spelling errors is the main cause of the problem.

some of the smart phone screen keyboard key box will show the default language is English, this will inadvertently limits the powers of new users use the blank space key. Imagine, when a not very good at English is not very good at foreign language using the keyboard, they will choose to click on the button marked as English? Not, the result will lead to errors of spelling, the lack of space.

predictably, for 30% population of illiterate offline, the above mentioned problems will become more serious. And let them contact Internet produce benefit would be even more difficult. Seems to be for now, literacy is whether a person can use the Internet a necessary condition. This is not good news for these offline population.

the test object in the GIF is applied at a different page bar. It is easy to be? In many experiments, she always use click and sliding action to move pages, never clear realized that you just need to slide the page. Her mental model of gesture is still stay in before, did not form a new mental model.

all in all, for all the offline population, they constantly in the effort to understand when using mobile devices slide, click, double-click, or pinch gestures. May be because of the function of the most widely used machine for offline population, television and radio are not cultivate their mental model of gesture.

we also found that using smartphones will alleviate the problem, but it is not immediately to solve. Can say so, it would be like in 2007 for the first time, we used the first generation of the iPhone when we encounter situation.

the test object in the GIF is trying to use Viber call, do not know how to use when screen changes. We see in other similar Internet services in the same situation.

so want to cultivate in the mental models of the smart phone call would be very difficult? Yes, than it sounds more difficult, but worth cultivating. For this problem, there is a broader view: for offline population, due to come into contact with before is function of the machine, TV and radio technology, want to use the smart phone is not so easy so directly. These views are more identified before the results of the usability test.

the test object is trying to Google search, but he didn’t show to Google’s web page a lot of interest, but showed a reluctant and an almost laughed at. Then the test shows that the test is very boring, is a waste of his time.

this is not an isolated phenomenon, the lack of culture especially the phenomenon in the test object.


these usability tests have shown that the widespread psychological barriers prevented the offline population to accept digital technology and network services. For most offline population, a smartphone is their first real computing devices.

however, every innovation comes from a series of challenges, the smartphone is no exception. We contact the Internet service for the first time, caused the thoughts of violent collisions, for the offline world as well. Seems to make the offline world master smartphones than we initially (due to our understanding of digital interaction and the Internet have deeper) more difficult and takes longer.

therefore, simply expanding the Internet or the Internet becomes cheap, not solve the problems. They need the psychological gap gradually fill. For the offline world, it is just like a classic step function, from the mental models of the offline jump to the mental models of the line is very difficult.

we need a solution to mitigate this change. If we did, we can speed up the popularization of the Internet in the population of offline. Otherwise it is wishful thinking.

today, we take use of the Internet service or use a smart phone as a necessary of life. In fact, when the very successful tech giants even silicon valley’s most successful start-up, understand to learn how to use my company is committed to make offline population like search, social networking, information, application of mall and so on basic network services, both said they doubt it.

I understand this doubt, after all, I had thought of it like that before. Can predict that if you want to achieve this goal, mobile devices and basic network services if plug and play, so that they can perfect the optimization of the user experience, can let anyone can be successful at any time even on the network.

but the reality is that we live in this world there are 4.3 billion people did not use the Internet. Most of these people, I don’t know what is the meaning of the X at the top right of the window, and I don’t know what is “registered”, “user”, “password”, also don’t know the cancel button is red or gray. They don’t know how to work a QWERTY keyboard, also don’t know how to use the mobile data, even don’t know why you need to use the network. This is an extremely complex involving various problem, if you can solve this problem, will fundamentally change us.


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