When I worked in tech support I really had to be careful about how I'd phrase things. Terms like the web browser, the operating system's name or even keys on the keyboard might feel natural to experienced computer users, but they did confuse the hell out of the average user.
Many did not know what the web browser was, could not say the name or version of the operating system, or find the enter key on their keyboard. It was highly frustrating but one gets used to "baby-talking" them into revealing the information needed to do the job.
So, instead of asking them to start the Internet browser, I'd more often than not ask them to start the Internet, or the program that they use the Internet with, which they then did by clicking on the e-icon on their desktop or, sometimes, starting another browser.
It was a funny time back then especially considering that these inexperienced users where doing some highly sensitive stuff on the Internet including Internet banking.
Google, the maker of the Google Browser, went to Time Square, New York to find out the answer to the question "What is a browser". They asked 50 random people on the street and the results reminded me of the time I worked in tech support.
Here are some top answers:
Many tech users have a hard time adjusting to this. Not that they have to at all times as it depends on the audience.
A room full of tech savvy users will use terms like browsers, network, internet all the time. Many non-tech savvy people just won't use the terms or know about them which results in communication problems.
They do not care how it is called or what else you can do with it. They simply want to perform the two or three basic tasks that they want to do with a computer and that's it.
What's your experience?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.