Is this Future Shock?

musings on how technology is changing my business environment

What do you remember?

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stairs

Good with dates?

I remember my birthday. My wife, when she’s being cynical, which is rare says one reason we married was that we have the same birthday. I stand *no* chance of ever forgetting her birthday.

One of our friends gave us a counted cross stitch tapestry to celebrate our wedding day. It, with the helpful date and year, hang over the bed. I don’t forget our anniversary, either.

Do you remember phone numbers/email addresses?

I used to work in a service organisation. Back in the 80s, I would have a list of maybe a hundred numbers for organisations/people I needed to contact in my head. I probably recognised a couple of hundred customer numbers, too.

Nowadays, I either use a cellphone directory, a shortcode button or web based lookup. Why would I need to remember a number? I can’t tell you my mother or brother’s full street address. Why would I remember it? I send email, and gifts… usually come from Amazon… who remember their address for me.

What about your IDs?

I use my employee number at work all the time; I guess it’s like your Army number. Hard to forget. Elsewhere – I have loads of IDs. Sometimes, my browser remembers them. Sometime sxipper remembers them.

Best of all, I like my OpenID. Somewhere that accepts that makes me feel good.

Some things, you just don’t remember

I must have vacuumed the stairs in my house 300 times. Each stair, individually. Do you know how many steps are in the main flight of stairs in your home? Without checking?

Some passwords are like that. Hard to remember. Tech Mavens did a piece on password complexity a while back. When I get a password rejected with “No non-alphanumerics” or “Repeated digits” I get really wound up. One system at work I had to get reset 15 times before I’d worked out a mnemonic I could use.

If you are designing a system, remember your user might have to remember scores of IDs and passwords. Don’t protect them so much they won’t use your system.

Oh, my stairs? There are 13 of them. I counted them on Sunday. I wondered why I didn’t know how many there were.
What don’t you remember?

Picture Credit S@Z

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Written by SteveEllwood

June 17, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Posted in performance

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