RE: Mac vs PC users

Subject: RE: Mac vs PC users
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com" <dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 07:52:59 -0700

Deborah Hemstreet wrote:

> Are there any studies out there that anyone knows of that compare how MAC
> users interact with computers compared to PC users?
> Are MAC users quicker learners?

I don't know of any such studies. But your question reminded me of a study done way back last century sometime at, I believe, Princeton. Entering freshmen were given their choice of using a Mac or a PC. At the end of the year, their English Composition papers were compared. The PC users had richer vocabularies, more sophisticated arguments, and more complex essays. The Mac users' writing tended to be more shallow and simplistic. :-)

> I"m writing some Help for a MAC application, and a lot of the feedback I
> get is, EVERYONE knows this - you don't have to explain it (such as what
> happens when I click File > Save, or what an Action button is, etc.

I just did a quick poll of nearby PC users, and EVERYONE here knows what happens when you click File > Save. I can't prove it, but my guess is that everyone who isn't a complete novice knows stuff like that, regardless of their platform of choice.

OTOH, maybe you're addressing complete novices -- in which case, the feedback you're getting may be off the mark.

All together, now: "Know Your Audience!"

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Mac vs PC users: From: Deborah Hemstreet

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