Put yourself in this situation:
Your mobile phone’s battery runs out of juice when you’re on a phone call. You left the charger at home, so you get home and plug it in. You check your phone half an hour later and your phone is charging but you’re not able to switch it on.
You try a couple of things but you’re scared that you might ruin something. You take the phone to the shop a couple of hours later and the service guy tells you that the phone has hung/hanged. He proceeds to remove the battery from the phone and puts it back in. Your phone works fine.
My question to you is this: Would you have tried to fiddle with the phone to figure out what was wrong? (Assume it’s a phone that was a little beyond your budget but you bought it anyway.)
I think I would’ve but I am not sure. If it was an expensive phone, maybe I would’ve been scared to fiddle.
Are you the kind that tinkers around with stuff when it’s not working? Or are you the kind that is afraid to touch anything because they might ruin it? And, Is it the technology that is scary or is it you that is scared?
My feeling is that it’s a bit of both. I think that some technology products make it comfortable for you, some make you apprehensive. People also bring their own apprehensions about their ability to “handle” technology.
I wonder though if designers are bothered about the “scare factor”. Do you think that they should be?