Thursday, June 25, 2009

Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants

There are differences between those who have been exposed to electronics all their lives (my kids) vs. those who have not (me).

While shopping for a new Bakugon (the latest craze) at Toys-r-us, my son was overwhelmed with his choices of Bakugon toys to choose from. After staring at the long aisle full of toys, floor to ceiling, he announces that he's going to decide by "deleting stations." Say what?!?

Translation: He's going to rule out entire sections of toys displayed in the aisle in order to narrow down his choices. This makes total sense to him, since the toys are displayed in groups of similar types (accessories are in 1 group, bakugon in another group, toy holders/carriers in another, etc). The process makes sense to me as well, but the "deleting stations" reference is from games he's used to playing on the computer, wii and ds.

It's just another reminder that the world I grew up in is gone, and my kids' world is becomming increasingly foreign to me. Is this the definition of "getting old"?

Good user experience in the parking lot

Footprints can assist us in finding our way. This is especially true in PayPal's San Jose parking lot.

Let me explain. The lot is very large (think 2 oversized football fields joined together by a paved pathway) and is liberally dotted with trees and bushes that provide shade for cars, but they also obstruct the clear path from my car to the front door of the building. Where can I walk and avoid trampling bushes and ivy as I get into the office every morning?

Little painted feet solve the problem! They appear every 15-20 feet and denote a walking path between cars, trees and shrubs. Problem solved! It's simple, low profile, and very handy for PayPal workers. A+ to whomever implemented this excellent parking lot experience.