Our main goal, at Gociety Solutions, is what we call ‘humanizing technology’ – adapting technology to the needs and wishes that spring from the everyday lives of real, flesh-and-blood human beings. To help ensure that our technology truly works the way we imagine, we have several test-groups, make sure we get lots of user feedback, and take every single, personal story as seriously as the average company would only take extensive research into their target group. As a testimony to this, we have started visiting users in their own home: to listen to their stories about the role technology plays in their lives. Whether that is a big, leading role – or a tiny, supporting one. In the coming weeks, you will be able to read a new story every week. Today: part one, Mrs. Riet Stout from Brabant, the Netherlands.
“I remember this so well: when I was sixteen, I was doing a course in domestic science – like one of those years during which you learn to cook – and I had an internship with a paediatrician. At some point, I had to make a phone call; I had never done that before. I was sitting there, receiver in hand, trying all sorts of things before I finally managed to make the call. We didn’t have a phone at home – not until I was about twenty or so!”
“I have had a mobile phone for a few years now, but until recently I never really used it. Whenever my sons were around, they always said: ‘just do as we say’ – ‘it’s simple: you just do this, this and this.’ Of course I didn’t remember a thing they said. And those manuals are full of things I simply have never heard of, so that didn’t help. What exactly ís an operating system? What is an app? I had no clue. So whenever I would receive a message or call, I just didn’t dare press anything for fear of doing something wrong. That’s the problem: it is always assumed that you’re already familiar with all these terms, and with certain types of operating systems. And that, when Google suddenly asks ‘Download?’ – that you know what to do. I didn’t, and I couldn’t find it in the manual either. Look: children, nowadays, just learn these things as they grow, they’re so used to it. But if you fall into all of this at my age, you just miss too much information. And that can make you so insecure! It happened to me once that I – apparently, I still can’t imagine that I really did, but ‘he’ said so – entered the wrong information ten times in a row. All of a sudden all my messages were gone! After that I was just too scared that something similar would happen, so I hardly dared to press anything anymore.”
“Since recently, I have had the GoLivePhone app installed on my device. I like this system – its clear and easy to understand. I use my phone quite often now; especially for Whatsapp, and for taking pictures. And I’ve started using the schedule functionality; I’ve just scheduled some appointments in it. And what’s nice: I notice that I talk to my sons more than I did before. I have one son in Rotterdam, for instance, and he often didn’t pick up the phone when I called him – he’s always very busy – but now I have noticed that he dóes reply when I send him a little story, over Whatsapp. It’s just that much easier to do in between things, I guess. A little chat, a short message; it doesn’t have to be much. But it does keep us in contact on a more regular basis.”