Give your opinion and make $100

I fit the demographic criteria for the research Hewlett Packard was conducting on a new app development to interface the smart phone with their printer.

20181220_213602The Human Factors psychologist guided me through several prompts which had me engage with the app to see how easily I navigated it as a first-time user. An hour of my time and my feedback earned me $100. You can sign up here to be selected for other research.

At the end, she asked me to give my overall impression of technology. I told her I am in awe of it. Afterall, I am in my fifth decade and I am astonished by the rapid development of technology. Perhaps, I am most astonished by my ability to adapt to it. As editor of my college newspaper, I used an X-Acto knife, a Compugraphic typesetter and a pica ruler to measure points and leading. The year after I graduated, my alma mater purchased the first Apple computers. Nonetheless, I received on-the-job training to learn all the new technology tools that burst onto the scene.

ibm computerWhen I had my first freelance writing business, I sat in my apartment’s sunroom using an IBM which only allowed word processing. No checking distracting Facebook during a deadline. When it came time to print the copy I took the floppy disk and inserted it into the dot matrix printer which clattered line by line to produce my masterpiece.

Now, I can communicate with a printer across town from me through a smart phone and order a document output. I can take pictures of documents and convert them to PDFs or JPGs and e-mail to whomever needs the information. All from a hand-held computer.

The younger-than-me psychologist probed me to be more specific about the ease of use of this app. One of the functions was to crop a photo and she clarified with me if I understood this concept. Oh, yeah, and I am glad I no longer crop old-school style, using marking pencils, rulers, and calculating aspect and ratio. I didn’t tell her any of this as I thought her age might not have allowed a tangible mental reference point to understand what I was explaining.  But I am much happier using my finger and thumb to shrink the photo to fit the space it needs.

And, most amazingly, when I am done with this post, I will hit the publish button and, voila, hundreds of people around the world will be able to read about my experience. No one will need to hand deliver a single sheet of paper. Sharing is completed in real time.

“You’ve come a long way, baby!”