User psychology

Sometimes, technology can be really intimidating to those who are not familiar with it. When that happens, organizational effectiveness can be severely compromised, as technical neophytes grapple with their fear of new technology.

This tip, submitted by Bryan Schulz, Network Administrator for Spintek Gaming Technologies, Las Vegas, is a simple way to attempt to overcome the trepidation that neophytes can feel when confronted with something as simple as an operating-system upgrade. For submitting this tip, Bryan gets a free shirt from

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I have participated in several IT projects to migrate novice users from Windows 9x to both Windows NT Workstation and Windows 2000 Professional. One technique that I have used to ease their anxiety is to import the familiar clouds.bmp onto their new desktops and install it as Windows wallpaper before giving their PC's back to them. It is very reassuring to an HR Assistant, or an Accounting Clerk for example, to see the familiar cloud background on their screens. Users always say the same thing when they see their upgraded PC's for the first time, "Wow, this looks like Windows 95!" From that point forward, they look for similarities, not differences in the operating systems, which has made things a lot easier for our Help Desk Technicians."

This was first published in August 2000

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