Assumptions about users (blue collar=inexperienced?)
20 Dec 2005 - 4:38pm
10 years ago
We posted an internal release about not creating paper user guides for
our Web sites, but creating better instructional content/cleaner process
on the actual site pages. Received this from an internal employee today
about a specific member group (we're a health insurance company) using
our member Web site:
"Their [automotive parts manufacturer] blue-collar work force may not
have home access to a PC and when at work, they rarely (if ever) use the
internet. In my experiences, it's been this demographic that has the
greatest degree of difficulty with using the member site. Anyway, I
understand, and from our perspective, in our business world, couldn't
agree with you more. However, I think we also need to keep in mind the
demographic pieces of our membership that are far from PC-literate."
We actually hear this from a lot of our sales folks.
"Retail/blue-collar/insert non-degreed job here/ don't have Internet
access and probably don't know how to use it anyway..." Though we've
NEVER received a complaint from the members directly on this.
My thoughts for comment:
1) If someone truly "rarely (if ever) uses the Internet," is that person
really going to use a Web site to manage his health benefits plan, which
is over-complicated on it's own? Are the employers pushing these guys to
use the site? Or do they really want to learn "Web" and they've chosen
their health plan Web site as an introduction to self-service online?
Seems highly unlikely.
2) Blue collar doesn't equate "may not have home access to a PC" to me.
We sell health benefits in the US. If the US stat for household
Internet access/usage is near 70%, does that mean that 70% of Americans
have white collar jobs? Where is this assumption coming from? Let's
assume these workers aren't calling up their account manager and saying
"I don't know how to use the Web, I feel left out, I need a paper
3) Some employers are setting up Internet kiosks to allow members to
access our site at work. This sounds like a security risk to me,
considering the member health plan Web site includes info like your SSN,
date of birth, your dependents, your address, medical conditions, Rx,
etc. In fact I'd like to warn employers NOT to offer this option.