The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think

Excerpt from this article:

A recent international research study allows us to quantify the difference between the broad population and the tech elite…

The 4 Levels of Technology Proficiency
The researchers defined 4 levels of proficiency, based on the types of tasks users can complete successfully. For each level, here’s the percentage of the population (averaged across the OECD countries) who performed at that level, as well as the report’s definition of the ability of people within that level.

“Below Level 1” = 14% of Adult Population
Being too polite to use a term like “level zero,” the OECD researchers refer to the lowest skill level as “below level 1.” … An example of task at this level is “Delete this email message” in an email app.

Can’t Use Computers = 26% of Adult Population
…That one quarter of the population can’t use a computer at all is the most serious element of the digital divide. To a great extent, this problem is caused by computers still being much too complicated for many people.

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