Guest blog by Astrid Hall
Busy Brits are suffering ‘gadget confusion’, a study has found.
Research revealed millions of us are baffled by the number of buttons, symbols and switches on devices which we are too frightened to use.
It also emerged a large percentage claim they don’t have the time to read instructions and three quarters confessed to being confused by gadgets.
Another eight in 10 admitted using a ‘trial and error’ approach when it comes to their devices and appliances.
And more than a third can’t be bothered to try different settings or options.
Three in four also said they purchase gizmos and gadgets and completely disregard the instructions, leaving only half of them aware how to use the basic settings on their tech.
Tom Guy, Global Product Director at Centrica Hive, which commissioned the study, said:
“Technology needn’t be scary, especially with the number of innovative smart devices out there now.
“Our research shows how modern life leaves a number of Brits without the time or patience to get to grips with their tech, but smart devices in the home like thermostats, cameras and sensors are created to make life easier and give peace of mind.”
The study also found Brits ‘guess’ their way to using their tech because one third think it’s too complicated and one fifth admitted they will forget what they’ve read.
As a result, the average Brit will use just 26 per cent of their mobile phone settings and apps.
Of the 17 per cent who currently own a smart speaker, half won’t use their device for anything other than listening to music.
Six in 10 are making life harder for themselves by manually changing their heating preferences as they don’t know how to set the timer on their home thermostat.
And nearly a third had no idea their microwave has pre-programmed settings to help them cook things like jacket potatoes or fish hassle-free.
One sixth of adults don’t know which way to turn the dial in their fridge to change the temperature, with more than a third sticking to the same cycle on their dishwashers.
And half won’t veer away from the same single setting on their iron.
Brits use an average of just two settings a month on their dishwashers, as they understand less than half of the functions available to them.
The research found 82 per cent wished technology was easier to understand; with seven in 10 in agreeing manufacturers could do more to make their devices easy to understand.
Nearly three quarters have been amazed by someone else showing them a new ‘trick’ or setting on their gadgets.
And despite half the nation owning a piece of smart tech, an equal number of Brits think smart technology is too complicated to understand.
Tom Guy at Centrica Hive added: “We work with customers to develop smart home Hive products that are affordable, easy to use and make a difference to their lives.
“This is key to enable more Brits to make full use of the tech in their homes both now and in the future.”