Old Browsing Habits

Do you know the difference between a web browser and a search engine?

From Louis Lazaris:

In his mind, there was no difference between a web browser and a search engine…Alex is not alone in viewing “browser” and “search engine” as interchangeable terms. According to the video, less than 8% of users interviewed on that day knew what a browser was.

I am always absolutely shocked when I first read articles such as this. But I guess they shouldn’t surprise me. People still use Internet Explorer because they honestly don’t know the difference between a browser and a search engine.

I fully support people’s right to remain ignorant in areas that are of no interest to them. There is nothing wrong with having a computer simply to check email and do the occasional web search. Remaining unknowledgeable to the definition of “browser” has no effect on your end result: emails were checked, web was searched.

Instead, my concerns with this statistic stems more from a web development angle. Web developers must continue catering to these outdated platforms as long as people are still using old and inferior versions of web browsers. This means limitations in both functionality and design. A large number of people using lesser-compatible browsers means a large number of people missing out on a potentially useful product or website built using newer programming languages.

But how can we educate people who do not realize that their knowledge is lacking? People who have every right to remain ignorant and who are sometimes willfully against learning new technology?

I have a feeling this is a question we will be asking ourselves for years, and there will be no easy answers.

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