Should today’s computers be simpler to operate?

Iain Duncan Smith, secretary of state for work and pensions in the UK, was speaking at the Digital Unite Silver Surfer Awards, which promotes the use of technology among older people.

He said manufacturers need to simplify hardware to encourage more people to get online, saying tech designers “sometimes assume that everyone out there is expert at computer use,” according to a report in The Telegraph.

“It may need some rethink about some of the hardware that is out there,” he said, adding there needs to be “some sort of simpler interface for people who are not going to spend all their time surfing”.

“What we may need for some older people is a much simpler interface to get online; the challenge is out there to companies and providers to look at the potential marketplace for better and easier to use equipment,” he said.

Duncan Smith also reiterated the Government’s belief that getting more people online will save on delivering services and boost the UK economy by as much as £22 billion. The Government has previously named Martha Lane Fox as its “digital champion” to try to encourage internet use among the nine million Britons who are not yet online – 6.4m of whom are over 65.

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