“It’s so intuitive, it doesn’t need an instruction manual.”

I told someone yesterday that there was one piece of technology that was so intuitive it didn’t need an instruction manual. I was talking about the traditional fixed wire telephone.

It turns out I was wrong.  A quick search on YouTube revealed there was a major education campaign in the 1920s and 30s, instructing the public how to use a rotary dial telephone.

See also I have to dial my own phone? part one and part two

It’s easy to forget how often people struggle with new technology, and how quickly we learn to use it.

One Comment


If we are comfortable with the landline rotary dial telephone, it is because:
a. It has bare minimum and absolutely essential features.
b. As far as we can recall, it was always there, and so were people around us to train. Learning on-the-job from other seasoned users beats manuals / tutorials/ online help / forums any day.

Is there a lesson to be learnt here?

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