Kathy Smith
Sr. Website Designer

Basic computer functions that everyone should know (and doesn’t)

There is so much to know in using a computer. It is amazing to see how the level of proficiency varies among our clients. As a business owner or organizational leader, you may not even be online on a daily basis. But when you have a website or start marketing online, you may find yourself stretching for understanding.

Not only are you trying to figure out how to deal with the Web, but you could be one of those many people who have basic computer literacy issues.

How literate are you?

I remember the first time I saw Windows. I was a child, and children’s brains tend to adapt more easily, so I picked up a lot very quickly. But it took a good session to figure out how to use the mouse. And there are so many user interface concepts to understand–there’s not only that, there’s context-sensitive operations, minimizing and maximizing windows . . .

Computer class

There used to be quite a lot of literature that taught people how to do basic things on operating systems. But now it seems that software manufacturers assume you already have basic computer literacy… and some people have suffered from this, never having picked up some rudimentary skills.

When we’ve trained people how to use content management systems such as WordPress (a CMS tool that lets you manage your own website), it has been eye-opening to discover where people are, not just in getting around a typical CMS, but in how unfamiliar they might be with basic web concepts and even getting to websites in a browser.

So how does this relate to you? Chances are, if you are reading this you are pretty adept with websites–being a marketing or business professional and/or manager of some sorts–and have either picked up this post on LinkedIn, through a newsletter, have subscribed to the blog, or have landed on this page via a search.

These little tutorials can help

Even if you are pretty computer/web literate, there are always details that you never learned or need refreshing. You might be adept at navigating the Internet, yet not know about right-clicking the mouse to find a context menu:

  • How to use the mouse
    Quick video illustrating how to use the mouse on Windows Vista (concepts apply towards other many other versions of Windows). Great exposure to concepts although it flies through them very quickly.

Or perhaps you have only recently purchased a laptop or are using the mouse with it, and would like some quick tips on how to use the touchpad:

  • How to use the touchpad
    Very rudimentary instructions for the touchpad (note that Mac touchpads work differently).

Here are a couple tutorials in Internet Explorer. I prefer using Chrome, but IE comes installed on Windows and is most likely what you are using:

* Not that anyone is a dummy for not knowing how to use a program, but the “Dummies” series of books actually is very intelligent and goes through basic operations in a step-by-step manner. I find that the series can make even some rather advanced topics easier to understand and I’ve used it to learn various programming tasks.

Happy computing!

Kathy Smith has developed more than 200 websites – everything from n-tier enabled applications to ecommerce to your friendly brochure-style website. She is senior developer at Lakenetwork.net, a website development company in Eastlake, Ohio.


about lakenetwork

Lakenetwork is a family-owned business providing website design and development for companies, professionals and organizations in the Cleveland, Ohio area and beyond. We specialize in providing the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions for clients’ online needs. We are located in Eastlake, Ohio.

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