We’ve come a long way in 30 years. Steven Levy, writing for Rolling Stone in 1984:
On a pleasant, light background (you can later change the background to any of a number of patterns, if you like), little pictures called “icons“ appear, representing choices available to you. A word-processing program might be represented by a pen, while the program that lets you draw pictures might have a paintbrush icon. A file would represent stored documents – book reports, letters, legal briefs and so forth. To see a particular file, you‘d move the mouse, which would, in turn, move the cursor to the file you wanted. You‘d tap a button on the mouse twice, and the contents of the file would appear on the screen: dark on light, just like a piece of paper.
In just three decades, we seldom have to explain this desktop metaphor. People turn on their computers, tablets, and phones and can get around and get things accomplished.
Yet, we still have so far to go.
Setting up iCloud to work properly, understanding how iMessage works across multiple devices, backing up photos and videos of your kids, keeping the information you want to be private — well, private — moving from one device to another, accessing your data on every device you own, touchscreen inputs for real work, keeping track of passwords, and so much more is still very daunting to even the youngest computer user on the latest devices and software.
I highly recommend taking the time to go through every part of Apple’s look back on the Mac.
/via Jason Kottke.