The procedure was like this: I told them “what would you do to launch an application?” Then they started clicking the wrong icons.
In fact I have just performed the same with Plasma, with my parents, and because the upper left icons is named “start” they thought more than once that it was for launching applications.
And they use computers in their daily lives, my father for work. It’s not like they are completely iliterate.
Rather an advanced user usually don’t know how much they know. That’s why when you design an user interface is always so important to give it to someone not too experienced, and see how they reason.
On GNOME, with the dash always at view, I asked them “launch an application”. Then they went to the grid icon effortlessly. I asked them “why you knew it was that icon?”, and they answered “because it was a grid, which suggested me there I would find many things”.
Science gentlemen, science.