Saturday, July 28, 2007


On the use of the term "user" ...

"Here we go again. Can't we just call people PEOPLE? This time it's Josh Bernoff of Forrester. He says:

"When I started in the business twenty-mumble years ago, writing software manuals, people who used software were unusual (and had to be masochists). We spent a lot of time talking about users. The word user was helpful -- it helped us to keep in mind that there was a poor slob on the other end of what we were building.

Those times are long gone. We know users are important now. Disappoint them and you lose. So why do we still have to call them "users," which puts the emphasis on the technology they are using?

Yes, I know "users are people, too." But you know what? All people are users now! (With nearly 80% Net penetration in the US this is pretty close to true.) Users put up with computers. People just do stuff.

Nobody talks about users of dishwashers, or users of retail stores, or users of telephones. So why are we talking about "users" of computers, browsers, and software?"

I'm all for "humanizing the experience"—but guess what? Sometimes labels help us to design better solutions, products and experiences for the PEOPLE who we serve who USE the stuff we develop for them. USERS."    (Continued via Logic+Emotion)    [Usability Resources]

Custo-consum-user-people - Usability, User Interface Design



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