We Create for People, Not Users

Us•er — A person who uses or operates something, especially a computer or other machine

There is discussion on how the term “user” is something that should be stopped. It is said that the term is archaic, harsh, and dehumanizes the people who use products. As designers, empathizing with the human experience is a main factor and we should regard people as such. As Humans. So, why hasn’t the term completely changed yet?

Six years ago, Facebook made changes in how they refer to their customers by calling them “people” and creating an empathy team. This was meant to change the relationship between developing products or solutions just for people to use and actually putting oneself in another person’s shoes. People have actual lives outside of the products they use, and acknowledging that helps to understand the deeper level of why they use your product over another.

The same problem can be said for other popular terms such as consumer, customer, and subjects. These terms have flooded the tech and business industries for years. The feeling manifests as people thinking they are just dollar signs to companies. Sadly, they are in most cases. These are the factors that hurt the bigger picture of brand loyalty or company reputation.

We should hold ourselves and the companies we work for accountable in making these changes. The main reason we’re on this floating rock is for the human connection and experience. To create great things for people we must see and call them people.

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