What’s in a word? A lot according to Jack Dorsey, the CEO of mobile-payments company Square. Dorsey, who also help create Twitter, believes that the technology industry needs to reconsider the word user and find something less “derogatory” to refer to people that use its products and services.
As he points out, the word user in the context of software has mainly negative origins, often being used to refer to “a person who wasn’t technical or creative, someone who just used resources.”
That’s hardly how most of see ourselves when we log in to Twitter, Gmail or Facebook.
“It’s time for our industry and discipline to reconsider the word ‘user,’” writes Dorsey on his Tumblr blog. “We speak about ‘user-centric design,’ ‘user benefit,’ ‘user experience,’ ‘active users,’ and even ‘usernames’…. While the intent is to consider people first, the result is a massive abstraction away from real problems people feel on a daily basis.”