David Dejewski started the topic Stop Calling Me a “User” in the forum Communications, Citizen Engagement, Customer Service 8 years, 3 months ago
It used to be an insult to be called a “User.” If you were called a “user,” it meant that you use people. “Users” are selfish, manipulative, and sometimes cruel. I don’t want to be called a “user.” I’d feel bad if someone called me that.
If you must call me something because I use a piece of technology that you helped to create, call me a “customer,” or a “client,” or better yet, a “partner.” These labels show respect. They show collaboration or that you serve me and my interests. They make me feel good about myself and tell me that I am important. The “Customer” is always right – even when I am clearly and indisputably technically wrong.
“Users” are almost always wrong, stupid, or ignorant. Users are wrong before the phone even rings. Users are the source of “User Error” and a resource drain on customer service desks.
What are you, a “Creator?” Are you somehow more in control, better or smarter than I am? Do you know my business better than I do? Why do I not get a place of honor at the design table? Why do I hear you sigh on the phone when I need help. Heck, if you designed and presented it the way I need it, I wouldn’t have had to call in the first place.
“Creators” believe they can over ride “Users” because “Creators” know stuff that a mere “User” can’t fathom. Creators take license, because they believe they know what’s best.
User testing feels like an event where Creators throw their precious creation into a animal pen. An event where the Creator’s creation gets trampled by the cloven hooves of stupid beasts – beastly “Users” who know not what they trample.
I am not a “User” with cloven hoof, fat fingers, and a dim wit. I am a wonderful human being who’s energy and creativity keep the wheels on the bus as it rolls down the road. I adapt to changing business conditions. I keep our organization’s customers happy. I negotiate. I bargain. I initiate. I eat my lunch. I hug my kids. I choose clean energy. I close.
Stop calling me a “User.”
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