Jack Dorsey on reconsidering the word:
It’s time for our industry and discipline to reconsider the word “user.” 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. An abstraction away from simply building something you would love to see in the world, and the hope that others desire the same.
At Square we’re removing the term “users” from our vocabulary, replacing it with “customers”, and the more specific “buyers”, and “sellers.” The word customer, given its history, immediately sets a high bar on the level of service we must provide, or risk losing their attention or business.
Users has always been too technical a term when writing customer support emails. It’s cold, sterile, and just plain unfriendly. I’m glad to see the end of that focus on it. Thankfully, I get to work for a company that’s been calling people people for years.