Posted: January 25th, 2010 | Author: Pietro | Filed under: Not a user | 52 Comments »
There was a time in the history of Human Computer Interaction when the word ‘user’ was used as a sort of calling card to give human needs and desires the importance they deserved.
Oversimplifying 30 years of research and projects, the Scandinavia Participatory Design tradition and the fundamental contributions by Donald Norman’s books shifted the dominant engineering paradigm by putting “people first”. For the first time the final users (and their needs and expectations) didn’t come at the end with the UI design, but had been claimed to be in the center of the whole design process.
But that was the 1980’s. Now the idea to design for a ‘user’ is so reductive and limiting that I think we should rid it of from our vocabulary and design practices forever!
Here I explained why I have been trying to avoid this word for years, but I am wondering what YOU think about it, so please let me have your point of view by voting in the following poll or leaving a comment.