I just wrote a little piece about how to write software, and it contained a few references to the humans who carry the mobile devices on which the software runs, and who interact with it. I found myself referring to these individuals as “users” or “the user”. Gack; I hate that word.
In fact, I hate it almost as much as the word “content” which, in the Internet-biz context means “Words and pictures and sounds that you create and I monetize.” Anyone who uses the acronym UGC in my presence should prepare for a nasty reaction.
Adding to my discomfort with the term “user” is that I now work in the mobile space; mobile devices are extremely personal computers, and using faceless terms for the people we are trying to serve just feels all wrong.
I’m not sure what the options are, when talking with developers about software. How about saying “your person” or “our person” or maybe even “owner”? Hmm... anyhow, as of now I’m going to try really hard to avoid using That Word.