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Jack Dorsey: 'User' Is a Dirty Word

Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey said that it's time to reconsider the word "user" when referring to a company's client base.
Square CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey
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It's time to stop using the word "user," so says Twitter mastermind Jack Dorsey.

The famed founder, who is also the founder and CEO of mobile payment company Square, confronted the negative connotations of the word in his latest blog post.

The word "user," he wrote, generally describes a machine operator or, even worse, a drug addict. He added that the word removes the face of the people who support and engage a company.

He wrote:

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...To everyone in the technology industry: I encourage you to reconsider the word 'user' and what you call the people who love what you’ve created, starting with yourselves.

So what does he want his staff to call these people formerly known as users?

Customers.

And as for how he'll enforce this new vocabulary, Dorsey told his staff this: "If I ever say the word user again, immediately charge me $140."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMAGE: Flickr/The DEMO Conference
Last updated: Oct 18, 2012




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