Every few weeks, some wannabe UX “thought leader” takes a “brave” stand against the word “user.” The only users in the world are drug users, they sneer. It’s dehumanizing. We should use the word “person” instead. It’s one of those debates that appears meaningful and principled, but is more noise than signal.
Words do matter, and word choice matters. But you’re not diminishing anyone or any group of people by using the term “user.” User is a perfectly fine, gender-neutral, activity-positive term for the person engaged with your product or service. Feel free to use it.
Can’t agree more.
Also, trends are funny — I still remember times when the same “thought leaders” wrote think pieces arguing to start calling them “user experience designers” or specifically “user interface designers”. Now the same crowd wants to replace “user” with the term “person”. “Person experience designer”, anyone?