Should we examine Users?

I attend a number of IT Infosecurity and Privacy events across the UK and Ireland over the course of a year, as a hobby!  A previous Chair and Secretary of the Irish User Group, Rory McGerty brought me along to IRISSCON in Dublin a number of years ago, they are now on their 9th IRISSCERT Cyber Crime Conference.  I was hooked!

I would urge you to attend, if you can, book now - Thursday the 23rd of November 2017 in the Ballsbridge Hotel, Pembroke Road, Dublin

Some of the speakers are present, life changing challenges.  

At a number of recent events the challenge has been thrown down on what computer system people are called, you know the ‘Users’.  The term users has been examined, as far back as 2013. 

From the Register 

Don't call them 'users': IT staff can often forget they're in a position of service. Nobody likes getting bad service; it doesn't matter if it's the 15-year-old at your local fast food restaurant or a rude doctor. This means respecting every person you deal with. "User" is a technical word and should not be used outside of technical circles - people want to feel like people. Generally I would recommend calling them "staff" for internal people, and "clients" for external people – a good guide is to use the same term as other departments with their communications.

I realise this refers to IT staff talking to their ‘people’ but the principle is the same, or is it?

Although this year the government have produced a document which is designed to help government teams create and run great digital services that meet the Digital Service Standard.  They mention users many times in the section “Learning about users and their needs

You must understand the needs of all kinds of users, not just ‘typical’ users. You also have to consider the needs of people who provide the service or support other users (for example, caseworkers, call centre agents, inspectors, lawyers and charity workers).

What do you think, should we be called a User Group, should we be users supporting users, food for thought. What is the alternative On a serious point, do you call yourself a user, do you dislike or even care!  Let me know below.  You are people.  Or drop me a message.

Steven Law



Strong views? *
Strong views?
I don't like to be called a 'User' at work