I’m hardly the first person to complain about the word “user” to describe people who do stuff with software. But, in the “User Experience” community it is rare, at best, to see anyone questioning what the “U” in UX stands for. Call it quixotic, but I think the term HX (human experience) would be much better. People don’t think of themselves as “users” and as practitioners we do ourselves a disservice to employ that dehumanizing term. In all other contexts the word “user” is not generally positive and certainly not evocative of the kind of intimate, day-to-day relationship we’d like our work to have with the people who interact with it.
This applies as well to the “Minimum Viable Product” – lately there have been a number of folks pointing out the term “viable” is too often ignored, resulting in the release of products that are simply not ready for human consumption. Perhaps if we all thought of it more as the Minimum Human Experience (hereafter referred to as MHX) we’d be less likely to release products that aren’t ready just to get them rushed out the door and instead focus our thinking on what the smallest coherent and valuable experience for a real person would be.