When is a person more than just a person? If you want to design for people, don’t be afraid to “label” them. When used correctly, labels clarify and add context. They tell us what is important and what takes priority. An individual balancing their checkbook online is USING technology to complete a task—so they can do other things that are important (like putting the kids to bed). Someone listening to a podcast is part of an AUDIENCE consisting of likeminded people who share a common interest.
A person who decides to create their own online Ad after seeing what others have done is an active PARTICIPANT. Someone who engages in the social media network is part of a larger COMMUNITY. People who spend their money online or in the real world are CUSTOMERS. And when we partake in an economy where goods and services are bought, sold and exchanged then we become CONSUMERS—in addition to PEOPLE.
Labels help. Labels help us remember what’s important. Designing an interface that is useful and usable makes for a happy user. Happy users make happy people. And happy people tell good stories about your brand to others.