October 18, 2005
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Victim

Peter Merholz critiques a Nielsen Alertbox, finding Jakob's praise for a new Microsoft Office feature set premature and possibly self-interested. Of great interest, he observes generally that user-centered design habitually casts the user as victim.

The writings promoting user-centered design theory and practice overwhelmingly cast the user as a victim, subjected to the evils of a system over which they have no control. By studying these victims, the heroic user-centered designer can provide a far superior system that takes into account the actual work practices of the users.