Who is your user?

David Horn poised a great question to me the other day: "Who is your user?"

This sounds kind of cheesy at first, and is usually posed to companies, not individuals, but it is something to think about. As a creator, who are you creating for? Who do you want to help with your work? What group of individuals in your life are the most important to you? Which users do you think about when you are making you choices?

First off, before we dive in, lets remember that the answer "It depends" is incorrect. While your day job might not be about helping those most important to you, you still probably know who that most important group is. Also, just because you change who you design for for every project, does not necessarily mean you don't have one overall group you are aiming for.

All of that being said, the easiest answer is definitely "Myself". When thinking about problems, most people tend to think about problems that affect themselves. This is probably why there are so many curation and offer sites. Someone said "man, my life would be so much easier if someone just told me where to eat" or "jeeze, why can't I have others tell me when this is on sale" or even "gosh, wouldn't it be cool if it was easy to sell my old stereo?" This probably also explains why there are so many weather apps and text editors.

So excusing those two answers, who are my users? Probably the first thing that comes to mind are the people I most associate with. I associate with the content creators of the world. The people who write Wikipedia articles, the folks that post art on DeviantArt and photography on Flickr. The kind of people that write blogs or give their books away for free online.

These are the people I want to help, because they are the ones who I believe will carry our world into the future. The internet would be nothing without the people who put content up there for free and for all to use.

So, who is your user? Who do you want to help? Who do you create for?

Just some food for thought.