Kudos to the Free Range Librarian for posting “The User Is Not Broken.” This particular statement can be applied to any customer service industry. It’s so simple it’s profound.
The user is not broken.
Your system is broken until proven otherwise.
That vendor who just sold you the million-dollar system because “librarians need to help people” doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about, and his system is broken, too.
Most of your most passionate users will never meet you face to face.
Most of your most alienated users will never meet you face to face.
The most significant help you can provide your users is to add value and meaning to the information experience, wherever it happens; defend their right to read; and then get out of the way.
It’s a great post.