English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

On a website I am working on, people are classified into two groups: one is programmers who create programs with C# 4.0 and share with other people, the other is common users who use the programs to calculate.

I don't know how to name the "other" group: "general user", "end user" or "normal user"? Which one is better?

share|improve this question
can you clarify what you mean by "better"? – jbelacqua Mar 17 '11 at 2:17

How about simply "User" versus "Programmer"?

It is enough to make the right distinction and you don't have to call anybody "common" or anything.

share|improve this answer
Thanks! Any more suggestions? – Paul Mar 16 '11 at 14:06
You can think about my suggestions. – n0nChun Mar 16 '11 at 14:50
As Mr. Shiny suggests, you could choose more specific names according to their roles. If there is only one "non-programmer" group, go with users. If there are more, you could consider stuff like "manager", "operator", "viewer" etc, based on their access levels or responsibilities. Other than that, I couldn't provide more suggestions without knowing the system itself. – Ishmaeel Mar 24 '11 at 16:10

If you are describing the system it would be perfectly correct to call this group 'end users', however, I agree with Ishmaeel in the case that you want to give the group a visible name then simply 'users' would be more appropriate.

share|improve this answer

Paul, I work in the software industry and End User is a widely accepted terminology. It describes the people who will actually be using your software to meet their ends.

It's fine if you want to use "User" but "End User" is perfectly acceptable.

share|improve this answer
Thank you very much! – Paul Mar 17 '11 at 1:45
"End User" is jargon. We software professionals may call the end users, "end users", but the end users do not necessarily know that they are being referred to as "end users". So, "End User" is perfectly acceptable, but only as part of an internal terminology, not on the user interface. – Ishmaeel Mar 24 '11 at 16:06

Sometimes it's best to name the users based on the role they are performing. Programmers are users of the system too, but they are programming it. The other users are operating those programs, but "operator" sounds wrong to me. In this case if there is no defining characteristic for the non-programmer users then simply calling them "users" is probably best.

share|improve this answer

To build on other answers, you may want to try:

  • application users
  • system users
  • point-of-sale users
  • novice users
  • expert users
  • customers
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.