An end user is the person who is intended to use a computer system after it has been fully developed and configured. End users are distinct from users who are responsible for engineering or maintaining a computer product, such as programmers, technicians, and system administrators.
End users may or not be the customers of a product. Especially in enterprise settings, the customer is the company purchasing hardware or software for their entire staff, whereas the end user is the individual employee who will actually be using the technology. Manufacturers will often use different messaging about the benefits of their product when marketing to different types of customers; an IT manager at a large corporation will have different motivations for considering buying a specific product in bulk than an individual who will also be the end user.
Unlike marketing professionals, product developers are keenly interested in the needs, challenges, and instincts of their end users when creating a new product or updating an existing one. It’s important for these developers to understand how their product should function in real world use cases. As such, most of the end user documentation that accompanies a product uses accessible language that is clear and concise without being too technical. Large computer systems or complex programs might also provide more detailed documentation to the maintenance staff referenced above who have advanced technical knowledge and are responsible for ensuring day-to-day operations.