The secret to define a Mobile App: ROLES

The simplest way to start is to identify who will use the app

The first step in creating a mobile application is to define who will be the users (usually called stakeholders). Many business experts are going to recommend defining the target audience, that's fine! But this is something different.

The target audience is intended to define the business model, the stakeholders serve to define the functionalities of the application. They are two different things. 

For example, suppose your plan is to create a mobile application for users to buy exotic ice cream tastes, and then you send them to your home.

In this case we could define the following.


The target audience may be, people who meet these characteristics:

Age: 25 to 40 years

Location: they live in the central area of Barcelona

Customs: order food online

Likes: they like to try exotic things

Family: They have a partner but do not have children

Based on these characteristics it is possible to put together a marketing strategy, and many more actions that will attract those users to download and use the application.


However, the roles of the application would be different.

We could identify the following roles:

Administrators: user who manages the products

Clients: registered users who make purchases

Deliverers: users who take orders to customers' homes


But, how can you identify which are the user roles of your application?

Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to find roles easily.


Question 1 - Who should do the most important part of the application?

Perhaps this question is the simplest, since it only involves asking who is your client?. In general, there is always a client, but this is not always the case.

In the example, the users who buy the ice cream are going to be your customer, and that is why they are also a role.


Question 2 - Will my Application show information to users who are not registered?

The answer to this question will indicate whether you need an "Anonymous User" role or not. This means a user who has not registered.

Suppose that in the example, users who have not registered can see the list of ice cream tastes, or they can see the list of the store addresses, but they cannot make an order.


So, if this is so, there must be an "Anonymous user", then the list of roles would be:

Administrators: user who manages the products

Clients: registered users who make purchases

Deliverers: users who take orders to customers' homes

Anonymous user: user who can see the flavors of ice cream and branches


Question 3 - Should there be an application manager or moderator?

The answer to this question will indicate how many roles we need for the administration panel

In our example, there probably should be a user updating ice cream flavors that are no longer available.


So, if this is so, there must be a Moderator user, then the list of roles would be:

Administrators: user who manages important and sensitive information of the system such as sales

Clients: registered users who make purchases

Deliverers: users who take orders to customers' homes

Anonymous user: user who can see the flavors of ice cream and branches

Moderating user: responsible for updating tastes that are no longer available


Note: please pay attention that the administrator's description changed, this is possible when new roles appear.

- Important -

  1. The administrator role must always be present, since it is the one that must have all the privileges. The only exception is when it comes to a mobile app that displays static information, or information that doesn't need to be updated.

  2. In the case that multiple users participate in the administration panel, then multiple roles must be created.

Question 4 - Can users register?

The answer to this question will indicate if there is more than one type of customer. In general, at this point, it is possible to identify all the roles, but there may be hidden roles that appear at the end.

Let's suppose that in our example, we want to attract potential delivery people to work with us, something like ice cream ubers :D. So we suggest that some people who have registered, and who are clients, can send their CV to consider their possible incorporation.

In this case, there must be one more role that is “Aspirant to delivery man”, who can also order if he wishes.


Updating our list of roles, we would be left with:

Administrators: user who manages important and sensitive system information such as sales

Clients: registered users who make purchases

Deliverers: users who take orders to customers' homes

Anonymous user: user who can see the flavors of ice cream and branches

Moderating user: responsible for updating tastes that are no longer available

Aspiring Deliverer: user who requests to be part of the delivery staff


In the end, after finishing with the final list, what you should do is put an identifier for each role. We in Keetup use capital letters, so the list would look like this:

A - Administrators: user who manages important and sensitive system information such as sales

B - Clients: registered users who make purchases

C - Delivery men: users who take orders to customers' homes

D - Anonymous user: user who can see the flavors of ice cream and branches

E - Moderating user: responsible for updating tastes that are no longer available

FAspiring Deliverer: user who requests to be part of the delivery staff


TIP: a good recommendation is to use a spreadsheet (from google) to be able to show the roles, in this way the whole team could have access in the event that they change or incorporate new ones.


This will help us define the actions that each of the roles can do (next article).

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