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User Types – Operations and Administrators and Consumers

[Ongoing series of blog posts to inform potential developers, users and (hopefully investors) about this new app ecosystem I am architecting, designing, developing and deploying. More details at this page]

There are different types of users who will be using the app ecosystem. I can broadly divide them into two categories.

Front Line Users (Someday I must come up with a better name for this)

These are users who actually use the service. Rather, these are the consumers, everyday folks who visit restaurants and those who own the restaurants. We must make the (hopefully correct) assumption that their choice (or rather, their only computing device) of device would be an android smartphone. I must also assume that tablets are dead. I wrote about it earlier. That means, optimizing or building a separate android version optimized for tablets is an unnecessary effort. I would like that, building a version for tablets would be nice. They have a much larger real estate which opens up many possibilities.

That actually brings up the issue of accessibility. This is something I have decided to take rather seriously, and that is why, there is a separate article on this. We will revisit this topic later.

Returning back, so yes, right now, I only envision two types of users.

Restaurant Patrons – These are the folks who visit the restaurants and pay for food and stuff.

Restaurant Owners – These are the restaurant owners, who then proceed to see what the patrons are doing at their restaurant.

In both cases, I am looking at an android app itself, and then proceeding to build a web version of the same. In all probability, the web version of the app may never be released because it’s easier to manage users via app than via the site. It reduces workload and also just makes sense. People love apps, although they don’t love updating it as much. Then, there is the magic of notifications.

Behind the Line Users (yes, definitely a better name is required)

Behind the line users are those that are sitting at the offices, and that means, they do have full access to a working computer. That means, we can assume access to an actual computer, with a screen, keyboard and mouse. Here, I have two options – a desktop app (it needs to be installed) or a web app with no mobile optimization.

If it is going to be a desktop app, then it will be built as a UWP that will run only on windows 10. I don’t see any reason why an app needs to be targeted for anything below windows 10. At the same time, what if the user is using a Linux (yes, it happens) or Mac (yes, this can happen too. Some folks insist on paying twice of what something is worth, if only to get the apple shaped light :P). Going by that logic, it is prudent to start off with a web only app. If it comes to it, it is possible to wrap that web thing into a desktop app, which should solve the challenge of having an actual desktop app.

That is the cool thing about windows app development. Things are a lot more open lately, making life easier. With that in mind, there are three types of users.

Operation Users – These are the folks who will monitor the service status of the cloud service, which acts like the back end for the whole thing. These are also the folks who will look at Error reporting system.

User Administrator for Restaurant Patrons – These are the folks who manage restaurant patron accounts.

User Administrator for Restaurant Owners – These are the folks who manage restaurant user accounts.

As work on the project continues, more user types might be created. However, I think these are the users where it all starts. I will see soon enough. Using the available tools of asp.net with MVC, it is possible to simply build one web app destination and customize the views based on user privileges. Yeah, I think I should dunk the entire desktop app thing, and build one single app that runs in a browser. That will bring in true compatibility across windows, Linux and Mac. Heck, if I play my cards right, it could also be mobile optimized.

[Last Updated February 10th 2017]

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