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Glossary » role


a means of expressing that participants in a conversation come with different skills and interests and should have a user-interface that reflects their personal needs.

Roles such as chairperson, scribe, and facilitator reflect a set of access capabilities to shared objects in a session. Multiple users can have the same role (e.g. members of the Red Team) and users can have multiple roles (e.g. a user can be both a member of the Red Team and a team captain).

Roles in society often reflect standard behaviors and tasks, which may not always affect whether people in those roles have access to certain functionality, but may quite often reflect how often they use a certain functionality, and therefore affect how an interface is optimized for each role. Roles may determine how people are involved when playing out a “script”, such as a restaurant script, where the waiter plays a role which suggests bringing out food and asking if the customer would like dessert, and the customer plays a role which involves sitting down at a table and making choices from a menu.