I'm designing an app that, due to its nature, has 3-4 absolutely distinct but interacting role-types. However, importantly, a single person can be tagged with any combination of these roles. One possibility is to have a single app where a user can select the role-type through which they are currently interacting, and another approach is to have separate apps for the roles that coordinate data appropriately.
I'd personally lean towards distinct but communicating apps, but there are scenarios that will force a user to switch roles, hence in the multi-app scenario, switch apps. I am curious if anyone has looked at the effects of switching apps on how usable the "ecosystem of apps" is. Does having to switch apps occasionally affect usability, engagement, retention, confusion, initial uptake, etc? If so, is it known how much the number of switches per day/week modulates the effect?