I'm currently building an app for instant messaging (similar to whatsapp).. in my requirements doc I'm trying to define the roles. Like in any messaging app, there is the person who's currently using the app (i thought of calling them the "sender" but that's not accurate.. because obviously the person using the app may receive messages) and then there are the "other" people. I don't think "other" really makes much sense.

Any suggestions or industry known practices for this?


i winded using "peers".. here is a sample gherkin scenario where I'm using this:

Scenario C: main messaging page - create new message
Given user wants to send a new message
when user clicks on compose button
Then a list menu shows up, listing all the peers
When user taps on one peer on the list
Then a new chat window shows up
And they can both start chatting
  • You might be overthinking this, surely the person using the app is the 'user'.
    – Midas
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 14:48
  • @Midas i may be over thinking it.. but as you can see all my scenarios and UX behaviors are written in gherkin/english (i don't wanna waste time even on simple wire frame diagrams.. this is what i do on initial customer contact for a quick estimate on the project).. therefore role definition is key to my process
    – abbood
    Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 5:35

1 Answer 1


Is this terminology for your usage, or will the user see this as well?

  • If this is for you, I would call the person using the app the "user", as usual.
  • If this is for the enduser, I would refer to the user as "you"

The "others" I would refer to as "contacts" or "friends".

  • i actually winded up using "peers".. but it's the same as friend.. thus awarded you correct answer.. please see update
    – abbood
    Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 5:32

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