We have roughly 30 Cucumber tests and a few actors that run these tests that have been created based on our service's personas.

Exemplifying this:

We have a C2C ecommerce platform and an user. Users can either buy or sell. There's the concept of companies and each user may have more or less rights to do specific actions. On top of that they may be more or less able to integrate with third party sales/analytics/... systems.

Let's now say that you have some tests focussing on the publishing and selling of products and then some other tests focussing on the integration with a third party service.

A single user can hold both the right to sell and see reports from analytics service but not necessarily (i.e. a user could be specialised in reporting and another one in selling depending on org structure), but what's the best practice: to have a single user having both rights or two separate users? And why?

  • You say you have personas - why not have the actors reflect those?
    – jonrsharpe
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 12:00
  • We started off with that approach, so basically you'd have Mark (the buyer) and Jack (the seller) but then some people have left and current team has added a few more 'seller' users so that Jack is the generic seller, then there's Sam a seller with reporting rights, Simon a seller with some other rights etc... - trying to understand what's the best approach here basically
    – XCore
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 12:04
  • 2
    Is there a particular reason to not use the personas in the test cases? In terms of shared communication, that seems like the best thing to align around.
    – jonrsharpe
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


If all combinations occur in production environment then I'd go with three users:

  • one user with permission to sell
  • second user with permission to buy
  • third user with both permissions
  • There's no overlapping between sellers and buyers. On the seller side though, sometimes some users are specialised in selling, some other users are specialised in reporting (as an example). It could also be that, depending on their company structure, people who do reporting are also the same people who sell in the first place. This is also why these two 'jobs' are defined as rights instead of user types.
    – XCore
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 11:05

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