I am creating use cases for a project. A generic user is extended by user "categories" which then is extended by an administrator (that can do all tasks possible).

Is the following acceptable to portray? Is there a better way to portray such info?

sample use case

2 Answers 2


Yes. This is acceptable.

Making all actors a subclass of "User" is needless. That goes without saying.

The original Objectory method (on which UML is based) explicitly makes the case that "Actor" is a kind of classifier, and has subclasses and superclasses.

Don't go crazy however. The inheritance among users should be kept quite simple.


To me, it looks like you're drawing a Class Diagram, but with fancy stick figures instead of boxes. IMO Use Case Diagrams should show how a person or other entity acts or reacts under certain conditions. I fail to see how extending a client is something an administrator does as part of his job, or something an administrator object could be capable of.

  • I am attempting to portray that an administrator can do the same tasks as a client (and pretty much anything anyone can do and then some). The client can't do the tasks of an administrator. Does this make sense?
    – user48179
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 15:15
  • use case example <-- this is what I am trying to portray
    – user48179
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 15:16
  • 3
    When the administrator is performing a client task then they are performing the role of a client and not an administrator. There is absolutely no reason that you need to show that an administrator can do client tasks etc...That is not the purpose of use cases. The purpose of use-cases is is to figure exactly what your system needs to be able to do.
    – Dunk
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 19:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.