I need to make a sequence diagram and I'm not sure how to represent user input. Is it correct to have a message be sent from an object to the user asking for user input or should all objects be passive and only be operated by the user?

2 Answers 2


from UML Basics

The sequence diagram is used primarily to show the interactions between objects in the sequential order that those interactions occur...

so yes, it is perfectly valid to represent the sequence step 'ask the user for something'; each arrow does not necessarily correspond to one specific message


What kind of system behavior are you trying to model?

In the system you are trying to model, do you intend that the system be able to pop up a dialog box (for example) whenever the Cyber Spirit moves it, requiring the user to break state and deal with the system's demand? If so, then it would seem to me that adding a "User Interface" object to the sequence diagram, and then sending messages to that object (and expecting replies from it) would be a perfectly valid way to model it.

It also has the advantage of making the user interface visible in the model, telling whatever sucker in Bangalore takes over after you get downsized out that there is a user interface development task and here are all the messages and replies it must handle.

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