Begging Your Permissions

Using Facebook is very straight-forward. Developing for it, no so much. Explaining the permissions architecture to non-technical people has taken up a lot of time when kicking off projects where the experience lives within Facebook. Granted, there is documentation provided by Facebook detailing all of the possible permissions that can be requested but it leaves out some key information about the user’s experience. Two questions keep coming up whenever kicking off a project:

  1. When an App is requesting permissions, what will the screens look like?
  2. How many screens will the user see if we ask for all the permissions we need within the App?

Since this was something that I have had to elaborate on several times this year alone it seemed important to make a tool that would demonstrate what a user will see when confronted with the Facebook permissions dialog(s). As of this writing nothing  exists that I could find that effectively detailed this portion of the user flow.

Begging Your Permissions¬†is a simple web app that I created to demonstrate a user’s experience when asked for any variation of Facebook permissions. It is not pretty but it does solve my problem of having to relate the Facebook permission flow based on the kind of permissions an experience requires. For every permission type that is allowable we have a checkbox, and checking multiple boxes means we will be asking for multiple permissions once we press the “Show dialogs” button.

So far this has saved me more time than it took me to write it, and I am submitting it to Facebook to have it the Facebook App approved. There is an annoying warning that appears within the dialogs that will not go away until the Facebook App is approved. Still, in its current form it is possible to see how the user will be impacted when asking for more and more permissions at once. And that is the most important thing.