It seems to me that I can accomplish the same thing in two different ways.
I have three different user roles for my system.
I can choose to build these pages as USER specific pages. But I can also build them as public pages with specific restrictions on who can view them.
i can’t seem to work out what the benefit of each is?
I do want each user group to easily navigate the main menu, rather than the secondary one, and I can use a single user login page that takes people to dashboard where I exclude the items in the view using conditional rules based on the user role. So why pick one over the other?
User Pages are meant for viewing or modifying things associated with the specific user - for example changing user account settings, passwords, credit card details, etc. User pages are not included in the Page Menu. Instead, they have their own separate User Menu in the top-right corner of the Live App. Which of course means that you really should limit the number of user pages or it will get crowded up there!
The bulk of the functionality in your app should be built in Pages, not in User Pages. That way they can be included in the menus, which can then be suitably structured into sub menus, and access can be controlled by role. And Pages can also be made available to the public without needing to be a user (for example a contact form).