Terminology Guidelines

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The Behaviour Specification Handbook

Effective Behaviour Specification Steps

Terminology Guidelines

As previously discussed, it is best to avoid the usage of the word “I”. In addition, it is best to avoid the following list of User Interface-focused words, as they indicate and represent implementation details that are unnecessary and should be avoided in Behaviour Specifications.

The list of User Interface words to avoid includes, but is not limited to: “show”, “view”, “see”, “hear”, “screen”, “page”, “button”, “click”, “tap”, and “navigate”.

Many computer programming languages have the concept of a “null” value. A variable with a “string” data type typically can have a value of “null” or could contain an empty string that has a length of zero characters. Following the guideline to use everyday natural language, I recommend using the terminology “not specified” instead of the word “null”, and “blank value” instead of “empty string”.

I also recommend using the words “error” and/or “notification” to specify behaviours related to when an “exception” occurs in a program. An “exception” is a technical programming concept and is not typical business vocabulary. If the business does regularly refer to business process exceptions, then care must be taken to ensure everyone in the team has a clear understanding of the meaning and how it differs from a technical exception.

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