Standardizing the narrative of use cases: A controlled vocabulary of web user tasks Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2013

start page

  • 1580

end page

  • 1589


  • 9


  • 55

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0950-5849

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6025


  • Context: For user interfaces design, the use of appropriate terminology in writing use case narratives may determine the effectiveness of the design process, facilitating communication within multidisciplinary web development teams and leading to agreed designs.Objective: This paper proposes a user task vocabulary for web user interface design. This vocabulary compiles terms related to the use of web applications, regardless of the application domain, as a way of standardizing the terminology used in the elaboration of use case narrative. The use of the vocabulary would help to reduce misunderstandings within multidisciplinary web development teams.Method: The construction of the vocabulary is based on the combination of both committee and empirical approaches. Committee approaches rely on experts in designing web applications, while empirical ones are focused on analyzing content objects, such as interaction design patterns and use case narratives.Results: The final version of the monolingual controlled vocabulary of web user tasks compiles a total of 40 tasks; each of them has a key term and a definition of the interaction carried out by users. Additionally, 41 semantic relationships were collected and represented as synonyms. The vocabulary has been assessed through an expert evaluation, proving its correctness and completeness, and an usability evaluation checking the efficacy of the vocabulary.Conclusion: The language employed in use case narratives can determine the value of use cases for designing user interfaces. The usage of a controlled vocabulary may allow designers to elaborate unambiguous use case narratives as a way of creating consistent task models for designing web user interfaces. (c) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • web user interface design; multidisciplinary; web development team; user task