BIK Terminology—

Solving the terminology puzzle, one posting at a time

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    Barbara Inge Karsch - Terminology Consulting and Training

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How do I identify a term—visibility

Posted by Barbara Inge Karsch on June 29, 2010

Yesterday’s example was the term ribbon. While the concept was an innovation at the time that is quite prevalent in software today, the term is not necessarily highly visible. Today’s focus will be on the term-selection criterion “visibility”—in other words, on terms that are conspicuous and prevalent.

Look at the following screen prints from products within the Microsoft© Office 2010 suite:

Microsoft Office ribbon tabsDid you find some highly visible terms there? All of them stand for ribbon tabs that are highly standardized to maximize user retention: One term representing the same concept in each of the different products makes it much easier for the user to remember where to find what. Do you think that this was a coordinated effort? I don’t know for sure, as my involvement with Office was limited to Office 2007, but it looks like it. That, too, is terminology management.

Highly-visible terms must be correct in both the source and all target languages. Inconsistencies, spelling errors or variations are not only embarrassing, they lead to less trust by users, especially in markets with high-quality expectations. Terminology management working methods can spare you the embarrassment and lead to a trusting relationship with the users.

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