Browse Definitions:


Contributor(s): Leesa Haslam

Xenodochial is an adjective describing something – such as a person, place or software application -- that is friendly to strangers. “Xenos” is a Greek word for “strangers;" according to the Oxford English Dictionary, xenodochial means "hospitable."

In agile software development, any project manager or architect must be xenodochial to be able to deal fairly and reasonably with many different stakeholders and customers. New developers and clients may be incorporated into a project, putting a high premium on the manager's ability to be friendly towards strangers. In a broader context, a xenodochial style of project management is crucial to deal effectively and appropriately with people from different cultural backgrounds and perspectives.

In user interface design, xenodochial is somewhat synonymous with the term “user-friendly.” Public terminals, kiosks and websites should convey information quickly and easily, with a minimal number of clicks or screens and be accessible to users regardless of ability level. Icons and universal symbols are both often used in well-designed interfaces, especially those that may deliver services or information to international travelers.

Operating systems like Unix that depend upon a user's foreknowledge of text commands can be fairly said not to be xenodochial. Linux distributions with a graphical user interface (GUI), by way of contrast, make that open source operating system considerably more xenodochial.

Learn More About IT:
The Agile Coach on includes xenodochial on his list of A-Z agile methodologies.
David Travis included xenodochial under X in his list of usability terms.

This was last updated in June 2008

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...


  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • external storage device

    An external storage device, also referred to as auxiliary storage and secondary storage, is a device that contains all the ...

  • NetApp SolidFire

    NetApp SolidFire is a business division of NetApp Inc. that specializes in all-flash storage systems.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.