UML 2 Stereotype Style Guidelines

A stereotype denotes a variation on an existing modeling element with the same form but with a modified intent. Stereotypes are effectively used to extend the UML in a consistent manner.

Figure 1. Indicating stereotypes.

Figure 2. A frame encompassing a sequence diagram.



  1. Name Stereotypes in <<user interface>> and <<UI>> format.
  2. List Stereotypes Last. In Figure 1 the second version of the Customer class lists the stereotypes for its operations after the operation signature, not before it.
  3. Don’t Indicate Assumed Stereotypes. In Figure 1 I dropped the <<business domain>> stereotype because it is common practice to assume that unless marked otherwise that a class is a business domain one.
  4. Prefer Naming Conventions over Stereotypes. For example, instead of applying the stereotype <<getter>> on an operation, you could simply start all getters with the text get. This simplifies your diagrams and increases the consistency of your source code. Normally would have ditched <<getter>> in Figure 1 but I left it there for the discussion of Tagged Values Follow Stereotypes.
  5. Tagged Values Follow Stereotypes.
  6. Center Classifier Stereotypes. The stereotype for a classifier, such as the Customer class in Figure 1 should be centered (as should the name itself).
  7. Introduce New Stereotypes Sparingly.
  8. Apply Stereotypes Consistently.
  9. Apply Visual Stereotypes Sparingly. Figure 2 depicts a sequence diagram which includes the standard robustness diagram symbols which are commonly applied to UML communication diagrams.