The Ultimate UX Design Glossary - 50 Web Design Terms To Get You Started

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by Graphicszoo 15+ days ago 5 mins read

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When you are about to begin your professional journey in a particular field, having a solid understanding of some of the commonly used terms can go a long way in making your life easier.

The word “proofing”, for example, may mean different for a content writer and a chef. And, that’s why it is important to learn and be aware of the commonly used industry-specific terms.

Being a UX designer is no different.

So, today, we are going to share with all of you, who are planning to begin your career in graphic design as a UX designer, 50 design terms from the UX design glossary. 

These terms, directly or indirectly, would be shot at you while having project meetings; either internally or with a client. So, unless you want to ignore your client briefs or your manager’s instructions, we suggest you pay attention to these terms and remember them.

1.A/B Testing – A/B testing is the method of comparing different versions of your design (website design, mobile app design, etc.) and check which one gives a better result.

2.Accessibility – Accessibility is the form of graphic design (mostly web design) which allows even the people with disability (of any kind) to interact with it. It is also known asInclusive Design Method.

3.Adaptive – A design is said to be Adaptive in nature when it can adapt itself with the kind of device it is been accessed at. All the features of your design would adapt according to the space and size of the device.

4.Affordance – The term affordance signifies the use of a particular element in a design that adds to the overall experience of a user. Using a CTA button that can be clicked in order for an action to take place is that button’s affordance.

5.Affinity Map – Affinity mapping is done through user research insights and grouping. For example, in an exercise asking people their favorite dish, those dishes could then be sorted into affinity based on national cuisine (e.g. Italian, Mexican, French).

6.Analytics – Analytics is the overall performance of a website that helps in improving the experience of users visiting the website.

7.API (Application Programming Interface) – APIs are software that allows different applications to interact and communicate with each other by providing access to data.

8.Android – Android is an open-source operating system, designed and launched by Google in 2014.

9.Back-end Development – As the name suggests, back-end development is the process of developing applications that are not visible to a user on the screen. These are functions that support the front-ending actions from the “back”.

10.Backlog – A backlog is a list of actions and tasks that are required to be done. Consider it as a to-do list. It’s not necessarily a negative term (as some of you engineers might consider it).

11.Beacon – Beacons are small Bluetooth radio transmitters. They communicate with the user’s smartphones and are used to share information.

12.Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs is the formation of a navigation sequence that shows the users where they are in the sequence of pages.

13.Bug – When a developer tells you they found a bug in their application, don’t expect to see a real insect they’d be pulling out from the computer. A bug is an error that thwarts software to function properly.

14.Cache – A cache can be considered as a storeroom space that keeps all the data saved for later use or reference. You’ll often find usernames, recent searches, and websites in your cache memory.

15.Card Sorting – Card sorting is a method through which a user’s navigation process can be interpreted by understanding their perception about the association of different items with each other.

16.Chatbot – A chatbot is a virtual assistant who attends to the users when they visit a website, to answer common queries. 

17.Clickstream – Clickstream is basically the series of clicks you make to reach the end objective when on a website. 

18.CMS (Content Management System) – The content management system is the back-end interface that allows to create, manage, and edit all the content of the website. It could be blogs or web page content.

19.CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – Another tool that is used in the backend to analyze and manage data to improve business ROI.

20.CSS (Cascading Sheet Style) – A cascading sheet style is a sequence of instructions laid out in the form of software that defines the overall aesthetics of the website design; such as the font, color, spacing, etc. Consider it as the brand style guide that is used by graphic designers.

21.Customer Experience – Just like UX (User Experience) defines a user’s experience of interacting with the brand’s website or mobile app, CX (customer experience) signifies the overall experience of a user interacting with a brand at several different channels; both, offline and online.

22.Data Science – Data science is the advanced field of data analytics that allows brands to understand the user behavior, on the basis of the data collected, and make product/service improvements accordingly.

23.Design Debt – In the need to be at par with rapidly evolving technology, brands often adapt to designs and elements which may need to be removed or reworked later. Such design elements and applications add as a “debt” to the overall website design.

24.Design Sprint – Design sprint is the process of identifying and solving a design problem; rapidly. It consists of five main levels: define the challenge, diverge (ideate possible solutions), converge (choose the strongest concepts to develop), prototype, and test.

25.End User – The end-user is the customer who is using your website/app.

26.Eye Tracking – Eye tracking is the application of highly sophisticated tools that help in tracking where users see on a webpage. This supports brands in taking measures to improve the overall user experience.

27.Flat Design - Flat design is aminimalist user interface design style. It is characterized by simple, two-dimensional elements and vibrant colors.

28.Flowchart – A flowchart signifies the steps taken by a user to complete a defined activity or task. 

29.Front-end Development – In contrast to back-end development, front-end development focus on the elements of a website design that are visible to the audience.

30.Heat Map – The heat map is the representation of a user’s most actively explored areas on your website.

31.HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) - HTML, is the standard programming language that is used to create websites. HTML is to a website layout just like CSS is to the website design.

32.Information Architecture – As the name suggests, information architecture is the process of organizing information on a website that can be easy to comprehend.

33.Iteration – Iteration is referred to as the process of targeted improvement of the overall product developed on the basis of regular feedback.

34.Javascript – Javascript can be considered as the third essential part of the overall web development trilogy; along with HTML and CSS. It can be considered as the link between the other two and how they behave.

35.KPI (Key Performance Indicators) – As the name suggests, KPIs are values that help understand the performance of the website and its elements. As a UX designer, you’ll often work with KPIs like task success rate, user error rate, and time on task.

36.Landing Page – A landing page is, often, referred to as a specially designed web page that is created to execute a defined task or convey specific information.

37.Mockup – A mockup is a highly common term used, especially, in the graphic design industry to represent the blueprint of the main design.

38.MVP (Minimum Viable Product) – The MVP is the first level of product that can be launched in the public forum for the users to interact with. It has all the basic features to which more new features can be added on the basis of user feedback.

39.NFC (Near Field Communication) – NFC can be considered as a virtual Bluetooth function that allows two smart devices, which are in close proximity, to interact without having to be connected through any in-built software application.

40.Open Source – Software and designs which are free for the public to use, modify, and copy.

41.Persona – A persona is the definition of an ideal target audience which is constructed on the basis of several market research and analysis.

42.Prototype – A prototype can be considered in a stage somewhere between a mockup and an MVP. It is a preliminary model of the product that can be interacted with but, only internally; for testing purposes. 

43.Responsive Design – Remember we spoke about adaptive design earlier in this article? A responsive design is somewhat on similar lines but, slightly different. Responsive designs, unlike adaptive, adjusts the same design by expanding or contracting on the basis of the type and size of the device the design is accessed on.

Check out this article to understand the basicdifferences between responsive and adaptive design.

44.SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) – An SVG is a type of image file format which is highly used in professional graphic design; to save the design.

45.SaaS (Software as a Service) – SaaS can be considered as the exact opposite of open source. It is the distribution of software applications on a paid license basis. Think of Microsoft Office, Antivirus software, etc.

46.Sitemap – A site map is a visual representation of a website’s pages and hierarchy.  

47.Testing – As the name suggests, testing, with respect to UX design, is the process of letting people use a product and get feedback on their experience of interacting with it.

48.User Journey – The user journey is the sequence and stages crossed by a website user to reach the end result and take the required action.

49.UI (User Interface) – UI is a term often used along with UX design since it encapsulates the overall visual aesthetics of the website design.

50.Whitespace – A whitespace on a design or a website is the blank space that is often used to enhance the visibility of the design; and, at times to provide a creative reflection of an image.

To conclude…

So, these were 50 commonly used UX design terms that you need to be acquainted with when planning to begin a career in graphic design