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  • Writer's pictureSebin George

The comprehensive guide for all designers: Terminologies in UI UX design explained

Updated: Mar 21


ux ui terminologies

Moving into a new field is challenging and being unfamiliar with its terminology and jargon to the mix, the experience will become overwhelming. Getting started in the UI UX design field is no different.

Knowing your way around user interface and experience, tech terms, and jargon can help release some of the pressure. It’ll also give you the confidence to engage in design talks, ask questions, and network with ease. Here is a curated list of UI & UX terms that will be helpful in your day-to-day design work life.

This article is dedicated to UI UX designers and the people who have to communicate with them. It makes sense to shed light on the most commonly used UX terminology at design conferences and meetups.


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While having a conversation about designing stuff with a friend or colleague, or having a sitting with one of your clients to explain design concepts, it’s helpful if you know basic UI UX terminology. Having a glossary as a blog saved in your list of bookmarks so you can skim through it anytime when you have doubts, questions or need to explain terms, is the efficient way instead of searching them one by one. The UI UX Glossary For Designers is a valuable bag of tricks that will teach you to speak the same language as designers to engage in design talks and get the projects moving. Mastering the UI UX terms and tech words that often surface in design conversations is a surefire way to keep your head in the game and avoid awkward situations.

This short article provides you with a better understanding of key UI and UX terminology.


UI UX terminologies


User Experience (UX)

A set of impressions and emotions the user gets from interacting with the user interface of an app or a website.


User Experience Design (UXD)


User Experience Design

Designing software products and systems to be useful to a set of end-users. It is a broad concept applied during the design process. UX design covers the technical use of a product or service and its essential physical interface.


Customer Experience

Customer experience or CX, is the customers’ holistic perception of their experience with a business or brand. It covers the user journey and every interaction the customer has with a business, from navigating the website to talking to customer service and receiving the product /service they bought. CX tends to be broader in scope than user experience (UX). UX is focused on a person’s interaction with an app or website, while CX is more about that person’s overall experience of a brand, including advertising, product quality, and customer support.


User Interface (UI), or Graphical User Interface (GUI)


User Interface meaning

What the user sees. This can be a set of commands or menus through which a user communicates with a program. It is also the space where interactions between humans and machines occur.


Interaction Design (IXD)

Interaction Design, or IxD, is the practice of designing interactive digital products and considering the way in which users will interact with them. 3-click Rule The theory is that users will abandon a website if they are unable to complete their task within 3 mouse clicks.


Sketching


Sketching meaning

A sketch is a rough drawing. In UX design, sketching not only helps with developing user interfaces but is useful for design collaboration and communicating ideas.


A/B Testing

A/B testing is a controlled experiment for comparing two versions of the design. The goal is to identify which one is more successful. It is a way of testing the designers' hypotheses. A/B testing allows them to confirm whether the hypotheses will work out well or not. It helps you with making the right decisions.


Accessibility

Accessibility or accessible design helps differently-enabled users to interact with a product. It involves designing for people who are color blind, blind, deaf, and people with cognitive disabilities, among others.


Adaptive

An adaptive interface is a set of layouts designed specifically for different devices. It is designed to detect the device type being used and display the appropriate layout for it. Different versions of the same site are created, these versions are optimized to be viewed on mobiles, desktops, or tablets.


API

This stands for Application Programming Interface. An API is how computers and web applications share information with each other. Products develop APIs to let you access and read the information on their server easily.


Terminologies are important to understand the technical and scientific contexts. It also helps specialists and students of the respective fields to communicate effectively.

Flat Design


Flat Design meaning

A design trend that followed skeuomorphism. It moved away from both the imitation of realistic surfaces, and the creation of digital interface elements that realistically reference physical interfaces. Instead, it favored simple blocks of flat color, making labeling and iconography more prominent, and increasing the visual simplicity and clarity of interface designs.


MVP

MVP, or Minimal Viable Product, is a version of a product that has the minimum amount of features but can be used for user testing or demonstration. This approach allows for a more elaborate, in-depth testing phase before its potential is determined. MVP, or Minimal Viable Product, is a version of a product that has the minimum amount of features but can be used for user testing or demonstration. This approach allows for a more elaborate, in-depth testing phase before its potential is determined.


White space

White space or negative space refers to the unoccupied or blank space on a page. In the shot below, white space or negative space is used cleverly to shape a cursor.


Responsive design


Responsive design meaning


Not to be confused with adaptive, responsive websites adapt to fit the device they are being displayed on. They are a single layout that shrinks and stretches and rearranges the content on it to be easily viewed on each device type.


Wireframe

wireframes meaning

A rough version of a screen design that allows the designer to rapidly explore different options for layout and visual hierarchy and gather feedback through testing. Typically, a wireframe does not include any decision-making around color or typography, although wireframes can range from low- to high-fidelity.


Mockup


Mockup meaning

A mockup is a detailed static representation of the design that clearly displays the information structure, renders the content, and demonstrates the basic functionality.


Prototype


Prototype meaning

A prototype is a simulation or sample version of a final product, which is used for testing prior to launch. Its goal is to test products (and product ideas) before sinking lots of time and money into the final product.


Affordance

An adaptive interface is a set of layouts designed specifically for different devices. It is designed to detect the device type being used and display the appropriate layout for it. Different versions of the same site are created, these versions are optimized to be viewed on mobiles, desktops, or tablets.


Clickstream

Clickstream is a way of collecting and analyzing data to track users’ actions. It usually takes place during user interactions with the product. It is also a method to get unbiased quantitative data about user behavior.


Card Sorting


Card Sorting meaning

The goal of card sorting is to understand how a typical user views a given set of items. UI UX Designers write items on individual paper cards and then ask users to group together similar cards. Card sorting helps to create websites that are easy to navigate.

KPI — Key Performance Indicator

Key performance indicators are the metrics that are most important to a business or project. "KPIs" are used to track progress and measure goals.


Conclusion


You’re quite right in thinking that it’s almost impossible to know all the lingo. But maintaining an up-to-date understanding of the change and evolution of design terminology is the only way for UI UX designers and developers to speak the same language and work together effectively.

Keep visiting Neointeraction design to stay updated with new terms of the UI UX design industry and use this post as a checklist of areas to explore and expand your learning. Cementing your understanding of each key term will boost your confidence and knowledge.

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