UX Terminology Every Beginner Should Know

Feb 15, 2023Martín Etchegoyen

In this blog, we will talk about UX terminology. Particularly directed to beginners but also to specialists who might not know everything that is out there and that might be missing something important, we will discuss every aspect of UX that you need to be familiar with in your career as a designer.

Imagine yourself in situations like the following ones. For example, you need a glossary on the blog so you can refer to it, reading an article about the elements of the user interface.

Another example is a place where it makes sense to shed light on the most typically used UX terminology at design conferences and meetups, or a new business meeting that is going swimmingly, that is until the client started asking questions about your design process. Then you poured out the complete UX glossary of specialized user experience buzzwords that the client knew nothing about. Finally, suppose you are having a conversation about designing stuff with a friend or colleague. In all of these contexts, it is really helpful to know basic UX terminology.

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The UX glossary is a valuable bag of tricks that will teach you to speak the same language as designers. This short blog provides you with a better understanding of key UX terminology.

UX Terminology Every Beginner Should Know

In this section, we will display our list of UX terminology and every vocabulary that you have to be familiar with in order to pursue a design career or something related to it.

1. User Experience (UX)

This is a broad term that includes several disciplines that study the effect of design on the ease of use and level of satisfaction with a product, site, or system.

2. User-Centered Design (UCD)

An approach to designing a product or service is user interface design, in which the end user is placed in the center of the process. User-Centered Design (UCD) and Human-Centered Design (HCD) are similar-sounding UX terms, but the second one is more suitable for the “social problems solving” scenario.

3. User Experience Design (UXD)

Designing software products and systems to function to a set of end users. It is a general term applied during the design process. UX design covers the technical use of a product or service and its essential physical interface.

4. End Users

A UX designer has a different audience, which is end users. These are the people you will be designing for. Therefore, while a UX design studio has clients, the people at the end of the chain who interact with the design are end users.

5. Customer Experience

This talks about the feelings of a customer generated by his or her interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels, or products.

6. User Research

User research is one of the more self-defining UX design terms. It is all the research that you conduct to comprehend your end user better. UX Booth defines user research as “a variety of investigative methods used to add context and insight to the design process.” The process involves analytical tasks such as quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative research relates to gathering numerical data to understand user behavior. On the flip side, qualitative research is a descriptive attempt to understand the target audience’s problems, motivations, opinions, and reasons via processes such as interviews.

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7. Interaction Design (IXD)

It is the study of how a user interacts with a page, application, or product. IXD facilitates the actions we want to take with any given system.

8. User Interface (UI)

It is, simply put, 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.

9. Breadcrumbs

We are on the right track if breadcrumbs bring to mind the fairytale Hansel and Gretel by the Grimm Brothers. Because the term breadcrumbs in design lingo are also borrowed from the fairy tale. Breadcrumbs are secondary navigation aids that tell users where they are on a website. These allow users to retrace their steps on multilevel websites. Despite their secondary status, breadcrumbs have been in use since 1995, helping make designs user-friendly.

10. Responsive Web Design (RWD)

RWD provides an optimal viewing experience across platforms and devices. The content and layout of a website should easily adapt to the sizes and technical abilities of the device it is opened on.

11. Persona

Often considered a general marketing term, this is frequently used in UX design, too. A persona is a user profile that you develop to get an idea of what the audience wants. In other words, a persona is a representation of the target audience so you are designing for a specific audience instead of a generic one.

For instance, you should not design a website for seniors with design elements that appeal to millennials. Therefore, a one or two-page description of your audience covering its goals, behavior patterns, background information, attitude, skills, and working environment is essential.

12. Wireframe

A wireframe is a skeletal framework of your product, app, or website design. It is a blueprint of the design without any content, photographs, and interactive elements. The goal of a wireframe is to lay out the functionality and content of the page, showing where a design element will be present on the screen. Wireframes are made in the early development phase before a prototype is created to establish a basic structure of the page before any design elements are added to it.

13. Data-Driven

This means using all the available data. Among them are analytics, A/B tests, customer service logs, and social media sentiment to develop a better understanding of UX. There are common misconceptions that user experience is purely an art, but there is a lot more involved. Understanding how to collect and process data is one of the key tasks you have to face as a UX designer.

Bottom Line

If you know the majority of this UX terminology, then you are good to go in order to pursue a career in design or any activity that has something to do with it.

Martín Etchegoyen

Martín Etchegoyen

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