20 UX terms that you must know
If you are a Designer or interacting with Designers, here are some terms that would help you understand the tech world better:
Wireframe is a skeleton design of your final product, with all the necessary details of functions and icons. It comes under two types: Low Fidelity and High Fidelity wireframes. Former is nothing but a sketch representation of your app screen and the later is detailed output on the screen using UX Wireframing tools.
Wireframes produce the scope of work for designers, developers as well as managers.
Prototype is the step taken after the wireframes are completed. It is a working module completed with the help of either coding or prototyping tools like InVision, JustinMind and so on. A prototype is used for internal and user testing, from which errors can be detected and fixed to bring out the best of user testing. It is a major part of the iterative process.
Mockups is the step taken after wireframing. It is the mixture of wireframe and UI design. A wireframe would give you a basic visual representation of your screen, but the mockup adds the visual aesthetics to it. Mockups are concerned with the fonts, colors, themes and styles of your app or website screens. A mockup is a static screen that can help you understand a prospective final visual representation of your product.
A mockup lean towards a final product but it is not a prototype. In fact, a mockup is the bridge between a wireframe and a prototype.
Flat design is a philosophy that is inclined towards being plain simple and functional. It does not involve any depth, gradation, shadows or textures. It does not involve any kind of technique used to make your objects or icons look more realistic. They are made of simple bold colors, forms and buttons.
Skeuomorph is the exact opposite of flat design. It involves the process of making all icons as though they have been picked from the real life. This is the essence of skeuomorphic design. The design concerns with the application of shade, shadow, gradient color effect, textures to the icons, forms and buttons concerned.
Though you can barely see the use of skeuomorph, it was quite popular back in the days. An example would be the design of the older apple iOS.
A landing page is the single most important and main page of your application or website. It consists of a single CTA (call to action) and its main focus is to represent itself as appealing as possible to attract several customers to join in by clicking the CTA option.
Usability testing or USER testing is a process where the prototype of an application is tested on actual users to understand how they respond to the design and if it is a fit for the target audience. It helps understanding the errors and correcting them in the wireframing process itself before it is pushed ahead for coding.
Usually an odd number of people (maybe 5 or 9) are assigned for testing, in order to get the ratio of people finding the application appealing to the ones finding it faulty.
Experience architecture is the combination of multiple designs and UX processes: Information Architecture, Interaction Design and Experience Design.
Information architecture is a structured representation of all the gathered information defining the design of your website or application. The common word used for Information architecture is a Site map. Site maps are concerned with a website that gives you a carefully laid out structure of every available function on your website
Interaction Design is the process in which a designer will focus on how to make the interface more interactive and interesting to attract more users. It tracks down the user’s mental module and makes use of that as a base for the creation of a better interactive design. It focuses on creating better engaging web interfaces.
Experience Design is basically the process of making technology easy to use. It focuses on bringing out the best of outcomes for the users thus getting the best results for the business. It helps in making the product engaging by emphasizing on user experience.
Iterative Design Process
Iterative design is the process of working and improving the design at various phases. It is the combination of user experience design, user interface design and user interface development. The application is tried and tested on users repeatedly to remove all possible flaws and get the best of outcomes.
Scenario is a specific situation defining a function completed by the user from start to end. Scenarios are helpful in the UX process when you are jotting down a task flow. A task flow is nothing but a textual representation of an action.
For example: Online purchase of a T-Shirt
The scenario here is as mentioned above- Purchase of a T-shirt
The task flow would be a detailed walk through right from login to selection of t-shirt and then check out.
Card sorting is the process that takes place before Information Architecture. It is basically the sorting of any and every kind of function that your application would consist of. There are two types of card sorting: Close and Open card sorting.
Close Card Sorting
In this type of card sorting, the main functions of your application are already predefined and the users are expected to arrange the sub functions within these main categories.
Open Card sorting
In an open card sorting, the users are only provided with a list of functions and are free to categorize as well as sub categorize these functions with the help of their own preference and thinking.
It is basically done to understand the user’s mental module which helps us to apply user friendly arrangement of all the functions within the application.
Onboarding is a process to make the user up and going with what is your app and how exactly does it work. It can be in the form a swipe through tutorial where the user goes through the main contents of your application and understands the necessary functions provided.
It also educates the user about how they would interact with the application by indicating a few key functions. It is expected to make this process more pictorial and interactive than textual so as to avoid boredom at the user’s end.
A mood board is produced after the wireframe phase in order to make mock ups. It consists of laying each and every design detail that would be applied to the application including: inspiration, themes, fonts, colours, icons, buttons, visuals, navigation style and bars, UI elements.
The main purpose of creating a mood board is to maintain a design consistency throughout the application.
In simple words-
Wireframes + Mood Board = MockUps
A kick off meeting is the one conducted at the very initial stage of UX explaining what exactly is the product as well as setting certain goals and expectations. It involves the designers, managers as well as the developers so as to bring everyone on the same page and put forth the need, want and outcome of the product.
A persona is the end user’s profile and by end user it means the target audience. By defining such a persona it is easy for the UXers to exactly understand what changes or new introductions do they need to put in their product. It helps UXers to understand the goals, frustrations and motivations of the users thus helping make the product more user friendly. The target audience for personas are set via researching who uses the app the most and who generates the most of revenue while this usage.