20 UX terms that you must know

Published by Priyanka on

If you are a Designer or interacting with Designers, here are some terms that would help you understand the tech world better:

  • Wireframe

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

The end of the beginning stages, the prototype can be a low- or high-fidelity representation of the product that includes functionality and the finer point of the UI design. In addition to the information structure and visualizations of the previous two phases, the prototype introduces more depth to the early UI, allowing users to:
· experience actual content
· interact with the UI in a way similar to the final product
· predict and solve usability problems before further development
When it comes to finding the right fidelity for prototypes, remember that going low-fi will let you test and tweak faster, while going hi-fi will get you as close to the final product as possible without sinking resources into development.

A common design process is starting with a low-fi prototype (similar to what Apple does by creating hundreds of early prototypes), and then iterating into high-fidelity prototypes. That way, you reap the benefits of customer-driven design due to early testing as well as the clear specifications demonstrated by high fidelity.
A high-fidelity prototype should be one step below the final product; it should look and function as closely to the final version as possible.

  • Mockups

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

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.

  • Skeuomorphic Design

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.

  • Landing Page

A landing page is one of the most powerful tools available to the modern marketer. But why, if landing pages are so powerful, do so few know the difference between a homepage and a landing page. Jamarie Milkovic, Instapage’s Marketing Evangelist, defines what a landing page is, and what it is not. Watch now and get the clarity you’ve been looking for. According to Marketing Sherpa, 64% of marketers agree that landing pages are the most effective way to make a product or company attractive to customers. But what is a landing page, and how important are they to your business’ marketing and conversion goals? In this video we answer these questions and explain to you why every promotion deserves its own landing page. A landing page is one of those rare tools that can potentially fulfill nearly any of your promotional marketing needs. Looking to boost conversion rates? Build a landing page. Want to generate more leads? Build a landing page. Need more people to attend your webinar, download your ebook, attend your next event? Build a landing page.

  • Usability testing

Usability testing is the practice of testing how easy a design is to use on a group of representative users. It usually involves observing users as they attempt to complete tasks and can be done for different types of designs, from user interfaces to physical products. It is often conducted repeatedly, from early development until a product’s release.
The main benefit and purpose of usability testing is to identify usability problems with a design as early as possible, so they can be fixed before the design is implemented or mass produced. As such, usability testing is often conducted on prototypes rather than finished products, with different levels of fidelity (i.e., detail and finish) depending on the development phase. Prototypes tend to be more primitive, low-fidelity versions (e.g., paper sketches) during early development, and then take the form of more detailed, high-fidelity versions (e.g., interactive digital mock-ups) closer to release.

  • Experience Architecture

Experience architecture is the combination of multiple designs and UX processes: Information Architecture, Interaction Design and Experience Design.

  • Information architecture

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

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

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 a process of designing a product in which the product is tested and evaluated repeatedly at different stages of design to eliminate usability flaws before the product is designed and launched. In other words, iterative design is a process of improving and polishing the design over time. An example of iterative design is Wikipedia, where users can add missing information and correct mistakes that have been made by former contributors. One of the main reasons iterative design is important is that it allows teams to reduce usability issues and thus ensure a good user experience of the product they are developing. On the other hand, developers can reveal these flaws at the early stages when the cost of eliminating mistakes is minimal. Wireframing and prototyping tools can be very useful in iterative design.

  • Scenario

A perfect user scenario comes in a way of a short story that clearly defines the context in which the product is used. It gives answers to such important questions as Who is the user of our product? What does this user want to accomplish with our product? How is this user going to achieve her goals? Why does this user choose our product over other available options?

  • Card Sorting

Card sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture of a site. In a card sorting session, participants organise topics into categories that make sense to them. They may also be asked to label these groups. To do a card sort, you can use cards, pieces of paper, or an online card sorting tool. There are two types of Card Sorting:

1.Close Card Sorting

Participants are asked to sort topics from content within your website into pre-defined categories. A closed card sort works best when you are working with a pre-defined set of categories, and you want to learn how users to sort content items into each category.


 2.Open Card sorting

Participants are asked to organize topics from content within your website into groups that make sense to them and then name each group they created in a way that they feel accurately describes the content. Use an open card sort to learn how users to group content and the terms or labels they give each category.

  • Onboarding process

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.

  • Mood Board

While designing your website’s user experience, mood boards can be an essential tool for helping everyone understand your organization’s:
#branding guideline
#communication style
This creative process also provides designers with a golden opportunity to experiment with the articulation of your value proposition and positioning statement — critical elements to ensuring your message resonates with your audience.

The main purpose of creating a mood board is to maintain a design consistency throughout the application.
In simple words-
Wireframes + Mood Board = MockUps

  • Kick Off

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.

  • Personas

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 is set via researching who uses the app the most and who generates the most of revenue while this usage.The creation of a representative user based on available data and user interviews. Though the personal details of the persona may be fiction, the information used to create the user type is not.

Categories: UX Terms


An Architect, aspiring visual designer and a passionate writer. In my years of graduation I had a chance to explore and evolve as a designer and focus on how versatile a professional can get. I hope to excel in the field of user experience design as well as continue with my interest in expressing myself through the art of writing.