User Experience Terms
User Experience (UX)
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. The term UX was invented by Dr Donald Norman, a cognitive scientist.
In commerce, user experience (UX) is a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency. User experience may be subjective in nature to the degree that it is about individual perception and thought with respect to a system. User experience varies dynamically, constantly modifying over time due to changing usage circumstances and to changes to individual systems as well as to the wider usage context in which they operate. In the end, user experience is about how a user interacts with, and experiences, a product.
The UX is the customer/user’s experience with a specific product, for our purposes, a website, app, or software. The design of the interface — its usability, information architecture, navigation, comprehension, learnability, visual hierarchy, etc. — all combine to create the UX, whether positive or negative.
The goal of the UX designers, then, is to make sure the brand designs products that solve the right problem in an efficient and enjoyable manner.
Human-computer interaction (HCI)
Human-computer interaction (HCI) is a multidisciplinary field of study focusing on the design of computer technology and, in particular, the communication between humans (the users) and computers. While initially concerned with computers, HCI has since expanded to cover almost all forms of information technology design.
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being “above”, “below”, or “at the same level as” one another. Hierarchy is an important concept in a wide variety of fields, such as philosophy, mathematics, computer science, organizational theory, systems theory, and the social sciences.
User Experience Design (UXD)
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 industrial use of a product or service and its essential physical interface.
UX design encompasses all aspects of a digital product that users experience and perceive when interacting with it. Usability, enjoyment, learnability and aesthetic appeal are essential elements of positive user experience. UX designers consider the impressions and feelings that users experience when interacting with a product the most important indicators of a pleasurable, immersive and useful design. If users don’t experience happiness when navigating an interface or struggle to achieve their goals, the UX designer has failed to anticipate and match their expectations. In the end, great UX design is all about evoking positive feelings.
SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix) is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning. It is intended to specify the objectives of the business venture or project and identify the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieving those objectives. Users of a SWOT analysis often ask and answer questions to generate meaningful information for each category to make the tool useful and identify their competitive advantage. SWOT has been described as the tried-and-true tool of strategic analysis, but has also been criticized for its limitations (see § Limitations).
Strengths and weakness are frequently internally-related, while opportunities and threats commonly focus on the external environment. The name is an acronym for the four parameters the technique examines:
Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others.
Weaknesses: characteristics of the business that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others.
Opportunities: elements in the environment that the business or project could exploit to its advantage.
Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project.
The concept of strategic fit expresses the degree to which the internal environment of the firm matches with the external environment. Identification of SWOTs is essential because they can inform later steps in planning to achieve the objective. First, decision-makers should consider whether the goal is attainable, given the SWOTs. If the target is not feasible, they must select a different purpose and repeat the process.
Some authors credit SWOT to Albert Humphrey, who led a convention at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in the 1960s and 1970s using data from Fortune 500 companies. However, Humphrey himself did not claim the creation of SWOT, and the origins remain obscure.
Bounce rate is an Internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing to view other pages within the same place. Bounce rate is calculated by counting the number of single-page visits and dividing that by the total visits. It is then represented as a percentage of total visits.
Bounce rate is a measure of “stickiness.” The thinking is that a useful website will engage visitors more in-depth into the website. They are encouraging visitors to continue with their visit. It is expressed as a percentage and represents the proportion of single-page visits to total visits.
UX process is an iterative method which helps you to improve and polish your designs with user feedback continuously. Also, one thing you should know is: A UX process can be different from one UX designer to another, organization to organization and sometimes depending on the project.
At its core, every UX process should consist of the following key phases:
- Strategy—Strategy is essential from the outset because it articulates the brand, guiding principles, and long-term vision of an organisation. The strategy underpinning a UX project will shape the goals of the project—what the organisation is hoping to achieve with the project, how its success should be measured, and what priority it should have in the grand scheme of things.
- Research—Often referred to as the Discovery phase, the Research phase is probably the most variable between projects. Complex projects will comprise significant user and competitor research activities, while small startup websites may skip all research activities other than some informal interviews and a survey. In many people’s eyes, the Research phase is key to creating an informed user experience. However, it is also the phase most often skipped—especially by proponents of a “Lean UX” approach.
- Analysis—The Analysis phase aims to draw insights from data collected during the Research phase. Capturing, organising and making inferences from the “what” can help UX Designers begin to understand the “why”. Communicating the designer’s understanding back to end-users helps to confirm that any assumptions being made are valid.
- Design—The Design phase of a UX project is collaborative (involving input and ideas from different people) and iterative (meaning that it cycles back upon itself to validate beliefs and assumptions). Building on the user feedback loop established in previous phases, the premise of the Design phase is to put ideas in front of users, get their feedback, refine them, and repeat. These ideas may be represented by paper prototypes, interactive wireframes, or semi-functioning prototypes, all deliberately created in low-fidelity to delay any conversation relating to graphic identity, branding or visual details.
- Production—The Production phase is where the high-fidelity design is fleshed out, content and digital assets are created, and a high-fidelity version of the product is validated with stakeholders and end-users through user testing sessions. The role of the UX Designer shifts from creating and validating ideas to collaborating with developers to guide and champion the vision.
FEED (Front End Engineering Design)
FEED (Front End Engineering Design) means Basic Engineering, which is conducted after completion of the Conceptual Design or Feasibility Study. At this stage, before the start of EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction), various studies take place to figure out technical issues and estimate rough investment cost. This work is generally contracted to EPC contractors such as Chiyoda, as an optional contract or through bidding. The product of the activity is called “FEED Package” which amounts up to dozens of files and will be the basis of bidding for EPC Contract.
It is essential to reflect the client’s intentions and project-specific requirements into the FEED Package without fail, to avoid significant change during EPC Phase. The FEED Work takes about one year in case of a large-sized project such an LNG plant. As it is essential to maintain close communication with the client, it is a common practice that client stations at the Contractor’s office during the work execution.
Front-End Engineering (FEE)
Front-End Engineering (FEE), or Front-End Engineering Design (FEED), is an engineering design approach used to control project expenses and thoroughly plan a project before a fix bid quote is submitted. It may also be referred to as Pre-project planning (PPP), front-end loading (FEL), feasibility analysis, or early project planning.
Usability is the ease of use and learnability of a human-made object such as a tool or device.In software engineering, usability is the degree to which a software can be used by specified consumers to achieve quantified objectives with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a quantified context of use.
Information design is the practice of presenting information in a way that fosters an efficient and effective understanding of it. The term has come to be used correctly for graphic design for displaying information effectively, rather than just attractively or for artistic expression. Information design is closely related to the field of data visualization and is often taught as part of graphic design courses.
Information design is explanation design. It explains the facts of the universe and leads to knowledge and informed action.
Content strategy refers to the planning, development, and management of content—written or in other media. The term has been particularly common in web development since the late 1990s. It is a recognized field in user experience design, and it also draws from adjacent disciplines such as information architecture, content management, business analysis, digital marketing, and technical communication.
The feelings of a customer generated by his or her interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels or products.
CX has a greater scope: it is the customer’s experiences with all channels of the brand, including a specific product like an app. CX is an umbrella concept encompassing all channels and all products within the same brand, and how the user feels about them.
In commerce, customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction is made up of three parts: the customer journey, the brand touchpoints the customer interacts with, and the environments the customer experiences (including digital environment) during their experience. Good customer experience means that the individual’s experience during all points of contact matches the individual’s expectations. Gartner asserts the importance of managing the customer’s experience.
Customer experience implies customer involvement at different levels – such as rational, emotional, sensorial, physical, and spiritual. Customers respond diversely to direct and indirect contact with a company. Direct contact usually occurs when the customer initiates the purchase or use. Indirect contact often involves advertising, news reports, unplanned encounters with sales representatives, word-of-mouth recommendations or criticisms.
Customer experience encompasses every aspect of a company’s offering—the quality of customer care, but also advertising, packaging, product and service features, ease of use, and reliability. Creating direct relationships in the place where customers buy, use and receive services by a business intended for customers such as instore or face to face contact with the customer which could be seen through interacting with the customer through the retail staff. We then have indirect relationships which can take the form of unexpected interactions through a company’s product representative, certain services or brands and positive recommendations – or it could even take the form of “criticism, advertising, news, reports” and many more along that line.
Call to Action (CTA)
For designers and content creators, the CTA is the word or phrase that stimulates users to interact with a product in the way it is designed for. CTA elements are the interactive controls such as buttons, tabs, or links that enable users to perform the expected action.
A drawing which designers use to propose, explore, refine and communicate ideas. As a UX designer, you too can use Sketching as your first line of attack to crack a design problem.
Field research, field studies, or fieldwork is the collection of raw data outside a laboratory, library, or workplace setting. The approaches and methods used in field research vary across disciplines.
The range of possible field-study methods and activities is extensive. Field studies also vary a lot in terms of how the researcher interacts (or doesn’t) with participants. Some field studies are purely observational (the researcher is a “fly on the wall”); some are interviews in which the questions evolve as understanding increases. Some involve prototype feature exploration or demonstration of pain points in existing systems.
DescriptionVisual hierarchy refers to the arrangement or presentation of elements in a way that implies importance. In other words, visual hierarchy influences the order in which the human eye perceives what it sees. This order is created by the visual contrast between forms in a field of perception.
Users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes, followed by a vertical line. In a few seconds, their eyes will move at fantastic speed across your website’s words in a one-of-a-kind pattern.
DescriptionVisual thinking, also called visual/spatial learning or picture thinking is the phenomenon of thinking through visual processing. Visual thinking has been described as seeing words as a series of pictures. It is common in approximately 60–65% of the general population.
Return on investment
Return on investment is a ratio between net profit and the cost of investment. A high ROI means the investment’s gains compare favourably to its value. As a performance measure, ROI is used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the capabilities of several different investments.
Return on Investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the effectiveness of several different investments. ROI tries to directly measure the amount of return on a particular investment, relative to the investment’s cost.
User Interface (UI), or Graphical User Interface (GUI)
What the user sees. This can be a set of commands or menus through which a user communicates with a program. It is also a space where interactions between humans and machines occur.
User interface design (UI) or user interface engineering is the design of user interfaces for machines and software, such as computers, home appliances, mobile devices, and other electronic devices, with the focus on maximizing usability and the user experience. The goal of user interface design is to make the user’s interaction as efficient and straightforward as possible, in terms of accomplishing user goals (user-centred design).
Good user interface design facilitates finishing the task at hand without drawing unnecessary attention to itself. Graphic design and typography are utilized to support its usability, influencing how the user performs specific interactions and improving the aesthetic appeal of the design; design aesthetics may enhance or detract from the ability of users to use the functions of the interface. The design process must balance technical functionality and visual elements (e.g., mental model) to create a system that is not only operational but also usable and adaptable to changing user needs.
Interface design is involved in a wide range of projects from computer systems, to cars, to commercial planes; all of these projects include much of the same fundamental human interactions yet also require some unique skills and knowledge. As a result, designers tend to specialize in certain types of projects and have skills centred on their expertise, whether it is a software design, user research, web design, or industrial design.
A clickable is an active area in a graphical user interface for a game or application that can be triggered or activated by the user, usually by the point and click of a mouse. This is the primary method of user interaction. The number of clickables is roughly proportional to the complexity of the gameplay, and the software itself. The term is attributed initially to the game and learning software developer Jonathan Stowe (1991).
This circle shows the relationships between primary colours, secondary colours and tertiary colours. Artists and designers use red, yellow, and blue primaries arranged at three equally spaced points around their colour wheel.
Visual communication is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be seen. Visual communication in part or whole relies on eyesight.
Visual communication is the transmission of information and ideas using symbols and imagery. It is believed to be the type that people rely on most and includes signs, graphic designs, films, typography, and countless other examples. There is evidence to suggest that it is the oldest form of communication.
Interaction Design (IXD)
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.
Interaction design, often abbreviated as IxD, is “the practice of designing interactive digital products, environments, systems, and services.” Beyond the digital aspect, interaction design is also useful when creating physical (non-digital) products, exploring how a user might interact with it. Common topics of interaction design include design, human-computer interaction, and software development. While interaction design has an interest in form (similar to other design fields), its main area of focus rests on behaviour.Rather than analyzing how things are, interaction design synthesizes and imagines things as they could be. This element of interaction design is what characterizes IxD as a design field as opposed to a science or engineering field.
While disciplines such as software engineering have a heavy focus on designing for technical stakeholders, interaction design is geared toward satisfying the majority of users.
A footnote is an additional information found at the bottom of the current page in a document. Superscript numbers are used in both the material and the reference to help the reader match the text to the supplemental information at the bottom.
Featured snippet from the web
Visual scanning is the ability to efficiently, quickly, and actively look for information relevant to your environment. It is what makes it possible to find what you’re looking for using just your vision. … Visual scanning is a function of visual perception that is aimed at detecting and recognizing visual stimuli.
The theory that users will abandon a website if they are unable to complete their task within three mouse clicks.
In entertainment, a tagline (alternatively spelt tag line) is a short text which serves to clarify a thought for or is designed with a form of, dramatic effect. Many tagline slogans are reiterated phrases associated with an individual, social group, or product. As a variant of a branding slogan, taglines can be used in marketing materials and advertising.
The idea behind the concept is to create a memorable dramatic phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of an audio/visual product or to reinforce and strengthen the audience’s memory of a literary product. Some taglines are successful enough to warrant inclusion in popular culture. Consulting companies which specialize in creating slogans may be hired to develop a tagline for a brand or product.
One of the fundamental principles of design, balance, refers to the arrangement of visual elements so that their visual weight is in harmony with one another. Rather than actual mass, the visual weight means an objects power to attract the viewer’s eye.
Balance is a visual interpretation of gravity in the design. Significant, dense elements appear to be more substantial while smaller items appear to be lighter. You can balance designs in three ways: symmetrical balance.
The difference between the two colours. Black and white create the highest contrast possible. Colours can contrast in hue, value and saturation. You usually want a high contrast between text and its background colour. But too high contrast between design elements might give an unsettled and messy impression. Effective use of difference is the essential ingredient that makes the content accessible to every viewer.
Interactive Design is defined as a user-oriented field of study that focuses on meaningful communication of media through cyclical and collaborative processes between people and technology. Successful interactive designs have simple, clearly defined goals, a definite purpose and intuitive screen interface.
Interaction design, often abbreviated as IxD, is “the practice of designing interactive digital products, environments, systems, and services.” Beyond the digital aspect, interaction design is also useful when creating physical (non-digital) products, exploring how a user might interact with it. Common topics of interaction design include design, human-computer interaction, and software development. While interaction design has an interest in form (similar to other design fields), its main area of focus rests on behaviour. Rather than analyzing how things are, interaction design synthesizes and imagines things as they could be. This element of interaction design is what characterizes IxD as a design field as opposed to a science or engineering field.
Determining which of two alternatives is preferred by the target audience.
A/B testing (also known as bucket tests or split-run testing) is a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B. It includes the application of statistical hypothesis testing or “two-sample hypothesis testing” as used in the field of statistics. A/B testing is a way to compare two versions of a single variable, typically by testing a subject’s response to variant A against variant B, and determining which of the two options is more effective.
Responsive web design
Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes. Recent work also considers the viewer proximity as part of the viewing context as an extension for RWD. Content, design and performance are necessary across all devices to ensure usability and satisfaction.
Colour-based representations of areas of interest/focus points; generally associated with eye-tracking software.
Defensive design is the practice of planning for contingencies in the design stage of a project or undertaking. Essentially, it is the practice of anticipating all possible ways that an end-user could misuse a device, and designing the equipment to make such misuse impossible, or to minimize the negative consequences. For example, if a plug must be inserted into a socket in a particular orientation, the device and cap should be designed so that it is physically impossible to insert the plug incorrectly. Power sockets are often keyed in such a manner, to prevent the transposition of living and neutral.
Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand a written text. In natural language, the legibility of text depends on its content (the complexity of its vocabulary and syntax) and its presentation (such as typographic aspects like font size, line height, and line length). Researchers have used various factors to measure readability, such as
- Speed of perception
- Perceptibility at a distance
- Perceptibility in peripheral vision
- Reflex blink technique
- Rate of work (reading speed)
- Eye movements
- Fatigue in reading
Readability is more than poor legibility—which is a measure of how easily a reader can distinguish individual letters or characters from each other.
A timeless decorating rule that can help you put a colour scheme together quickly. To put it short, the 60% + 30% + 10% proportion is meant to give balance to the colours used in any space.
Often confused with a wireframe, a prototype is a medium or a highly detailed representation of the final product. It simulates user interaction with the interface and allows the user to rate the content and interface and test the primary options for communication with the app. Though Prototype may not look exactly like the final product, it definitely should not be sketched in shades of grey. Besides, interactions must be modelled in a way that closely mimics the final product.
Eye-tracking is the process of measuring either the point of gaze (where one is looking) or the motion of an eye relative to the head. An eye tracker is a device for measuring eye positions and eye movement. Eye trackers are used in research on the visual system, in psychology, in psycholinguistics, marketing, as an input device for human-computer interaction, and product design. Eye trackers are also increasingly used for rehabilitative and assistive applications (related for instance to control of wheelchairs, robotic arms and prostheses). There are several methods for measuring eye movement. The most popular variant uses video images from which the eye position is extracted. Other methods use search coils or are based on the electrooculogram.
It has specialized hardware and software that tracks users’ point of vision on an interface. Namely, it follows where users focus their visual attention while viewing an interface.
Dots Per Inch (DPI)
A way to measure the density of a print or video image. The number of differently coloured dots that can fit into a one-inch space provides information about the resolution of a copy. If an image is not of adequately high quality, it may not be able to be resized or printed without a loss of resolution.
A medium or highly detailed static representation of the design. A useful mockup demonstrates the information structure, content and basic functionality in static form. Moreover, mockups make it easy to perceive the idea of the final product, and the process of mockup creation is less time-consuming compared to prototypes.
A website wireframe, also known as a page schematic or screen blueprint, is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. Wireframes are created to arrange elements to accomplish a particular purpose best.
A simplified sketch of the critical information on a page. Also known as page architecture, page schematic, or a blueprint. It’s a skeleton of the design and should contain all the essential elements of the final product.
Wireframing is a way to design a website service at the structural level. A wireframe is commonly used to layout content and functionality on a page which takes into account user needs and user journeys. Wireframes are used early in the development process to establish the basic structure of a page before visual design and content are added.
A wireframe is a layout of a web page that demonstrates what interface elements will exist on key pages. It is a critical part of the interaction design process.
A wireframe aims to provide a visual understanding of a page early in a project to get stakeholder and project team approval before the creative phase gets underway. Wireframes can also be used to create global and secondary navigation to ensure the terminology and structure used for the site meets user expectations.
What are stakeholder interviews? As defined in 18F’s Method Cards, stakeholder and user interviews (stakeholder interviews) are “a wide-spanning set of semi-structured interviews with anyone who has an interest in a project’s success, including users.” Stakeholders come in all shapes and sizes.
Stakeholders come in all shapes and sizes. Indeed, given their interest in the project’s success, even your teammates count as stakeholders! It’s ultimately up to researchers themselves to determine when and with whom they should chat. A good rule of thumb is to try and talk to the people who will spend the most time using the thing you plan to design — but stakeholder interviews can also be useful for determining what that thing is.
A unique visitor is a term used in Web analytics to refer to a person who visits a site at least once within the reporting period. Each visitor to the site is only counted once during the reporting period, so if the same IP address accesses the website the site many times, it still only counts as one visitor.
User-centred design or user-driven development is a framework of processes in which usability goals, user characteristics, environment, tasks and workflow of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.
A form of Web analytics. Clickstream analysis is the tracking and analysis of visits to websites. This analysis reports user behaviour such as routing, stickiness, where users come from and where they go from the site.
Usability engineering is a field that is concerned generally with human-computer interaction and specifically with devising human-computer interfaces that have high usability or user-friendliness. It provides structured methods for achieving efficiency and elegance in interface design.
20% of the functionality and features in any environment will be responsible for 80% of the actions taken within that environment. This is a Pareto principle as applied to any website, web app or software environment.
Social bookmarking is an online service which allows users to add, annotate, edit, and share bookmarks of web documents. Many online bookmark management services have launched since 1996; Delicious, founded in 2003, popularized the terms “social bookmarking” and “tagging”. Tagging is a significant feature of social bookmarking systems, allowing users to organize their bookmarks and develop shared vocabularies known as folksonomies.
A usability lab is a place where usability testing is done. It is an environment where users are studied interacting with a system for the sake of evaluating the system’s usability.
Depending on the kind of system that is evaluated, the user sits in front of a personal computer or stands in front of the systems interface, alongside a facilitator who gives the user tasks to perform. Behind a one-way mirror, several observers watch the interaction, make notes, and ensure the activity is recorded. Very often, the testing and the observing room are not placed alongside. In this case, the video and audio observation are transmitted through a (wireless) network and broadcast via a video monitor or video beamer and loudspeakers. Usually, sessions will be filmed, and the software will log interaction details.
A system of horizontal and vertical lines providing a structural basis for page layout and design. It communicates order, economy and consistency. The Grid offers a standard structure and flexibility for organizing content.
The measure of a web page’s usability by persons with one or more disabilities.
The ubiquitous text that turns up in tiny chunks on a webpage or in an application when you need it. It can be the label on a field, a quick set of instructions on what button to push, etc. It’s the tiny text on which much of the product’s UX hinges. Micro-copy provides those clear just-in-time instructions.
A mathematical ratio with origins in ancient Greece, also known as the Greek letter Phi. It is found in nature and has made its way into graphic and print design as people deem it to be the most visually appealing layout to the human eye. The Golden Ratio approximately equals 1.618. We find it when we divide a line into two parts so that the full length divided by the long part is equal to the large part divided by the short piece.
People do not visually perceive items in isolation but as part of a larger whole. These principles account for human tendencies towards similarity, proximity, continuity, and closure.
A diagram designed to identify cause-and-effect relationships between factors in a given situation. In short, it consists of a “head”, which states a problem, and bones along the spine that represent factors and categories of factors.
An official corporate document that explains the brand’s identity and presents brand standards. Besides the design aspect, brand books may include a company overview and communication guidelines as well.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
MVP is a product with enough features to meet the needs of early customers. This strategy provides feedback for future product development.
Corporate Identity Guideline
Defines how your company’s brand, image and messages are delivered to the public and particularly to your key audiences. The corporate identity guideline positions the company, no matter how big or small. The rules for consistent typography, colour use, and logo placement are all laid out in the corporate identity manual.
Information architecture (IA) is the structural design of shared information environments; the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability; and an emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design, architecture and information science to the digital landscape. Typically, it involves a model or concept of information that is used and applied to activities which require explicit details of complex information systems. These activities include library systems and database development.
Designing a welcoming experience for new users by easing them into it. The design of the onboarding process for your site is usually limited to a first-time use scenario.
The measurement, collection, and analysis of the internet to understand and optimize web usage.
Customer Journey Map (CJM)
Tool companies use to see what their customers truly want. A customer journey map tells the story from initial contact through to engagement and the long-term relationship. It may focus on a particular part of the story, or give an overview of the entire user experience. It talks about the user’s feelings, motivations and questions for each of these touchpoints.
Card Sorting Method
The goal of card sorting is to understand how a typical user views a given set of items. Designers write articles on individual paper cards and then ask users to group similar cards. Card sorting helps to create websites that are easy to navigate.
A diagram used to organize information visually. A mindmap is hierarchical and shows the relationships among the parts of the whole. It is often created around a single concept to which associated images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.
Context of Use Analysis
Observing users’ behaviour often helps create a website that supports their day-to-day activities. Context of use analysis studies personas, user flows, wireframes, the content map, the site map, and the content strategy.
User-Centered Design (UCD)
An approach to designing a product or service (user interface design), in which the end-user is in the centre of the process.
User-centred design (UCD) or user-driven development (UDD) is a framework of processes (not restricted to interfaces or technologies) in which usability goals, user characteristics, environment, tasks and workflow of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. User-centred design can be characterized as a multi-stage problem-solving process that not only requires designers to analyze and envision the way users are likely to consume a product but also to validate their assumptions about the user behaviour in real-world tests. These tests are conducted with/without actual users during each stage of the process from requirements, pre-production models and post-production, completing a circle of proof back to and ensuring that “development proceeds with the user as the centre of focus.” Such testing is necessary as it is often very difficult for the designers of a product to understand intuitively what a first-time user of their design experiences, and what each user’s learning curve may look like. User-centred design is standard in the design industry and when used is considered to lead to increased product usefulness and usability.
The chief difference from other product design philosophies is that user-centred design tries to optimize the product around how users can, want, or need to use the product, rather than forcing the users to change their behaviour to accommodate the product. The users thus stand in the centre of two concentric circles. The inner-circle includes the context of the product, objectives of developing it and the environment it would run in. The outer ring involves more granular details of task detail, task organization, and task flow.
A mathematical model that predicts how long it will take to point at a target based on the target’s size and proximity. The further away and smaller it is, the longer it will take for users to interact with it.
White or Negative Space
The use of blank (unmarked) space on a page to promote content and navigation. To be precise, when the products or pages have enough white space, it helps them feel uncluttered, elevates them, and makes them feel special. And it makes people want to take a closer look.
A focus group is a pointed discussion with a group of participants led by a moderator. Questions are designed to gather feedback about users, products, concepts, prototypes, tasks, and strategies.
Responsive Web Design (RWD)
RWD provides an optimal viewing experience across platforms and devices. The content and layout of a website should efficiently adapt to the sizes and technical abilities of the device it is opened on.
Breadcrumbs are a navigation element that allows users to orient themselves within a Web site or move to one of the intermediate pages. It is usually placed near the top of the page (generally, right under the browser’s address bar). It allows users to find their way to the homepage.
It represents the purposeful choices a user makes with website content. Engagement is how people get value from the site.
Information Architecture (IA)
The organizing of information, including site hierarchies, web content, labelling schemes and navigation. IA makes it easy for people to find, understand and manage data.
A design philosophy based on simplicity and functionality. There are no techniques used to convey depth: no gradients, shadows, textures, and highlights that give a realistic view of the object. Flat design refers to the basics of graphics — bright colours, simple forms, buttons, and icons.
This means using all the available data: 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 pure art, but there is a lot more involved. Understanding how to collect and process data is one of the critical tasks you have to face as a UX designer.
A research method that involves providing participants with the materials and structure to record daily events, tasks and perceptions around a given subject to gain insight into their behaviour and needs over time.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
An imaging application and language is written in XML. The SVG interface offers a solution to the problem of sharing many sophisticated Web-based images and animations.
It is the Web page a given user goes to after clicking a link, also known as the Target or Destination page.
This concept originated from print typography. Vertical Rhythm keeps the vertical spaces between elements on a page consistent with each other. This is often done with the help of a baseline – a common denominator used to create the regular spaces.
Refers to those people who use a website or those who are participants or subjects of research studies.
Card sorting is a technique in user experience design in which a person tests a group of subject experts or users to generate a dendrogram (category tree) or folksonomy. It is a useful approach for designing information architecture, workflows, menu structure, or web site navigation paths.
Card sorting uses a relatively low-tech approach. The person conducting the test (usability analyst, user experience designer, etc.) first identifies vital concepts and writes them on index cards or Post-it notes. Test subjects, individually or sometimes as a group, then arrange the cards to represent how they see the structure and relationships of the information.
Groups can be organized as collaborative groups (focus groups) or as repeated individual sorts. The literature discusses the appropriate numbers of users needed to produce accurate results.
A card sort is commonly undertaken when designing a navigation structure for an environment that offers a variety of content and functions, such as a web site. In that context, the items to organize are those significant in the background. The way the questions are organized should make sense to the target audience and cannot be determined from first principles.
The field of information architecture is founded on the study of the structure of information. If an accepted and standardized taxonomy exists for a subject, it would be natural to apply that taxonomy to organize both the information in the environment and any navigation to particular topics or functions. Card sorting is useful when:
The variety of items to organize is so great that no existing taxonomy is accepted as holding the things.
Similarities among the items make them challenging to divide clearly into categories.
Members of the audience that uses the environment differ significantly in how they view the similarities among items and the appropriate groupings of objects.
User research is used to understand the user’s needs, behaviours, experience and motivations through various qualitative and quantitative methods to inform the process of solving for user’s problems.
Great UX Design is grounded in excellent user research – driven by user insights while balancing priorities and technical feasibility.
User research helps uncover essential and useful insights about the user and their needs. Until you know your user and their needs, emotions, feelings, struggles etc. you won’t be able to deliver a great user experience.
The creation of a representative user based on available data and user interviews. Though the personal details of the Persona may be fictional, the information used to create the user type is not.
A persona, (also user persona, customer persona, buyer persona) in user-centred design and marketing is a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. Marketers may use personas together with market segmentation, where the qualitative personas are constructed to be representative of specific segments. The term persona is used widely in online and technology applications as well as in advertising, where other terms such as pen portraits may also be used.
Personas are useful in considering the goals, desires, and limitations of brand buyers and users to help to guide decisions about a service, product or interaction space such as features, communications, and visual design of a website. Personas may also be used as part of a user-centred design process for designing software and are also considered a part of interaction design (IxD), having been used in industrial design and more recently for online marketing purposes.
A user persona is a representation of the goals and behaviour of a hypothesized group of users. In most cases, personas are synthesized from data collected from interviews with users. They are captured in 1–2-page descriptions that include behaviour patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and the environment, with a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character. Personas are also widely used in sales, advertising, marketing and system design; Personas provide common behaviours, outlooks, and potential objections of people inherent to a given persona.
Task analysis is the analysis of how a task is accomplished, including a detailed description of both manual and mental activities, task and element durations, task frequency, task allocation, task complexity, environmental conditions, necessary clothing and equipment, and any other unique factors involved in or required for one or more people to perform a given task.
Information from a task analysis can then be used for many purposes, such as personnel selection and training, tool or equipment design, procedure design (e.g., design of checklists, or decision support systems) and automation. Though distinct, task analysis is related to user analysis.
The percentage of visitors that complete a targeted transaction online.
Hypothetical circumstances used to frame and prompt the user to follow or pursue a particular task path.