Why is a user-centric approach always included in the strategic business plan, execution, and control? The user-centric approach focuses on the comfort and improvement of user experience (UX). The overall experience of users is critical for businesses to determine improvements and further development. While it may cost significant investment to deliver and achieve excellent overall UX, this translates to profits in the long run.
However, for many clients, the jargons associated with UX might be overwhelming. Before we delve into specific terms, we’ll define UX first for effective contextual understanding.
Experience can be very subjective to each unique user. This subjectivity creates a gray area of how UX is defined.
UX encompasses the overall experience of a user interacting with a certain product. The experience does not end from start to end of interaction but transcends to other experiences generated after product interaction and improvement to a user's life. These complexities of UX as a technological concept all the more entail exceptional UX design. To navigate through the technicalities of UX and achieve an effective UX design in the process, clients working with designers should know this UX glossary of 25 terms.
There are more terms related to UX, but these are broken down to 25 of the most essential. In addition, some of the terms are mistaken to be the same with UX and thus are explained in this glossary.
Also known as split testing, A/B testing is the process of comparing two versions of a design, which can be a pair of raw or a pair of final versions depending on the need. The chosen versions are shown to a group of target users, and then they are either asked to choose which is better or observed which version they navigated better.
While breadcrumbs are supplementary navigation aids for users when interacting with an interface, they enable users to look back at the steps they took during the interaction. Essentially, this retrace function enables UX designers to also look at the steps and identify which to improve.
In connection to breadcrumbs, clickstream presents the number of clicks, which are steps, to accomplish a task when navigating a design. Tracking clicks is essential to measure user activities and behaviors.
The percentage of users who completed a defined task is the conversion rate. It is a statistical metric that determines how effective design is in persuading users to do desired actions. An example is the number of users who downloaded a certain app on a specific platform.
Often mistaken to be the same with UX, Customer Experience (CX) is described as the totality of interactions and accumulation of experiences by a user over a certain period of time. CX is essentially the established relationship of a user to a certain company, encompassing its products and services.
End users are the target consumers of UX designers. They are the reason a UX design is created because it is aimed at their benefit.
Experience architecture (EA) is a model that outlines the steps users will take to complete an intended action. EA collates three UX elements in the process: information architecture, interaction design, and experience design. These are discussed separately in this UX glossary.
Experience Design (XD) is much simpler compared to UX. XD is focused on figuring out how a UX design will function when used in different platforms or interfaces.
Eye-tracking is a research method that measures and tracks users' eye activities to enable clients to identify the specific parts of a design the users are interacting with. It determines which visual elements suit best for a specific UX.
This system is a tool that includes horizontal (gutters) and vertical (columns) lines helping a designer arrange contents in an interface. This tool is meant for interfaces to be designed in an organized and consistent manner.
Unlike eye-tracking, heat map traces areas in a product that users are most attentive to and interact with the most. Heat maps usually use different colors to identify and rank areas from the most to the least used. This helps UX designers identify if there is unnecessary traffic in certain areas and enables them to layout better overall design.
Interaction Design (IxD) is the second element of EA focused on designing products that create interactions. IxD is then used to predict how end users will interact with a product, showing a pattern of actions and behaviors.
This is not design per se but a design methodology that considers a cycle of processes in creating a UX design. The cycle includes prototyping, planning, implementing, testing (including A/B and usability tests), getting feedback from end-users, and repeating these steps until updates are incorporated and calibrated to better suit target users.
Unlike heat maps that deal with actual working designs, mindmaps are a collation of ideas and elements in a UX design for future versions. As part of iterative design, mindmaps show a visual prediction of how a design will look like given projected updates and revisions.
A Minimum Variable Product (MVP) is the raw version of a product. It is used by clients to engage with their target end-users by letting them test the MVP first before the final version is released to the market.
Mockups are actual but static versions of a product. They are developmental versions of the final product but necessarily the final version because all revisions and updates will be incorporated first.
These are the challenges that end users encounter when interacting with a product or design. When pain points are identified, UX designers will know user-friendly design solutions to propose for better UX.
Persona represents a perceived end-user or audience. In persona, a user profile is made up and developed for UX designers to have a projection on what the users need and want, deductively limiting the target users from the general public to more specific target users.
Different from mockups being visual versions of a product, prototypes are high-fidelity views of the full version of a design or product, including its performance. They outline the proposed final product before its release for user testing.
These are visual elements in a user interface (UI), a term often mistaken to be the same with UX. UI and UX are different; thus, these elements are limited to virtual spaces in designs or products. These tangible elements include texts, images, sounds, buttons, slider arrows, and others that enable users to navigate their interactions.
Usability testing is the process of making target end-users complete intended tasks while researchers observe them on how they navigate with ease. The researchers then record the patterns of behavior and problems encountered for UX design improvement.
User engagement is an avenue of users to react to their engagements in a product or design placed on a specific page or platform. It also provides users direct access to give feedback, which is essential to identify problems and solutions.
Also referred to as UX flow, the user journey includes the series of steps created by UX designers to present to users how to interact with a product or design. The user journey accomplishes two actions: establish a flow of steps and trace those steps.
Research conducted to know target end-users is essential. This term encompasses all techniques and methodologies used to identify insight into users' profile and behavior, challenges encountered, and statistical elements to use for improvement.
Wireframes show a blueprint of a product or design without the elements shown in mockups and prototypes, laying out the framework to show functionality and contents. They are created in the first phase of UX design before mockups and prototypes are made.
UX design can be tricky, but you can navigate it with ease by being familiar with these 25 terms. In the return, this will be a great help for product updates and improvements. When working with UX designers, understanding these terms will enable you to get the results you want, benefitting your end-users.