If you are new to the field or an experienced UX designer, you should know the jargon. Jobs, network meetings and many other blog posts assume you know the meaning of all these fancy terms. The UX terminology is essential, we have put together a list of 50 commonly used words within the UX industry to help you develop your knowledge.

1. 3 Click Rule

This is an unofficial web design theory that users will leave a website if they can’t get to the desired page within 3 clicks.

2. 80/20

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. This can be applied to any web, app or mobile feature which states that 80% of results in a system come from 20% of the causes.

See how the 80/20 is used for creating killer content

3. A/B testing

A/B testing (also known as split-testing) is a when you test two different variations of a webpage with users to see which one performs better a given conversion goal.

4. Active listening

This is a process of avoiding assumptions by asking users to demonstrate your understanding or clarify things that you have said. It is all about listening to what others have to say and taking an interest in their emotions, behaviours and feedback rather than anticipating what that are going to say.

5. Affinity diagram

A tool used to organise large numbers of ideas to be sorted into groups, based on their natural relationships, for review and analysis.

6. Agile Software Methodology

Agility: “marked by ready ability to move with quick, easy grace.”

Agile describes a collaborative and flexible team including a designer, project manager and developer. It involves planning, testing and creating continuous iterations to improve a project and/or software.

7. Analytics

Analytics is a broad term that surrounds a variety of tools and techniques used for getting valuable data on the traffic to your website. It provides an insights into your users, customer journeys and helps identify any problems with your website or app.

8. Automation testing

A process in which software tools execute pre-scripted tests on a software application before it is launched. This technique is used to simplify as much of the testing effort as possible.

9. Beta Testing

This is the last phase of tests your web or mobile app goes through before it gets into the hands of your potential users. It’s a final opportunity to catch bugs and improve the user experience before it is launched.

10. Breadcrumbs

This is a secondary navigation system that shows a user’s location in a site or web app.

11. Card sorting

Card sorting is a method used to help design and evaluate the information architecture of a site.

12. Competitor analysis

Identifying your competitors and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses to help differentiate your own product or service.

13. Conversion rate

The percentage of visitors who take a desired action.

14. Diary Study

This is a research method used to collect qualitative data about users behaviours, activities and experiences over time. The user logs the daily activities as they occur which provides real-time insights and helps to define the UX pain points.

15. End users

This is the people who actually uses a particular product or take part in research studies.

16. Engagement

User engagement is crucial for your business model – it is about getting the users attention and keeping them focused on a page.

17. Error Analysis

Error Analysis allows you to identify the frequency and type of errors that occur so you can address their causes and prevent users from becoming frustrated with your product.

18. Ethnographic Research

This is a UX research method of people in their own environment.

19. Eye Tracking

Eye tracking is a valuable instrument in UX to measure in which sequence and how long users look at certain parts in a user interface. See how ‘usability.de’ perform eye tracking here

20. Fitts Law

Fitts law is a descriptive model of human movement that predicts how long it will take to point at a target. The further away and smaller it is the longer it will take for user to interact with it.

21. Flow Chart

Flowchart is a diagram of the sequence of movements or actions of people or things involved in a complex system or activity.

22. Focus Group

It is qualitative research which consists of interviews in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product, service, or concept.

23. Gestalt Principles

The “Law of simplicity” – Gestalt principles describe how the human eye perceives visual elements—in particular, they tell us that complex images tend to be reduced to simpler shapes. In UX design and interaction design, Gestalt principles play a large role in making interfaces usable and easy to understand.

24. Hackathon

A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers, designers and project managers collaborate intensively on software projects.

25. Heart Framework

Google’s Heart Framework Analysis – Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention and Task – is a measurement of the user experience on a large scale

26. Heuristic Evaluations

Usability experts evaluate a website or apps interface and document flaws and other areas for improvement.

27. Hicks Law

Hick Law is set out the examine the time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices he or she has: increasing the number of choices will increase the decision time.

28. Iteration

This is a design methodology based on an on-going process of prototyping, testing, analysing, and refining a product.

29. KISS

“keep it simple, stupid”

KISS focuses on the idea that if we can’t understand a product, we can’t use it properly. Every user must be able to understand it, if the product is to gain maximum market share.

30. Learnability

How easy of difficult it is for users to quickly become familiar with a system or an interfaces’ features and capabilities.

31. Low fidelity prototype

This is a quick incomplete sketch, that has some characteristics of the target product which is used to trial out initial ideas.

32. Minesweeping

An action to identify where on a page links are located. This involves the users quickly moving the cursor over a page and watching to see where the links are situated.

33. MVP

A ‘Minimum Viable Product’ is the smallest thing you can build that delivers customer value.

 34. Participatory Design

Participatory design is an approach to design attempting to involve all stakeholders in the design process which will ensure the result meets their needs.

35. Persona

A representation of the type of users based on available data and user interviews

36. Prototype

This is a sample version of a final product and is used for testing prior to launch. Prototypes should be created for every new project or feature.

37. Qualitative research

Usability testing study that consists of observational findings that identify design features.

38. Quantitative Research

A study of human behaviour that focuses on numerical data and statistics through surveys or questionnaires.

39. Remote User Testing

A research method that uses an online software program to record the screen and behaviours of test participants as they use your site in their natural environment—at home, in the office, or even a specific location.

40. Representative sampling

Selecting a group of participants that represent your product or service target audience.

41. Scrum

A Scrum is a cross-functional team that is set to solve problems in an agile way. It suggests that projects progress via a series of sprints.  Sprints are commonly timed to 2-4 weeks

42. Sprints

The sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers.

43. UX Survey

This is a list of questions based around a specific topic which ensures a more accurate sample of targeted results. This method helps to make important business decisions.

44. Target Marketing

The audience that your product or service is aimed for.

45. Tree Testing

Tree testing is a way of evaluating a site structure by asking users to find items based on the sites organisation and hierarchy.

46. Usability

How effective a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals.

47. User Centred Design (UCD)

This is a design process where the needs of the user is considered at all times and isn’t used because it ‘looks good’.

48. User Flow

User flow is the path taken by a user on a website or app to complete a task.

49. User Research

User research focuses on understanding user behaviours, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other industry methods

50. Waterfall

The waterfall model is a’ non-iterative’ design approach, in which progress flows in one direction downwards through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, testing, deployment and maintenance.


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