TOOLS & IDEAS

UX GLOSSARY

This UX Glossary, created by Akendi, is a valuable resource designed to demystify the terminology, methodologies, and principles commonly used in the UX industry.

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A/B Testing

Data-driven method to optimize web design, content, and marketing by comparing two or more variants to improve user experience, conversions, and engagement.

Accessibility

Designing websites or products that are inclusive and usable by all, including people with disabilities, through features such as proper color contrast, keyboard accessibility, and alternative text for images.

Adaptive Design

A UX approach that creates tailored versions of a digital product for specific devices or screen sizes, optimizing layout, content, and functionality.

Aesthetic-Usability Effect

The aesthetic-usability effect suggests that users are more likely to perceive a design as usable if they find it visually appealing.

Aesthetics

The visual appeal and emotional response elicited by the design of a product or service.

Affect Heuristic

The affect heuristic is a mental shortcut where people make judgments and decisions based on their emotional reactions to a situation, rather than relying on a more rational analysis.

Affordance

Refers to the inherent qualities or properties of an object or environment that suggest or enable its use or interaction by users, based on its design or functionality.

Agile UX

An iterative and collaborative approach to user experience design that integrates UX principles and practices into Agile development methodologies for efficient and user-centric product development.

Aha Moment

The 'aha! moment' is a sudden and profound insight or realization, often associated with problem-solving or creativity.

Analytics

The collection and analysis of data to gain insights, inform decisions, and optimize user experience and business outcomes.

Anchoring

A cognitive bias where people rely heavily on the first piece of information encountered when making decisions, even if it's unrelated or arbitrary.

Anti-Persona

An anti-persona is a fictional representation of individuals or user groups who are not part of the target audience, helping to exclude them from design or marketing efforts.

Attential Bias

Attentional bias is the tendency to pay more attention to specific stimuli or information, often influenced by personal experiences or emotional factors.

Attitudinal Research

Measures and analyzes people's opinions, beliefs, and emotions. It informs decision-making and strategy development.

Authority Bias

Authority bias is a cognitive bias where people tend to follow or believe in the advice or directives of perceived authority figures.

Availability Heuristic

The availability heuristic is a mental shortcut where people rely on readily available or easily recalled information to make judgments or decisions, often resulting in cognitive biases.

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Call to Action (CTA)

A Call to Action (CTA) is a prompt, often in the form of a button or text, that encourages users to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up

Card Sorting

A UX research method where participants organize content or concepts into categories, providing insights into how users perceive and organize information for improved design decisions.

Center-Stage Effect

The center-stage effect is the tendency to remember information or objects placed in the center of one's field of vision more vividly.

Chunking

The process of grouping pieces of information into more manageable and meaningful units or 'chunks'

Clickability

Clickability refers to the characteristics of an element, such as a button or link, that indicates it can be interacted with or clicked/tapped to perform an action.

Clickstream Analytics

Clickstream analytics involves tracking and analyzing user interactions on a website or app to improve user experience, performance, and marketing strategies.

Closed Card Sort

Closed card sorting involves participants categorizing content or items into pre-defined categories, helping researchers understand user mental models and improve information organization on websites or applications.

Closure

Closure in UX design utilizes incomplete visual elements to engage users' natural tendency to mentally complete patterns, aiding in efficient information processing and visual organization.

Cognitive Biases

Mental shortcuts or tendencies that influence decision-making and perception, often leading to subjective judgments and irrational behavior.

Cognitive Load

The mental effort required for users to understand and use a product or service.

Color Theory

Color theory explores the interaction, perception, and emotional impact of colors, guiding their selection and use in design, art, and psychology.

Concept Testing

Concept testing is a research method to evaluate new product or idea feasibility by gathering feedback from target users, aiding early refinement and risk reduction.

Confirmation Bias

The tendency to favor information that confirms preexisting beliefs, potentially limiting objective decision-making and critical thinking.

Confirmatory Research

A type of research methodology that seeks to test specific hypotheses or predetermined research questions using structured data collection and statistical analysis for validation or rejection.

Consistency

The uniformity and coherence of design elements and interactions within a product or service.

Content Audit

A systematic review of all digital content to evaluate performance, quality, and relevance, and make data-driven decisions for content optimization and improvement.

Content Inventory

Comprehensive list of all digital content assets, such as articles, images, videos, and media, for evaluation, optimization, and management purposes.

Content Strategy

The planning, creation, and management of content within a product or service.

Context of Use

The physical, social, and environmental factors that influence how users interact with a product or service.

Context Patterns

A design approach that considers the surrounding circumstances and user environment to create relevant and tailored user experiences.

Contextual Design

Designing products or services that are tailored to the specific context of use and meet users' needs in that context.

Contextual Help

Providing relevant assistance or guidance based on users' context and needs.

Contextual Inquiry

Conducting research by observing users in their natural environment to understand their needs and behaviors.

Continuation

Creating flow through elements to guide the viewer's eye smoothly. Enhances visual harmony and coherence.

Contrast

Contrast involves highlighting differences or disparities between elements, making them more noticeable and impactful.

Controlled Vocabulary

A structured and organized list of predefined terms used to categorize, tag, or classify content, improving consistency and accuracy in information retrieval and user experience.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Optimizing the design and content of a product or service to increase the percentage of users who complete a desired action or goal.

Creeping Featurism

The gradual accumulation of excessive and often unnecessary features in a product, leading to complexity, decreased usability, and potential user dissatisfaction.

Curiosity Gap

The curiosity gap is the idea that creating a gap in people's knowledge or information can pique their curiosity and drive engagement.

Curse of Knowledge

The curse of knowledge is the difficulty in imagining or understanding what it's like not to know something that you already know, leading to communication challenges.

Customer Experience (CX)

Encompasses all interactions and perceptions a customer has with a brand, product, or service, impacting satisfaction, loyalty, and overall business success.

Customer Personas

Representations of target customers that help in understanding their characteristics, needs, and behaviors.

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Dark Patterns

Design features that manipulate users into specific actions, often prioritizing the company/business needs over the user's

Decoy Effect

The decoy effect occurs when the presence of a less attractive option influences people to choose a particular choice among multiple options.

Default Bias

Default bias is the inclination to stick with the default option when making choices or decisions.

Defaults

Predetermined settings or options that are automatically applied to a user interface, providing a baseline experience until users make specific choices or modifications according to their preferences.

Delighters

Delighters, in the context of user experience design, are unexpected or small design features that bring joy and satisfaction to users.

Design Patterns

Reusable solutions to common design problems, providing established ways for consistent, efficient, and user-friendly designs.

Design Principles

Design principles are fundamental guidelines that inform decision-making in design, providing a framework for creating effective and user-centered solutions while achieving specific design goals.

Design Psychology

Applies psychological principles to create user-centered designs that optimize engagement, satisfaction, and outcomes.

Design System

A design system is a comprehensive set of guidelines, components, patterns, and standards that define the visual and functional elements of a product or brand. It provides a centralized resource for designers, developers, and stakeholders, ensuring consistency, efficiency, and scalability in design and development efforts.

Design Thinking

A human-centered approach to problem solving and innovation that emphasizes empathy, experimentation, and iterative design to create meaningful and effective solutions.

Desirability Study

A desirability study assesses the emotional appeal and attractiveness of a product or design concept to users, helping to gauge their preferences and emotional responses.

Diary Study

A research method where participants record experiences in a personal diary. Provides qualitative data for UX research, capturing real-world behaviors and insights in users' own words.

Discoverability

Discoverability is the ease with which users can find and access content or features within a product or system.

Dunning-Kruger Effect

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias where individuals with low competence tend to overestimate their abilities, while those with higher competence may underestimate themselves.

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Emotional Design

The intentional design of emotional experiences for users through the use of visuals, interactions, and content.

Empathy

Understanding and considering the needs, emotions, and perspectives of users.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings and perspectives of others, leading to a deeper connection and understanding.

Empathy Map

Visual tool for capturing user thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and needs. Aids in building empathy and informing user-centered design.

Error Prevention and Recovery

Designing systems and interfaces to minimize errors and provide ways to recover from them.

Ethnographic Study

Observational research in natural settings to understand culture, behavior, and experiences. Immersive study of human behavior in real-world contexts.

Expectation Bias

Expectation bias occurs when prior beliefs or expectations influence one's perception and interpretation of new information or experiences.

Experience Ecosystem

The interconnected system of user experiences across touchpoints, channels, and interactions, aiming to create a cohesive and meaningful journey for users.

Experience Map

Visualizes user touchpoints, emotions, and interactions to understand the holistic user journey, identify pain points, and improve the overall user experience

Exploratory Research

An open-ended and flexible approach to gain insights, generate ideas, and form initial hypotheses about a topic.

External Triggers

External triggers are environmental or situational cues that influence or initiate specific behaviors or responses in individuals.

Eye-tracking

Use of specialized equipment to measure and analyze users' eye movements and gaze patterns for understanding visual perception and interaction with designs

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False Choice

False choice presents limited options that may not align with user preferences, potentially leading to manipulation, mistrust, and a negative user experience.

Familiarity Bias

Familiarity bias is a cognitive bias where people prefer or trust things that are familiar to them.

Feedback

Providing users with informative and timely feedback on their actions and the state of the system.

Feedforward

Feedforward is a form of feedback that provides guidance or information in advance of an action, helping individuals make informed decisions.

Field Study

A field study is research conducted in a real-world setting, observing and collecting data from participants to gain context-specific insights into behaviors, or culture.

First-Click Test

A first-click test assesses the usability of a website or app by analyzing users' initial clicks when given specific tasks, helping identify navigation and design improvements.

Fitts Law

Larger targets closer to starting point are faster to select. Used in interface design to optimize pointing performance for usability and efficiency.

Flat Design

A minimalist style characterized by simplicity, two-dimensional elements, bold colors, and a focus on functionality and usability

Flow State

Flow state is a mental state of complete absorption and focus in an activity, often associated with high productivity and enjoyment.

Flowchart

Visualize user flows, decision points, and scenarios, aiding in analyzing and improving the user experience of digital products.

Focus Groups

Qualitative research methods using small groups and a skilled moderator to gather insights and opinions on a topic of interest, providing valuable feedback for decision-making and product improvement.

Form Design

Involves creating user-friendly, visually clear, and efficient forms for capturing information, considering usability, visual hierarchy, and data collection.

Formative methods

Formative methods are early-stage research techniques that inform product development by gathering user insights and feedback, guiding improvements, and addressing user needs and challenges.

Framing

Framing refers to how information is presented or framed, which can influence people's decisions and perceptions.

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Halo Effect

The halo effect is a cognitive bias where one positive trait or aspect of a person or thing influences the perception of their overall character or quality.

Haptic Feedback

Providing users with tactile feedback through physical sensations or vibrations in response to their interactions with a product or service.

Hawthorne Effect

The Hawthorne Effect is an increase in productivity or improvement in behavior that occurs when individuals know they are being observed.

Heat Map

Visually represent user interactions and attention on a design, providing insights into user behavior and areas of interest.

Heuristic Evaluation

A method where experts assess usability using established guidelines, identifying potential issues to improve the user experience.

Heuristics

Guidelines used to evaluate and improve usability. They offer quick and cost-effective insights into design issues, guiding decision-making and enhancing the user experience.

Hicks Law

States that decision-making time increases logarithmically with the number of choices, emphasizing the need for simplified options.

Hierarchy

Organizing content or functionality in a visually prioritized manner to guide users' attention.

High Fidelity Prototyping

Detailed and realistic prototypes that resemble the final product, used for advanced testing and validation in later design stages. Realistic and refined, useful for gathering feedback.

Hindsight Bias

Hindsight bias is the tendency to perceive past events as having been predictable, even when they were not.

Horizontal Prototype

A horizontal prototype is a preliminary model showcasing multiple features across a product, emphasizing breadth over depth, used for early feedback and risk assessment in development.

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Market Research

Involves gathering and analyzing data to gain insights about target markets, customers, and competitors, guiding business decision-making

Mega Menu

A mega menu is an expansive, multi-level dropdown navigation system on websites, displaying numerous categories and content options for easier navigation and exploration.

Mental Models

Cognitive frameworks individuals use to interpret information, make predictions, and navigate the world around them.

Metadata

Metadata in UX encompasses descriptive information about digital content, improving search, categorization, and content understanding for users, aiding in navigation, discoverability, and accessibility.

Method of Loci

The method of loci is a mnemonic technique where individuals associate the information they want to remember with specific locations in a mental spatial layout.

Microcopy

Concise, context-specific text used in user interfaces to guide, inform, and provide feedback to users.

Microinteractions

Small, subtle, and delightful interactions that provide feedback and enhance the user experience.

Miller’s Law

States that the average human working memory can hold around 7 (plus or minus 2) chunks of information, influencing information processing and UX design.

Mind Map

A visual diagram that organizes ideas and information around a central topic, showing relationships and connections.

Minium Viable Product (MVP)

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a basic version of a product with essential features, created quickly to validate its concept, gather user feedback, and minimize development risk.

Mobile Design

Creating user interfaces and experiences specifically for smartphones and tablets, considering small screens, touch interactions, and mobile-specific considerations.

Mock-up

A static visual representation of a digital product, showcasing its design and layout before development.

Moderated Testing

Moderated tests in UX involve one-on-one sessions where a facilitator guides participants through tasks, observes their interactions, and collects in-depth feedback, helping identify usability issues and improvements.

Moodboard

A visual collage that captures the desired mood, style, and aesthetic of a design project, providing inspiration and visual guidance for the design process.

Multichannel UX

Ensures a consistent and seamless user experience across various channels, enhancing user engagement and maintaining brand cohesion.

Multimodal Interaction

Involves using multiple input and output modalities, enhancing user experiences by allowing flexible and natural interactions with digital systems.

Multivariate test

Multivariate testing in UX assesses how different combinations of design elements impact user behavior, helping optimize webpages or interfaces for specific objectives through data-driven insights.

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Page Type

Refer to specific categories of pages within a digital product, each serving a distinct purpose and containing unique content or functionality to meet user needs.

Paid Search

Paid search in UX involves users finding websites through search engine results generated by paid advertising, emphasizing relevance, user intent, and landing page optimization.

Pain Points

Represent user frustrations and challenges encountered while using a product. Addressing them leads to improved user experience and satisfaction.

Paper Prototyping

Paper prototyping is a low-cost UX design method where hand-drawn or printed sketches of digital interfaces are used for usability testing and early design feedback.

Pareto Principle

Suggests that a smaller subset of factors or efforts often has a significant impact on the overall user experience, guiding prioritization and improvements.

Participatory design

Participatory design involves users and stakeholders collaborating with designers to co-create solutions, ensuring user needs and perspectives are central to the design process.

Persuasive Design

Use of psychological tactics and engaging experiences to influence user behavior and attitudes, aiming to drive desired actions or beliefs.

Picture Superiority Effect

The picture superiority effect is the phenomenon where people tend to remember information better when it is presented in a visual or pictorial format, as opposed to text.

Priming

Priming is a psychological phenomenon where exposure to one stimulus influences a person's response to a subsequent stimulus.

Progressive Disclosure

Gradually reveals information or functionality, simplifying complex systems and guiding users through tasks, reducing cognitive overload.

Protocol

A predefined plan that outlines the procedures and guidelines for conducting research studies in a systematic and consistent manner.

Prototyping

Creating interactive representations of a product or service to test and validate design concepts.

Proximity

Elements near each other are perceived as related, allowing designers to visually group and organize information effectively.

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Scannability

The ability for users to quickly and easily scan and comprehend content, enabling efficient information retrieval and navigation.

Scarcity

Scarcity is a psychological principle where the limited availability of a product or opportunity can increase its perceived value and desirability.

Scenario Map

Visually represents the user's journey, capturing their actions, emotions, and touchpoints to identify insights and improve the user experience.

Scent of Information

Visual and textual cues that guide users towards relevant content, enhancing their navigation experience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

the process of improving a website's visibility in search results to increase organic traffic and online presence.

Selective Attention

Selective attention is the cognitive process of focusing on specific information while ignoring other stimuli.

Self-Initiated Triggers

Self-initiated triggers are personal cues or prompts that individuals use to initiate specific actions or behaviors.

Semantic Map

a visual representation of the relationships between concepts, organizing information to aid comprehension, learning, and idea generation.

Semantic Sentiment

Semantic sentiment analysis is a nuanced approach to understanding emotions in text, considering context and language subtleties beyond simple positive/negative classification.

Sensory Appeal

Sensory appeal involves designing products or experiences to stimulate the senses, such as taste, touch, sight, smell, or sound, to enhance their overall appeal.

Serial Position Effect

The Serial Position Effect explains how the order of items in a list influences memory recall, vital for optimizing UX content and navigation.

Service Blueprint

A service blueprint is a visual tool used in service design to map the entire service process, showing customer interactions, internal processes, and touchpoints. It aids in service improvement.

Service Design

Designing the entire end-to-end experience of a service, considering all touchpoints and interactions.

Shaping

Shaping is a behavioral psychology technique where desired behaviors are gradually developed by reinforcing successive approximations to the target behavior.

Signifiers

Visual or auditory cues that guide users by indicating actions or functionality, enhancing usability and intuitiveness of interfaces and products.

Similarity

Visual or conceptual resemblance between elements, aiding organization, pattern recognition, and intuitive user experiences through consistent visual attributes.

Site Map

A visual or textual representation of a website's content structure and organization, showing the hierarchy of main categories, sub-categories, and their relationships.

Skeuomorphism

Designing user interfaces that mimic real-world objects or materials.

Social Proof

Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where people are influenced by the actions and opinions of others, often leading them to make similar choices or decisions.

Spacing Effect

The spacing effect in UX design promotes effective learning and knowledge retention by spacing out content delivery and review, enhancing long-term memory and user engagement.

Spark Effect

The spark effect is a psychological phenomenon where a single, exceptional event or idea can have a significant and lasting impact on a person's thinking or behavior.

Spotlight Effect

The spotlight effect is the tendency to believe that one is more noticeable or central in social situations than they actually are.

Static Design

refers to designs for a single screen size or device type, reducing the complexity of implementation.

Storyboard

Visual narratives that outline key scenes and actions, aiding in planning and communicating the flow and user experience of a project.

Storytelling

Using narrative elements and techniques to engage users and communicate information in a compelling way.

Summative methods

Summative methods assess a completed product or program's overall performance, effectiveness, and outcomes to determine if objectives and goals have been achieved.

Sunk Cost Fallacy

The sunk cost fallacy is the irrational tendency to continue investing in something, like a project or relationship, because of the resources already dedicated, even if it's not in one's best interest.

Survey Bias

Survey bias refers to the skewing of survey results due to the way questions are asked, the order of questions, or the sample population.

Surveys

A research method that collects data from a sample of individuals using a set of structured questions to gather information on a specific topic or issue.

Survivorship Bias

Survivorship bias occurs when only successful or surviving examples are considered, leading to skewed conclusions and decision-making.`

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UI Design

Involves creating visually appealing and functional interfaces for digital products through research, wireframing, visual design, interaction design, prototyping, testing, and collaboration with developers.

UI Elements

Enable user interaction, enhance usability, guide visual hierarchy, provide feedback, and contribute to a consistent and intuitive user experience.

Unit Bias

Unit bias is the tendency for individuals to consider a single portion or serving as the appropriate amount, leading to overconsumption.

Unmoderated Testing

Unmoderated testing in UX involves users independently interacting with a product or prototype, providing feedback without direct guidance. It's important for remote, unbiased insights into user experiences.

Usability

the measure of how easily and effectively users can interact with a product or system to achieve their goals.

Usability Test

Evaluating the usability of a product or service through testing with real users.

Usage Scenario

A narrative description of how users interact with a system to accomplish specific tasks or goals.

Use Case

A description of interactions between users and a system to achieve specific goals, helping to capture requirements and guide software development.

User Experience

The overall experience a user has when interacting with a product or service.

User Experience (UX) Design

Creates digital products or services with a user-centered approach to deliver positive experiences, improve satisfaction, and drive business success through research, design, testing, and iteration.

User Flow

The sequence of steps or interactions that a user goes through while interacting with a product or service.

User Interface (UI)

The visual and interactive elements of a system that users interact with to perform tasks and access information.

User Patterns

Recurring behaviors observed in user interactions that help inform design decisions, optimize user experience, and enable personalization.

User Personas

Representations of target users that help in understanding their characteristics, needs, and behaviors.

User Research

The process of understanding users' needs, behaviors, and preferences.

User Stories

Concise descriptions of user needs, written from the user's perspective, to guide development efforts and prioritize features.

User-Centered Design

Designing products or services based on the needs, goals, and preferences of users.

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