Hello dear reader. No matter if you’ve ever had experience with the design buddies or it’s a new experience for you, we’re here at your service to simplify your design-related path and make sure we’re on the same page with understanding all those design terms and notions that might come on your way or during the collaboration with us as an agency.
Just a little bit of lyrics. Here we truly believe that everything starts with a mutual understanding. First and foremost, we try to gather information from you, structure it, ask questions, get answers and move forward to do some awesome product in close collaboration. The key thing is that we deal with different clients from various fields and we do not expect everyone to have design background, that’s why at the very beginning of any project we try to make sure we’re on the same page by setting a common ground, explaining the processes and guiding through the specific design language and terms that will be used.
This article is aimed at shedding a bit more light on the glossary of design terms that can be used in design field and might come in handy for you while dealing with freelance designers or design studios like ours.
The basics — UX and UI. Who’s who?
When it goes about digital products that we’re designing and developing with the team, such as websites or web/mobile applications, UX is a term that includes all the possible stages of user engagement. There are certain fundamental basics for a good UX such as hierarchy, consistency, usability, speed of work, simplicity etc. But still many people mix it with UI where the visual appearance matters. A good UX is formed preserving all the needs of the user during the project implementation, however, always taking into account all the abovementioned principles. Proper and well-thought UX helps retaining the users and it should never be neglected.
To cut a long story short, the UI (or user interface) is anything a user may interact with to make use of any digital service or product. UI is a physical representation of UX with a high focus on looks or style. UI embodies colors, styles of lines, shapes, boxes and many other elements. It’s mostly concerned with the surface and overall feel of a design, while user experience (UX) covers the whole spectrum of the user engagement with the product or service.
Good job if you’ve read till this moment. Let’s dive deeper
A wireframe is a general structure of a designed product, either a website, web app or a mobile app. The purpose of the wireframe is to set a clear and consequent structure of the page layout, show key functions and elements on the basis of user’s needs which the product is going to cover. The wireframe can be of various levels of fidelity: from lower to higher. Here at Outcrowd we take the approach to wireframing depending on the background information about the project provided by the client.
Such a few letters in a single word, but so much importance in it. The mockup is a detailed static representation of the web design. In fact, it’s a finished design of a single page or a mobile screen. A good one shows the information structure, content and basic functionality in a static form. Apart from that, mockups make it easy to perceive the idea of the final product if compared with wireframes. A finished mockup along with the supplementary assets is passed to the developer for implementation.
Responsiveness of any design provides an optimal viewing experience across platforms and devices. The main goal pursued by responsive design is that the content and layout of a website should efficiently adapt to the sizes and technical abilities of any device it is opened on and it should still look readable, easy to use, and the elements should all be on theirs places. Imagine a landing page designed and developed back in 1995 opened on your brand new iPhone 11. We’re sure you’ll get tired of scrolling the page all over to see the whole content.
Here’s a good example of responsive landing page made by Balkan Brothers:
There are a few words to describe this notion: animation, motion graphics, motion design. It all is now becoming integrated into all forms of content: from a logo incorporated on the mobile app splash screen to the explainer video that you can see when you first land on some product landing page. The motion design helps to empower web design and boost effective visual communications.
When you properly incorporate motion design on the website, you can make some pieces of information or characters even more compelling, or you can turn good content into great, like we did on the landing page below:
The term that’s becoming more and more popular in the era of startups. MVP (or so called minimum viable product). Imagine MVP as a slice of watermelon. You can cut this slice into several pieces and share with your friends and gather their opinion on it. If it’s good, then you can be sure that the rest you can share with more people. The same is with digital products. Primarily, you release a product with some key functionality just to understand it’s worth it and then, if the launch was a success, develop the variety of additional features originally conceived by the team. That is how the MVP definition could be simply explained in our language.
Thank you if you’re still on this article and reading this!
We know there are lots more of magnificent design terms you might want to know. These were just the basics we wanted to outline in this article in order to start building a foundation for our relationships with you or just enlighten everyone who might be interested in our design processes and the way we work at Outcrowd. If there are any specific terms you would like to be explained by us, don’t hesitate to share in the comments or even reach out to us directly via any convenient way! We’re always open for suggestions and small talks.