The ultimate product and UX glossary

237 terms from the world of design, product, and UX/UI every professional needs to know.

A
A/B testing

A method of comparing two versions of a product to see which one performs better. It can be used for products, websites, ads, and so forth. It's a great way of testing different versions of a product or interface and see which one customers prefer. Read more about UX research methods here.

Acceptance criteria

In product development, acceptance criteria are the standards a product must meet to be accepted by the customer. These criteria are usually set by the client. By using acceptance criteria, product teams can be sure that they are building a product that will satisfy customer needs.

Accessibility

Refers to the practice of developing products that can be used by as many people as possible. It's an essential consideration in product development as it ensures that everyone can comfortably use the product, regardless of their abilities. Accessibility options include features such as text-to-speech and closed captions.

Adaptive

Refers to a product or service's ability to adapt to the needs of the user. This is an important consideration in product development as it ensures that people of all abilities can use the product. Adaptive features can include adjustable font sizes and color schemes.

Adobe XD

Refers to a product or service's ability to adapt to the needs of the user. This is an important consideration in product development as it ensures that people of all abilities can use the product. Adaptive features can include adjustable font sizes and color schemes.

Affinity mapping

Tool used by product teams to understand the relationships between concepts. It is a visual representation of how ideas are related to each other and can be used to identify patterns and trends. Affinity mapping is a valuable tool for brainstorming and ideation, as it can help teams to generate new ideas and solutions by seeing the connections between different ideas.

Affordance

The spectrum of actions a person can perform with an object based on their capabilities. For example, a doorknob is an affordance that allows us to open a door. Affordances are important for product design, as they help to create products that are easy to use and understand. By using affordances, designers can create products that have a manageable learning curve and require minimal user input.

Agile epic

A large, complex task that is broken down into smaller tasks (user stories) that can be completed more quickly and with less risk. Agile epics usually represent the biggest or most important features of a product.

Agile product development

A software development methodology that focuses on delivering working software quickly and efficiently. An agile product development approach is iterative, meaning that teams can break projects down into small pieces so they can be completed more rapidly and with less risk.

Agile release train

A group of agile development teams that work together on a common product. Release trains are typically composed of four to twelve teams, each of which is responsible for developing a specific part of the product. The benefit of working in an agile release train is that teams can share resources and knowledge, which helps to speed up the overall development process.

Agile theme

A high-level goal that a product development team wants to achieve during an agile sprint or release. Themes are typically used to organize and prioritize work, and they help ensure that all the teams working on a product are aligned with the overall goals of the project.

Agile UX

A user experience design methodology that emphasizes collaboration, iteration and customer feedback. Agile UX designers work closely with agile development teams to ensure that the user experience of a product is continuously refined and improved. It vastly increases the chances of delivering a product that meets the needs and expectations of customers.

Alpha testing

A type of software testing typically conducted by internal staff. Alpha testing is used to assess the stability of a software product and to identify any potential bugs or usability issues. This type of testing is usually conducted prior to release.

Animation design

The process of creating animated graphics for use in media such as film, television, and video games. Animation designers typically use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create their animations. In product development, animation design can be used to create prototypes or mockups of products.

Application programming interface (API)

An application programming interface (API) is a set of rules and protocols that allow software programs to interact with each other. APIs are used to access web-based services and data. In product development, apis can be used to allow different applications to share data and functionality. An example of an API would be the Facebook API, which allows developers to access data from the social networking site.

B
Beta testing

A type of testing that is conducted to get feedback about a product from real users before it is released to the general public. Beta testing is commonly used to identify bugs and usability issues. In product development, beta testing is often used to gather user feedback about new features or products. Read more on gathering user feedback in our guide to UX Research methods and when to use them

Brainstorming

A technique that is used to generate ideas or solve problems. Brainstorming can be done individually or in groups. In product development, brainstorming is often used to generate new ideas for products or features. Brainstorming sessions can be used to identify user needs, come up with new solutions to problems, or generate ideas for new features.

Brand identity

The combination of a company's name, logo, and other visual elements used to identify the company. Brand identity is important for product companies because it helps customers to remember and recognize the company's products. For example, Apple's brand identity includes its iconic logo and the use of white space in its product design. Creating a strong brand identity can help an organization stand out from its competitors and build customer loyalty.

Branding

The process of creating a name, logo, and other visual elements that are used to identify a company. Branding is important for product companies because it helps customers to remember and recognize the company's products. For example, Nike's brand identity includes its "swoosh" logo and the use of black in its product design.

Breadcrumb

A small piece of text that appears at the top of a webpage that shows the user's location on the site. Breadcrumbs are often used to help users navigate websites. In product development, breadcrumbs can be used to facilitate navigation and make interfaces more intuitive.

Bug

A problem or error in a software program. Bugs can cause the program to crash or produce unexpected results. In product development, bugs are often found during testing and are fixed before the product is released.

Burndown chart

A graphical representation of a project's progress. The chart shows the amount of work remaining to be done and the rate at which the work is completed. Burndown charts are used to track the progress of product development projects and identify potential problems. For example, if the rate of work completion is slower than the rate of work remaining, the project is behind schedule.

Business intelligence (BI)

A term that refers to the data and information that businesses use to make decisions. BI can be used to improve decision-making in all areas of business, from marketing to product development. Examples of BI tools include data warehouses, data mining and business analytics, all of which can be used to collect and analyze data. Read more on making the right decisions in our guide to product prioritization.

C
Call to action (CTA)

A statement or button that encourages people to take the desired action. CTAs are often used in marketing and advertising to encourage people to buy a product or sign up for a service. CTAs can also used in product design, where they are used to encourage people to use a feature or complete a task.

Card sorting

A research method that allows organizing information into categories. It is often used in product design to help create navigation systems and information architecture. Card sorting can be done with physical cards or software. The benefit of card sorting is that it helps to understand how people think about and organize information. Read more on this UX research method and other ones in our guide to UX Research methods.

Case study

A detailed description of a real-world user experience. Case studies are often used in product design to help teams understand how people use products and to identify areas for improvement. By using the data and insights from a case study, teams can make informed decisions about their product designs.

Chatbot

A computer program that simulates human conversation. Chatbots are often used in customer service to help answer questions and resolve issues. Most chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence, which allows them to understand natural language. This, in turn, allows them to carry out conversations with people in a more natural way by mimicking human conversation patterns.

Checkbox

In product development, a checkbox is an input field that allows users to select options. Checkboxes are often used in forms, surveys, and menus. It can also refer to the physical checkbox itself or the action of selecting a checkbox.

Continuous delivery

A software development practice in which code changes are automatically built, tested and deployed to production. This allows for rapid feedback and faster iteration. The benefit of continuous delivery is that it reduces the risk of human error and allows for a more seamless development process.

Churn

A term used to describe when people stop using a product or service. Churn can be caused by many factors, such as a change in needs, competitors' offerings, or simply because the product is no longer useful.

Clickstream

The path a user takes while navigating a website or using a product. Clickstream data can be used to understand how users interact with a product and where they drop off. Different clickstreams can be uncovered with Customer Journey Mapping (CJM), read more about this in our Complete Guide to Customer Journey Mapping and learn how to make and use user journeys.

Clickstream analysis

The process of analyzing clickstream data to understand how users interact with a product. This analysis can be used to improve the user experience or to identify areas of the product that need improvement. Read more on analyzing the user experience in our Ultimate Guide to UX Research.

Cognitive load

The mental effort required to process information. When the cognitive load is too high, users may have difficulty understanding or using a product. By reducing cognitive load, developers can make products more intuitive.

Competitive analysis

The process of comparing a product to its competitors to understand its strengths and weaknesses. This analysis can be used to improve the product or to position it against its competitors and how it can be improved. It can also be used to prioritize and decide what to build next

Concept review

A meeting in which a product team reviews the proposed solution for a problem with stakeholders. This review is used to get feedback on the proposed solution and to make sure that all stakeholders are on board with the plan. By implementing a concept review early on in the product development process, teams can avoid costly mistakes and rework down the road.

Consistency design

The practice of ensuring that a product's user interface elements are consistent with each other. This includes things like making sure buttons have the same style and size or that links open in the same way. This meshes with the concept of branding, as a consistent design will help create a cohesive and recognizable brand identity.

Contextual inquiry

A research method used to understand user needs by observing them in their natural environment. Contextual Inquiry is used to inform the design of products and services. Read more on this UX research method and other ones in our guide to UX Research methods.

Continuous development

A software development practice in which code changes are automatically deployed to production, making new features and fixes available to users as soon as they are ready. The benefit of this practice is that it reduces the risk of introducing new features and fixes because they are deployed incrementally rather than all at once.

Continuous integration

A software development practice in which code changes are automatically built and tested on a regular basis. This allows for early detection of errors and makes it easier to track the impact of changes, which makes it easier to roll back changes if necessary.

Conversion rate

The number of people who take the desired action, divided by the total number of people who see the offer. For example, if 100 people see an offer for a free ebook, and 10 of them sign up for it, then the conversion rate would be 10%. Conversion rates are often used to measure the effectiveness of a call to action, such as a button or link.

Cross-functional team

A team that includes members with different skills and expertise. This type of team is often used in product development, as it allows for faster decision-making and greater flexibility. This is because there is no need to wait for input from other departments or specialists, and team members can quickly pivot to another task if necessary.

Customer experience

The overall holistic impression that a customer has of a company, product, or service. It encompasses all interactions that a customer has with a brand, from pre-purchase research to post-purchase support. Customer experience represents a foundation for building customer loyalty and brand equity. Learn more on CX in our complete guide to CX.

Customer feedback

Information provided by customers that can be used to improve products, services, or the customer experience. It can be collected through surveys, interviews, focus groups, or other research methods. Mining customer feedback for insights can help businesses make better decisions about product development, marketing, and customer service. Read more on methods for gathering feedback in our guide to UX Research methods.

Customer journey mapping

A process of tracking and documenting the different steps that a customer takes when interacting with a company, product, or service. This includes everything from initial awareness to post-purchase support. Read more on customer journey mapping and why it's important in our complete guide to customer journey mapping.

Customer relationship management CRM

A process or strategy used to identify, attract, and retain customers. It typically involves using technology to track customer interactions and data in order to better understand their needs and how to meet them.

Customer retention

The process or strategy used to keep existing customers coming back to a company, product, or service. This can be done through various means such as discounts, rewards programs or simply providing excellent customer service.

Customer success

The measure of how well a company helps its customers achieve their desired outcomes with its products or services. This can be done through various means such as training, onboarding, support, and more.

D
Daily active users (DAU)

A metric that measures the number of unique users who interact with a company, product, or service on a daily basis. This metric is often used to gauge engagement and can be used to compare different products or services.

Dark UX

A term used to describe design practices that may be helpful in the short-term but are ultimately harmful to users in the long run. These practices can include things such as persuasive techniques, tricking users into taking actions they don't want to or using dark patterns. Read more on UX design for the long-term in our complete guide to User-Centered Design.

Dependency management

The process of managing the relationships between software components. This can include things like deciding which versions of a component to use, resolving conflicts between different components, and managing the overall structure of the dependencies.

Design concept

An overall plan or idea for a product or service. This can include things like the overall look and feel, the target audience, the user experience, and the overall goal of the product or service. In many cases, the design concept is the first step in the product development process.

Design debt

The term used to describe the extra work that needs to be done to fix a product or service that was not originally designed well. This can include things like redesigning a user interface, fixing bugs, or adding new features. Design debt can often be a major source of frustration for product teams and it can be very difficult to repay.

Design deliverables

The end products of the design process, including things like wireframes, prototypes, and user flows. These are typically shared with stakeholders in order to get feedback and approval before moving on to the next stage of development.

Design patterns

Proven solutions to common design problems. They can be helpful for product teams when trying to solve similar problems in their own products. In product design, some common design patterns include the hamburger menu, the carousel and pagination.

Design sprint

A structured process that helps product teams solve problems and make decisions quickly. It typically involves a team of designers, developers, and stakeholders working together over the course of five days to identify a problem, prioritize, come up with potential solutions and create a prototype to test with users.

Design system

A collection of reusable components and guidelines for product teams to use when building digital products. A well-designed system can help teams work more efficiently and create consistent, high-quality user experiences.

Design thinking

A problem-solving approach that emphasizes empathizing with users, defining problems, and experimenting with solutions. It can be helpful for product teams when they need to solve complex problems.

Design thinking workshop‍

A facilitated session in which participants use design thinking principles to solve a problem. Design thinking workshops can be helpful for product teams when they need to solve complex problems.

Development sprint

A time-boxed period of time in which developers work on a specific task or set of tasks. Development sprints are typically used in agile software development processes.

Diary study

A research method in which participants keep a record of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors over time. Diary studies can be used to understand how people use products and to identify potential areas for improvement. A Diary Study is one of many UX research methods.

Digital transformation

The process of using technology to create new or improved business processes, products, or services. Digital transformation can be used to improve customer experience, operational efficiency, and organizational effectiveness.

Disruptive innovation‍

A type of innovation that creates new markets or value networks and eventually disrupts established ones. Disruptive innovations are typically characterized by being simpler, more accessible, and more convenient than existing solutions.

Divergent thinking

A type of thinking that allows for the generation of new ideas or solutions that are different from the existing norm. Divergent thinking is often used in creative problem-solving and can be useful in coming up with innovative solutions.

E
Empathy map

A tool used to help product teams better understand their users. Empathy maps help teams to understand user needs, motivations, and pains. In product design, empathy maps are used to generate user personas which can help teams design products that better meet user needs. It's usually combined with other UX research methods.

End user

The person who will be using a product or service. In product development, it is important to keep the end user in mind when designing and developing products and creating customer experiences. An end user may also be referred to as a customer or client.

Ethical design

The practice of designing products and services that have a positive impact on the wellbeing of people and the planet. Ethical design takes into account the social and environmental impacts of a product or service throughout its lifecycle, from production to disposal.

Eye tracking

A method of measuring where someone is looking. It can be used to understand how people interact with products and services, and to design more user-centered designs.

F
Feature-driven development (FDD)

A software development methodology that emphasizes the delivery of small, tangible, and customer-valued features. This approach can help product teams move quickly and efficiently while still delivering value to the end user.

Feature

A discrete unit of functionality that adds value to a product or service. Features can be small or large, simple or complex, but they should always be well-defined, prioritized, and testable.

Feature audit

A comprehensive review of all the features in a product or service, typically conducted by an outside party. The goal of a feature audit is to assess the value of each feature and make recommendations for improvements.

Feature score

A metric that measures the relative value of a feature. Feature scores are typically used in conjunction with an overall product score to help prioritize which features should be worked on first.

Fidelity prototype

A prototype that closely resembles the final product. Fidelity prototypes are typically used to test usability and user experience in order to make sure the product is easy to use and provides a good user experience.

Fidelity wireframe

A wireframe that includes all of the elements that will be included in the final product. Fidelity wireframes are typically used to test usability and user experience in order to make sure the product is easy to use and provides a good user experience.

Figma

A vector-based design tool that is used to create user interfaces, illustrations, and icons. Figma is most commonly used by designers and front-end developers to create high-fidelity prototypes.

Flat design

A style of design that emphasizes simplicity and minimalism. Flat design is often used in user interfaces because it is easy to use and understand. The use of flat design has increased in recent years as more designers and front-end developers have embraced the style

Floating action button (FAB)

A type of button that is used in user interfaces. FABs are typically used to perform an action that is primary to the user interface. For example, a FAB might be used to add a new item to a list or to send a message.

Flowchart

A type of diagram that is used to visualize a process or workflow. Flowcharts are often used in business and engineering to document, analyze, and communicate complex system.

Focus group

A type of research methodology used to gather feedback from a small group of people (usually 6-10) about a particular product or service. Focus groups are commonly used in the early stages of product development to gather insights about customer needs and preferences. Usually it's part of a bigger research project combining multiple UX research methods.

Form design

The process of creating forms that can be used to collect data from users. Form design generally includes both the graphical design of the form itself and the logic behind how the form works.

Full stack

A term used to describe a software engineer who is proficient in all layers of an application. A full stack engineer is typically able to design, develop, and deploy an application from start to finish.

Full stack designer

A term used to describe a designer who is proficient in all aspects of design, from user experience and interaction to visual and graphical design.

G
Gantt chart

A project management tool that is used to visualize the timeline of a project. The Gantt chart typically shows the start and end date of each task in the project, as well as the dependencies between tasks. It's also used for product prioritization.

Gestalt principles

A set of guidelines that designers can use to create more visually appealing and effective designs. The gestalt principles include such things as proximity, similarity, and closure that help to create a more unified and organized design.

GOOB: Get out of the building

A phrase that is often used in product development. The idea is that you should not spend all your time in the office working on the product, but rather you should go out and talk to potential customers to get feedback and learn about their needs.

Go-to-market strategy

A plan for how a company will sell its product or service. The go-to-market strategy includes such things as target market, pricing, and distribution.

Graphical user interface (GUI)

A type of user interface that uses images and icons to represent actions and options. The most common type of graphical user interface is the desktop environment found on personal computers.

Graphics interchange format (GIF)

A type of image file that supports animation. GIF files are often used to create simple animations for websites.

Grid

A layout used to organize content on a page. Grids can be used for both web and print design. Using grids helps to create a consistent and organized look for your content.

Grid system

A series of vertical and horizontal lines that are used to create a structure for content on a page. Grid systems are often used in web and print design.

H
Hamburger button

A commonly used term for the menu icon that is often used in responsive design. The hamburger button is three horizontal lines that open up into a drop-down menu when clicked. The name comes from the fact that the icon resembles a hamburger.

Hardware product

A physical product that you can touch and hold. Examples of hardware products include phones, laptops, and tablets.

Heat map

A graphical representation of data where the individual values contained in a matrix are represented as colors. Heat maps are often used to visualize data sets that have many different values. It's also used in UX research to visualize the most used parts in an interface.

Heuristic evaluation

A usability assessment method in which a small group of experts evaluates a product by using a set of predefined criteria. Heuristic evaluations are often used to identify usability problems early on in the development process.

Heuristics

A set of guidelines or best practices that can be used to solve problems or make decisions. Heuristics are often used in the design of products, as they can provide a quick and easy way to test different solutions.

Hick’s law

Also known as the diffusion of innovation, is a theory that states that the more choices a person has, the longer it will take them to make a decision. This theory can be applied to product design, as offering too many choices can lead to user confusion and frustration leading to bad customer experiences.

Human computer interaction (HCI)

The study of how people interact with computers and other technology. This field is important for product design, as a good understanding of human behavior can help to create user-centered products that are easy to use and enjoyable.

Hybrid app

A type of mobile application that combines the best features of native and web-based apps. Hybrid apps are designed to run on both ios and Android devices, and can be created using HTML, CSS, and javascript.

Hypertext markup language (HTML)

The standard code used to create web pages. HTML includes a set of tags that define the structure and content of a web page. HTML is used to create both static and dynamic web pages.

I
Idea management

The process of capturing, organizing, and evaluating ideas. Ideas can be generated from anywhere in an organization, and idea management systems are used to track, prioritize, and evaluate ideas.

Inclusive design

The practice of designing products and services that are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities. Inclusive design takes into account the needs of people with disabilities, but also includes people with different levels of ability, language skills, and cultural backgrounds. Comparable to user-centered design, it's about designing with the user in mind.

Incremental product

A product that is released in small, regular increments. Incremental products are often used in agile development, as they allow for frequent feedback, prioritization, and iteration.

Information architecture

The practice of organizing information in a way that makes it easy to find and understand. Information architects often create site maps, taxonomies, and navigation systems.

Integration driven development

A software development methodology that emphasizes the need for early and frequent integration of code changes. Integration driven development is often used in agile development, as it helps to ensure that changes are properly integrated and do not cause problems later on.

Interaction design

The practice of designing the way users interact with a system. Interaction designers often create user interfaces, navigation systems, and other elements that help users to interact with a system in a user-centered way.

Interaction design (IDX)

A process for designing the way users interact with a system. Interaction designers often create user interfaces, navigation systems, and other elements that help users to interact with a system.

Interactive prototype

A working model of a product that allows users to interact with it and provide feedback. Interactive prototypes can help designers to test ideas and gather user feedback early in the design process. It's usually one of the first steps in UX research for new product designs.

Intuitive design

A type of design that focuses on making products easy to use without the need for explicit instructions. Intuitive design is based on the principle that users should be able to figure out how to use a product simply by using their natural intuition and understanding of the world around them. It's part of user-centered design thinking.

Invision studio

A powerful screen design tool that enables designers to create high-fidelity prototypes of their product designs. Invision Studio offers a wide range of features and plugins to help designers streamline their workflow and create beautiful, interactive prototypes.

Iteration

A period of time in which a team works on a specific set of tasks in order to complete a product or feature. Iterations are typically one week or two weeks long, and each iteration has a specific goal that the team strives to achieve.

Iterative design

A process in which a product or feature is designed, developed, and tested in multiple cycles. This type of design helps to ensure that the final product is able to meet the needs of the user.

J
Javascript

A programming language that is commonly used to create interactive web applications. The benefit of using javascript is that it can run on many different platforms, including servers, desktops, and mobile devices.

Jobs to be done (JTBD)

A product development framework that helps teams focus on the needs of the user and prioritize the right features. This framework can be used to create products that are more user-centric and that solve real problems. JTBD has been used by companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook to create successful products.

K
Kaizen

A Japanese word that means "improvement." Kaizen is a philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement. This philosophy can be applied to many areas of life, including business, manufacturing, and personal development.

Kanban

A Japanese word that means "signboard" or "billboard." Kanban is a lean manufacturing system that was developed by Toyota. The Kanban system is designed to help businesses improve their efficiency and flow.

Kanban board

A visual tool that helps teams track and manage their work. Kanban boards are commonly used in agile software development to help teams visually track their progress and work.

Key performance indicator (KPI)

A metric that is used to track and measure the success of a company, team, or individual. KPIs are often used to help businesses make prioritized decisions about where to allocate resources. KPIs can be financial, operational, or customer-based.

Kano model

A tool that helps businesses understand customer satisfaction. The model is based on the idea that there are three levels of customer satisfaction: basic, expected, and delighted. The kano model is one of many prioritization frameworks that can help businesses identify which features of their product or service are most important to customers.

Kick off meeting

A meeting held at the start of a project to help team members get on the same page. The meeting is typically used to review the project scope, objectives, timeline, and deliverables.

L
Lean product development

A methodology that emphasizes speed, collaboration, and customer feedback. The goal of lean product development is to create products that are valuable to customers and can be built quickly and efficiently.

Lean UX

Lean UX is a methodology that emphasizes collaboration, customer feedback, and speed. The goal of lean UX is to create products that are valuable to customers and can be built quickly and efficiently.

Lifetime value

The total value a customer brings to a business over the course of their relationship with the company and is a key metric for product teams. Lifetime value can be used to assess the health of a product and make decisions about where to invest future resources.

Lightning decision jam

A workshop format created by Google Ventures that helps product teams make quick, informed decisions. LDJs are based on the principle that most decisions can be made in under an hour with the right information and structure.

M
Market requirements document (MRD)

A document that outlines the necessary features and functionality of a product or service in order to meet the needs of a particular market. MRDs are created by product teams in order to guide development and ensure that products meet the needs of their target markets and discover the Voice of the Customer (VoC).

Material design

A set of guidelines for creating user interfaces that are consistent, intuitive, and responsive. Material design was created by Google in 2014 and has since been adopted by many other companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple.

Mental model

A simplified representation of how something works. Mental models are used to help us understand and predict the behavior of complex systems.

Microcopy

The small bits of text that appear in user interfaces, such as error messages, labels, and help text. Microcopy should be clear and concise, and it should help users achieve their goals. As user interfaces become more complex, microcopy becomes more important to maintain good customer experiences.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

A product with the minimum set of features required to solve the problem it is meant to solve. The goal of an MVP is to get feedback from users as early as possible, so that the product can be iterated and improved based on that feedback.

Mobile web

The version of the web that is designed to be viewed on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The mobile web is different from the regular web in many ways, including its design, user experience, and performance.

Mockup

A static, high-fidelity representation of a design. Mockups are used to give an idea of what a product will look like and how it will work, without having to actually build the product.

Modal

A type of dialog box that requires the user to take an action before they can continue using the interface. Modals are often used for things like confirmation boxes or special offers because they can't be ignored.

Monthly recurring revenue (MMR)

The portion of a subscription company's revenue that is recurring and predictable. MMR is a key metric for subscription businesses because it indicates the health of the business and its ability to grow.

N
Navigation

The process of moving around an interface. Common navigation elements include menus, breadcrumbs, and buttons. Good navigation makes it easy for users to find what they're looking for and take the actions they need to, resulting in a good customer experience.

Needfinding

The process of uncovering user needs through research. It's an important step in the design process because it helps you understand what users want and need from your product. These needs are part of the Voice of the Customer (VoC).

Net promoter score (NPS)

A metric that measures customer satisfaction. It's calculated by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your product to others on a scale of 0-10. NPS can be a useful way to track customer experience and satisfaction over time.

O
Onboarding

The process of helping new users get started with your product. It's important to make onboarding easy and intuitive, so that users can quickly learn how to use your product and get the most out of it for optimal customer experience.

Objectives and key results (OKRs)

A framework for setting goals and measuring progress. They are typically used by organizations in which strategic planning and prioritization is important, such as businesses and nonprofits.

Opportunity score

A metric used to measure the likelihood that a sales lead will convert into a paying customer. Opportunity scores are typically assigned on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most likely to convert.

P
Pain points

The areas of your product or service that cause frustration or inconvenience for your users. Identifying and addressing pain points is an important part of user experience (UX) design. Our ultimate guide on UX research offers more info on how to perform UX research to gain real insights into your users and their needs.

Paper prototyping

A low-fidelity method of prototyping in which designers create rough sketches of their product or service. Paper prototypes are one of many UX research methods that can be used to test user flow or to get feedback on overall design concepts.

Paradox of specificity

A cognitive bias that leads people to believe that more specific information is always better than less specific information. In reality, however, too much specificity can be just as bad as too little.

Picker designs

User interface (UI) elements that allow users to select an option from a list of options. Pickers can be used for things like choosing a date or time, selecting a location on a map, or picking an item from a drop-down menu.

Pivot

A change in strategy that is designed to improve a company's chances of success. A pivot can involve anything from changing the target market for a product to completely overhauling the business model.

Pixel

The smallest unit of a digital image. Pixels are usually arranged in a rectangular grid, and each pixel has a specific location and color. Pixels are used to create digital images, as well as to store and display them.

Prioritization

The process of determining which tasks or goals are more important than others. Prioritization can be used to allocate limited resources, such as time or money, to the most important tasks or goals. Read everything about prioritizing and different frameworks in our Product Prioritization guide: a roadmap for effective product development.

Problem statement

A short description of a problem or issue. A problem statement should be clear and concise, and should identify the specific issue that needs to be addressed.

Process workflows

The steps that need to be followed in order to complete a task or process. Workflows can be simple or complex, and can be represented using diagrams or other visual aids.

Product analytics

The process of collecting, analyzing, and using data to understand how a product is being used and how it can be improved. Product analytics can be used to improve product design, user experience, and marketing efforts.

Product backlog

A list of all the features, tasks, and bug fixes that need to be implemented in order to complete a project. The product backlog is typically maintained by the product owner or project manager. Usually, there is a prioritization framework in place to determine the most important tickets.

Product development

The process of designing, creating, and launching a new product or service. Product development involves research, market analysis, product design, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing.

Product discovery

The process of identifying and validating customer needs and problems. Product discovery involves customer research, market analysis, and competitor analysis.

Product ecosystem

A collection of products and services that work together to complete a task or achieve a goal. A product ecosystem may include hardware, software, services, and data.

Product goal

A measurable objective that a product team strives to achieve. Product goals are typically aligned with business goals and may include targets for revenue, market share, customer satisfaction, and more.

Product ideation

The process of generating, developing, prioritizing and evaluating ideas for new products or services. Ideation typically involves brainstorming sessions with stakeholders, customers, and employees.

Product led growth (PLG)

A strategy in which a company’s primary growth driver is its product. PLG companies typically have strong product-market fit and focus on acquiring and retaining customers through their product.

Product life cycle

The stages a product goes through from ideation to retirement. The typical product lifecycle includes stages such as research and development, launch, growth, maturity, and decline.

Product management

The process of bringing a new product to market. It includes all aspects of managing a product, from researching and developing the concept, to manufacturing and marketing the finished product.

Product manager

A professional who is responsible for the management of a product, from its inception to its eventual discontinuation. A product manager may be involved in all aspects of the product's life cycle, from research and development to marketing and sales.

Project management

The process of planning, executing, and monitoring a project to ensure its successful completion. It includes all aspects of managing a project, from defining the scope and objectives, to prioritizing and assigning tasks and resources, to tracking progress and ensuring quality control.

Product management

The process of bringing a new product to market. It includes all aspects of managing a product, from researching and developing the concept, to manufacturing and marketing the finished product.

Program manager

A professional who is responsible for the management of a program, from its inception to its eventual completion. A program manager may be involved in all aspects of the program's life cycle, from research and development to marketing and sales.

Product operations

The team responsible for the day-to-day management and execution of a product, from its inception to its eventual discontinuation. Product operations may be involved in all aspects of the product's life cycle, from research and development to marketing and sales.

Product owner

The individual responsible for maintaining the product backlog and ensuring that the product meets the needs of the customer. The product owner typically works with the development team to prioritize features and ensure that the product is being built according to the customer's specifications.

Product requirements document (PRD)

A formal document that describes the objectives and goals of a product. It also outlines the features and functions that the product must have in order to meet those objectives and goals. The PRD is used by the development team as a roadmap for building the product.

Product roadmap

A high-level, strategic document that outlines the goals and objectives of a product. It also details the timeline for developing and launching the product. The roadmap is used by the development team as a guide for building the product.

Product spec

A detailed document that describes the features and functions of a product. It is used by the development team as a guide for building the product.

Product sprint

A short, focused period of time (usually 2-4 weeks) during which the development team works on a specific set of features or functionality. Product sprints are used to iteratively build and launch a product.

Progressive enhancement

A methodology for building web applications that starts with a basic, functional core and adds additional features and functionality as the application grows. Used properly, progressive enhancement can result in a more robust and user-friendly application with the user in mind.

Proto personas

Fictional characters that represent a specific group of users. They are used to help the development team understand the needs and goals of their target audience. Used in conjunction with user stories, proto personas can help to ensure that the product meets the needs of its target users.

Prototype

A working model of an application or product. Prototypes are often used to test out new ideas or to get feedback from potential users. Prototyping can help to reduce the risk of developing a product that does not meet the needs of its customers.

Q
Qualitative user research

A type of user research that focuses on the users' experiences and emotions. It is used to understand how users feel about a product or service. Qualitative user research can be conducted through interviews, focus groups, or surveys.

Quantitative user research

A type of user research that focuses on the users' behaviors and preferences. It is used to understand how users use a product or service. Quantitative user research can be conducted through interviews, focus groups, or surveys.

Quality assurance (QA)

The process of ensuring that a product or service meets the quality standards set by the company. Quality assurance includes testing, reviews, and inspections. Effective quality assurance can help to improve the customer experience and quality of a product or service.

R
Release plan

A document that outlines the schedule for releasing a new product or service. The release plan includes the timeline, milestones, priorities and tasks that need to be completed. Release plans help to ensure that a product or service is released on time and meets the quality standards set by the company.

Research plan

A document that outlines the goals, methodology, and timeline for a research project. Research plans help to ensure that research projects are conducted effectively and that the results are used to improve the quality of products or services.

Research report

A document that summarizes the findings of a research project. Research reports are used to communicate the results of research projects to stakeholders and to make decisions about future research directions.

Responsive design

An approach to web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and screen sizes. Responsive design is important because it helps to ensure that users have a good experience regardless of the device they are using.

Retrospective

A meeting that is held at the end of a project or sprint in order to review what went well and what could be improved. Retrospectives are an important part of the agile process because they help to ensure that lessons are learned and that improvements are made.

S
Software as a Service (SAAS)

A software delivery model in which software is provided on a subscription basis. SAAS is a popular model for cloud-based applications as it allows users to pay for only what they use.

Scalable vector graphics (SVG)

Vector images that can be scaled to any size without losing quality. SVGs are often used for logos and icons as they can be resized without losing detail.

Scrum

A type of agile methodology that is often used in software development. Scrum is based on the idea of sprints, or time-boxed periods of time during which a team works on a specific set of tasks. Scrum teams typically have a scrum master, who is responsible for keeping the team on track and ensuring that sprints are completed on time.

Scrum master

The team member responsible for ensuring that the scrum process is followed. The scrum master also acts as a coach and facilitator, helping the team to resolve issues and improve their process.

Sitemap

A list of all the pages on a website. Sitemaps are used by search engines to crawl websites and index their content. An effective sitemap helps search engines to find and index all the pages on a website, which can improve the website's search ranking.

Sprint

A time-boxed period of time during which a team works on a specific set of tasks. Sprints are typically one or two weeks long, and they are used to complete a specific goal or deliverable.

Sketch

A quick, hand-drawn drawing or diagram. Sketches are often used to brainstorm ideas or plan out a design. Sketches are usually rough and unfinished, but they can be helpful in communicating ideas.

Stage gate

A process that is used to approve or reject a project at each stage of development. Stage gates are typically used in large organizations to ensure that projects are on track and meet certain standards before they move on to the next stage.

Stakeholder

An individual or organization with a vested interest in the success or failure of a project. Stakeholders can be internal (e.g., employees) or external (e.g., investors). They can also be primary (e.g., the project sponsor) or secondary (e.g., those who will be affected by the project).

Stakeholder interviews

A type of qualitative research in which stakeholders are interviewed about their views on a particular topic. The purpose of stakeholder interviews is to gather rich, detailed data that can be used to improve decision making.

Storyboards

Graphical representations of a user's journey through a product or service. They are typically used in the design process to help teams visualize how a user will interact with a product.

Story points

A unit of measure used to estimate the effort required to implement a user story. One story point is typically equal to one day of work and is used to estimate the size of a user story. Knowing the story helps with prioritization based on the Impact Confidence Effort (ICE) matrix.

Storyboards

A graphical representation of a user's journey through a product or service. They are typically used in the design process to help teams visualize how a user will interact with a product.

Style guide

A document that outlines the conventions to be used when designing and developing a product. It includes things like the tone of voice to be used, the typography to be used, and the color palette. Style guides are typically created by product teams to ensure that all products they create have a consistent look and feel for optimal customer experience.

Surveys

A type of user research that involves asking questions to a group of users in order to gather data about their needs, wants, and opinions. Surveys can be administered in person, via email, or through online survey tools.

Switch or toggle

A type of user interface element that allows the user to change between two states, such as on/off, true/false, etc.

SWOT analysis

A method of strategic planning that involves identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an organization or project. Using SWOT analysis can help product teams to assess a situation, make decisions, and develop strategies. It's one of many prioritization frameworks.

Systems thinking

A way of looking at problems that considers the relationships between different elements in order to understand how they interact with each other. It is often used in product design to help create solutions that are more effective and efficient.

T
Task analysis

A technique that can be used to understand the steps involved in completing a task. It is often used in product design to help simplify complex tasks and make them more user-friendly. It's also valuable when prioritizing with the Impact Confidence Effort (ICE) framework.

Technical debt

The amount of time and effort that is required to fix or improve a piece of software. It is often used as a metaphor to describe the trade-offs that are made when choosing between short-term gains and long-term benefits. Knowing the amount of technical debt is important when prioritizing new tasks and features.

Tree testing

A technique that can be used to evaluate the usability of a website or app. It involves presenting users with a series of tasks and measuring how successful they are at completing them. The terms "tree testing" and "usability testing" are often used interchangeably and is one of many UX research methods.

Typography

The art and technique of designing and arranging typefaces for use in publications. It includes the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading, tracking, kerning, and other aspects of typesetting.

U
UI element

A graphical or interactive component of a user interface. UI elements are often created using a toolkit, such as a widget toolkit, and then assembled into a UI.

UI elements

The graphical or interactive components of a user interface. UI elements are often created using a toolkit, such as a widget toolkit, and then assembled into a UI. Some examples of UI elements include buttons, checkboxes, text fields, and drop-down menus.

UI pattern

A recurring solution to a common design problem. UI patterns can be used to solve problems in user interface design, such as how to arrange elements on a page or how to provide navigation. Effective UI patterns are well-documented and widely recognized by designers.

Unit testing

A software testing method in which individual units of code are tested to ensure that they are functioning as expected. Unit tests are typically written by developers as they write the code for a new feature or bug fix. By conducting unit tests, developers can identify and fix errors early in the development process, before the code is merged into a shared codebase.

Usability

A measure of how easy it is for users to use a system, such as a website or software application. Usability can be assessed through techniques such as usability testing, in which users are asked to perform tasks using the system under test. The critical nature of usability means that it is often given special attention by designers and developers because it's so important for a good customer experience.

Usability test

A type of user testing in which users are asked to complete tasks using a system under test. Usability tests can be used to assess the ease of use of a website or software application. By observing users as they complete tasks, usability tests can help to identify areas where the user experience can be improved.

Usability testing

A type of user testing in which users are asked to complete tasks using a system under test. Usability tests can be used to assess the ease of use of a website or software application. By observing users as they use the system, designers can identify areas where the user experience can be improved.

Use case

A description of how a user might interact with a system to accomplish a task. Use cases can be used to describe the functionality of a system, as well as to identify potential user needs.

User-centered design

A process in which the user's needs and preferences are given priority when designing a system. User-centered design can help to create systems that are more usable and effective. By implementing user-centered design, product teams can create products that users will love. Read all about this in our Guide to User-Centered Design: Principles, Methods, and Processes.

User experience (UX)

The overall experience that a user has when using a system. User experience can be affected by factors such as usability, design, and emotional response. Effective user experience can improve the usability of a system and make it more enjoyable to use. Conversely, poor user experience can make a system difficult to use and may lead to users avoiding it altogether. Read our Ultimate Guide to UX Research to get to know more about how to perform UX research to gain real insights into your users and their needs.

User flow

The path that a user takes when using a system. User flow can be used to help identify potential areas of improvement in a system. The user flow can also be used to understand how users interact with a system and improve the customer experience (CX).

User flows

The paths that users take when using a system. User flows can be used to help identify potential areas of improvement in a system when conducting UX research. The user flows can also be used to understand how users interact with a system. Examples of user flows include:

  • Clicking on a link
  • Viewing a page
  • Completing a task
User interface design

The process of designing user interfaces for systems. User interface design can be used to improve the usability of a system. By improving the usability of a system, it can be easier for users to use the system and improve customer experience (CX). Ineffective user interface design can lead to user frustration and can even cause users to avoid using a system.

User interface (UI)

The part of a system that users interact with. The user interface can be used to improve the usability of a system. An effective user interface should be easy to use and should be able to provide users with the information they need. UI design is critical for the customer experience (cx) and success of any system.

User interview

A type of interview in which users are interviewed about their experiences with a system. User interviews can be used to understand how users interact with a system and to identify areas where a system can be improved. There are many different types of user interviews, but all share the common goal of understanding how users interact with a system. By conducting user interviews, product teams can gather valuable insights that can be used to improve the design of their products.

User journey

The path that a user takes as they interact with a system. User journeys can be used to understand how users interact with a system and to identify areas where a system can be improved. Read more about this in our Complete Guide to Customer Journey Mapping and learn how to make and use user journeys.

User persona

A fictional character that represents a user of a system. User personas can be used to understand how users interact with a system and to identify areas where a system can be improved. The way that a user persona is created can vary, but they are often based on research conducted with real users. These personas help designers to think about the needs of real users when designing a system and map their customer journeys.

User research

The process of understanding how users interact with a system. User research can be used to understand how users interact with a system and to identify areas where a system can be improved. Effective user research requires a deep understanding of users, their needs, and their goals which can be difficult to obtain. Read more on how to perform UX research to gain real insights into your users and their needs in our Ultimate Guide to UX Research.

User scenario

A description of how a user might interact with a system. User scenarios can be used to understand how users interact with a system and to identify areas where a system can be improved. By designing based on user scenarios, product teams can build products that users will love. Different user scenarios can be uncovered with Customer Journey Mapping (CJM), read more about this in our Complete Guide to Customer Journey Mapping and learn how to make and use user journeys.

User stories

Descriptions of how a user might interact with a system. User stories can be used to understand how users interact with a system and to identify areas where a system can be improved. By collecting user stories, product teams can generate a product backlog, which is a prioritized list of features that need to be implemented. Product teams often use user stories to capture requirements for a product and to track progress during development. Different user stories can be uncovered with Customer Journey Mapping (CJM), read more about this in our Complete Guide to Customer Journey Mapping and learn how to make and use user journeys.

User survey

A type of research that involves asking users questions about their experience with a product or service. User surveys can be used to understand how well a product or service meets the needs of its users and to identify areas where it can be improved.

User testing

A type of research that involves asking users to interact with a product or service and providing feedback about their experience. User testing can be used to understand how well a product or service meets the needs of its users and to identify areas where it can be improved. Examples of user testing methods include usability testing, focus group testing, and beta testing. Read more on UX Research methods and when to use them in our guide to UX Research Methods.

UX audit

A type of research that involves assessing the user experience of a product or service. UX audits can be used to identify areas where a product or service can be improved to better meet the needs of its users. Conducting a UX audit can be a helpful first step in improving the user experience of a product or service. Read more on how to perform UX research to gain real insights into your users and their needs in our Ultimate Guide to UX Research.

UX research

A type of research that focuses on understanding the needs, wants, and behaviors of users. UX research can be used to help design better products and services that meet the needs of users. By conducting UX research, companies can learn about the people who use their products and how to make them better. Read more on how to perform UX research to gain real insights into your users and their needs in our Ultimate Guide to UX Research.

UX design

The process of designing products and services that meet the needs of users. UX designers use a variety of methods, including research, to understand the needs of users and to design products and services that meet those needs. The benefit of UX design is that it can help create products and services that are more likely to be used and liked by users.

UX documentation

A type of documentation that helps UX designers and researchers document the process of designing products and services. UX documentation can help to improve the quality of products and services by providing a clear understanding of the design process. Examples of UX documentation include user flows, wireframes, and prototypes. UX repositories are an often overlooked tool in the design process. Read more on repositories and their value in our Guide to UX Research Repositories : Store, organize and manage your data.

UX strategy

The process of planning and executing a UX design project. UX strategy helps to ensure that products and services meet the needs of users and are designed in a way that is efficient and effective. Implementing an effective UX strategy can help to improve the quality of products and services and increase customer experience and satisfaction.

UX writing

The process of creating user-facing text for products and services. UX writers work with UX designers and researchers to create clear and concise text that helps users understand and use products and services. Through their writing, UX writers help to shape the customer experience of products and services.

V
Validation testing

A type of UX research that is used to ensure that a product or service meets the requirements of its users. Validation testing is typically performed by usability testers or user research participants. By using real users to test the product or service, validation testing can help ensure that the product or service is usable and useful.

Value proposition

A statement that describes the benefits of a product or service. It is typically used to persuade potential customers to buy a product or service. For example, "Our product is the best because it is the most user-friendly," is a value proposition.

Visual design

The process of creating visual solutions to communication problems. Visual designers use a variety of tools and techniques to create visual representations of ideas. By using visual elements like color, typography, and layout, visual designers can create visual solutions that are both effective and appealing to ensure a good Customer Experience (CX).

W
Waterfall methodology

A linear approach to product development. It is characterized by distinct phases of development, each with its own deliverables. For example, the first phase of a waterfall project might be requirements gathering in a research repository and prioritization, followed by design, development, testing, and launch.

White space

The empty space on a page. It is used to create visual hierarchy and contrast that draws the eye to important content. White space can also refer to a conceptual space, such as the space between two objects. Making good use of white space can make interfaces intuitive, ensuring a good Customer Experience (CX).

Whiteboard challenge

A type of interview question in which the candidate is asked to solve a problem on a whiteboard. Using a whiteboard allows the interviewer to see how the candidate thinks and works through problems. This allows for a more accurate assessment of the candidate's skills.

Wireframe

A low-fidelity mockup of a product. It is used to communicate layout and functionality. Using wireframes early in the design process can help to reduce development time and cost by identifying potential problems early on.

Z
Zeta score

A statistical measure of the accuracy of a predictive model. It is used to compare models and select the best one. Using the zeta score, we can compare the accuracy of two models and select the one with the higher zeta score. This means that the model with the higher zeta score is more accurate.