Website design is filled with specialized lingo that gives the experts in the field an easy way to define and discuss their work. Most of these terms can be confusing to those who are out of the loop.
If you don’t know UI from IxD from UX, we’ve got you covered. Here are 7 commonly confused website design terms defined.
- User Interface Design (UI)
UI, or user interface design (also called user interface engineering), is one of the most common digital design terms. So what does it really mean?
UI basically refers to the visual layout of specific elements that users visiting your website, app, or any technological product might interact with. This form of digital design focuses on ensuring that the user interface contains elements that are easy to access, navigate, understand, and use.
When you visit a website or app, menus, buttons, sliders, search fields, icons, tags, message boxes, modal windows, drop-down lists, and other features are examples of some UI components that enhance your user experience.
- User Experience Design (UX)
UX, or user experience design, refers to the way visitors use your website and whether they are able to do everything they need to without getting confused. The purpose of UX is to make your website easy to use. A designer uses prototypes, wireframes, and other elements discovered through research to give users the best possible experience.
At its core, UX design is meant to make it simple to use your app or website. Without considering UX, users can get frustrated and end up going elsewhere. Give them a simple, seamless experience, and they will likely return.
- Information Architecture (IA)
AI, or information architecture, is all about website structure and content organization. The work of an information architect is to create a website or app blueprint, which involves putting everything in its own category. Before the website is actualized, diagrams and flowcharts are used to arrange the content in such a way that it is easy for users to navigate.
- Product Design
Digital products are resources, such as apps, or features of an app, such as the ability to click keywords to find related content on a site. The work that goes into making these products is what’s known as product design. It’s the digital equivalent of product design in the industrial world, which results in a physical product, such as a car.
- Visual Design
The work that goes into executing concepts or bringing ideas to life is what’s known as visual design. It involves translating a company’s intentions into beautiful, functional, and consistent content for mobile apps and websites. It is also key to developing marketing materials.
Visual design is concerned with how content looks in the digital space rather than in print. A designer has to work closely with a copywriter for a well-rounded final product. Without this collaboration, it would be difficult to get a product that enhances brand identity and user engagement.
- Interaction Design (IxD)
IxD, or interaction design, is the work that goes into making it easy for the user to interact with the product. Its aim is to make the navigation components as functional and good looking as possible. Apart from bridging the gap between UX and UI, the designer focuses on ensuring that the product doesn’t malfunction when a human interacts with it.
You have likely noticed the way the color of a button changes when you interact with it. That’s exactly what IxD is all about.
- User-Centered Design (UCD)
UCD, or user-centered design, is a philosophy that makes the user central to the website design process. It involves putting into consideration the needs of the user as well as their feedback so as to develop apps and websites that can be enjoyed and used by real people without the need for a manual.
With these digital design terms under your belt, you can feel more confident in understanding your website designer. Our team of experts at LightHouse Graphics can assess your current website and provide you with a vision of what your website could look like in the right hands. We’ll even spare you the design lingo if you wish. If you need assistance with your website design, contact us. We’d love to work with you.