Our Key Terms for the Modern Marketer series defines words every marketer should have in their vocabulary. As relevant terms change and buzzwords are redefined, we offer up the most current definitions so you can maintain your modern marketer status.
Analytics Edition Content Strategy Edition—Part One Content Strategy Edition—Part Two Marketing Automation Edition Social Media Edition—Part One Social Media Edition—Part Two Social Media Edition—Part Three Strategy Edition UX/UI Edition Web Redesign Edition
User experience (UX) is the overall impression, thoughts, feelings, emotions, experience a user has before, during, and after an interaction with your brand website or application. Design elements and usability are two of the major factors that affect UX. During a successful user experience, a visitor is able to access your website or application, seamlessly accomplish a goal, and feel positively about that interaction. UX design is designing for the user first. It’s keeping the user in mind in everything you do, every step of the way so they have the most positive experience possible.
User interface (UI) design involves all the components that make up the interface between the user and an operating system. It defines how all the elements of an interface appear through layouts, wireframes, font choices, color schemes, menu styling, etc. Each decision a UI designer makes as part of these definitions has been made in an effort to make it easier for the user to achieve their goals when interacting with the interface.
During an A/B test, marketers publish two versions of a web page, application feature, email, etc. They include one differentiating factor between the versions. Common A/B tests explore headlines, button styles, calls to action, and image variations. After the test, the success of each option is measured and the results are used to inform future strategies.
Accessibility is an inclusive practice that makes it easier for individuals with disabilities to access and interact with your website or application. For example, a common accessibility consideration would be for blind users. In this instance, a website may include alternative links for those who use a website voice reader. Developers often perform accessibility tests to ensure they’re up to web standards.
Analytics is the practice of analyzing your data to reveal important patterns. It’s gathering numbers through measuring and testing your UX and then making sense out of those numbers. Meaningful data patterns tell you where you’re succeeding and where you can make improvements to your user experience. Common web analytics insights reveal what brings visitors to your website, how long they’re staying, the page they leave from, what pages they spend the most time on, and their individual user journey.
Conversion rate is the percentage of site visitors who take an intended action. This percentage can reflect a wide range of actions, including users who purchase an item, click on a CTA, or fill out a form. This data is calculated by dividing the total number of people who visit your page or site by the number of people who take the specified action.
Research has shown websites have as few as two-tenths of a second and as many as five seconds to capture a user’s attention. Fueled by this study, the Five-Second Test was created to determine the initial impression a web page or app makes on users. To perform this test, a screenshot is presented to a group of test users who are given five seconds to view the screenshot. They are then asked to recall their experience with the page.
Information architecture is the hierarchy, order, labeling, and placement of information. It’s about building websites and applications in a way that allows users to easily find the information they need. Ultimately, thoughtful information architecture drives action from users. UX designers plan out this architecture early on in the design process and ensure this architecture is upheld with the completed project.
Interaction design (IxD) focuses on behavior to ensure a digital product offers a positive interactive experience. Good IxD is based in an understanding of users and how they use the interface to achieve their goal. That goal could be anything from seeking out information to making a purchase. IxD must take into account both the user and how the interface will react to the user to provide a fluid, logical experience between both. In the simplest terms, it’s how an interface reacts to every menu click, every swipe left, every scroll, every button push, and beyond.
An interface is the meeting place between people and technology. This point of convergence is where the user can communicate with an operating system. Essentially it’s what users see and interact with technology of any sort. It’s the power button on a television, application graphics, website tabs.
Moodboards are visual representations of a brand’s identity, voice, and personality. In the case of UX, they reflect how a user will experience your brand during a digital interaction. Moodboards are collages of color, style, structure, text and typography, imagery, and design examples. They represent the emotions, or moods, you want your users to experience when interacting with your site or app.
Personas represent a brand’s typical audience. The users we, as marketers, frame brand experiences around. A persona is typically presented as a dossier on a fictional person who embodies the characteristics of a target customer. This dossier defines their job title, demographics, likes and dislikes, goals and challenges, desires and needs, and, sometimes even a name and photo.
A prototype is a working mockup of your website or application. Designers create prototypes to explore user experiences, flagging any bugs that need to be addressed prior to launch. A main benefit of prototypes are the fact that they allow you to build the experience before development gets involved. Tools like InVision and Marvel are used to build these prototypes without the use of code.
A site map is a comprehensive list of every page on your website, arranged in a logical hierarchy. It’s a visual representation of your information architecture. Designers refer to this planning diagram throughout the design process to ensure proper structure and organization of the site.
A use case is a written, detailed description of how users will interact with your site. It outlines who the user is, what they’re doing at your site, and what steps they will take to accomplish their goal. Marketers often outline multiple use cases to represent the varying audience members and needs they may have.
The user journey is the path a visitor takes through your website. Where do they start? Where do they go next? What buttons, menu items, or calls to action do they click on to get where they need to go? Where does your visitor end up before leaving your website? Part of UX design strategy is guiding the user journey to lead them down a preferred path.
Wireframes are essentially website blueprints. They’re the plan that demonstrates how a website will fit together and feature the basic elements that will make up a design. Wireframes represent the structure and information that will be reflected in the design and content. They feature placeholders for copy, images, and buttons while leaving out design features such as color, typography, images, and texture. Wireframes are typically put together early in the design process. They can be sketched, built in photoshop, or created with a specific tool designed for wireframing.