Glossary V

Glossary
  • Mind Map
    • Brainstorming is the mental version of a “Mind Map”. Also comparable to a site map, a Mind Map is a visual depiction of ideas and the web/branching of the same ideas! All ideas link to a central point – or, the main idea of the map being made. Links can be made amongst the hierarchy of ideas. This is a free form development with no right or wrong answers.
  • Style Tile
    • Style Tiles are guidelines for branding. Labels need to maintain a specific look, and style tiles provide the company’s visual goals and expectations for designers to follow. Alternatively, mood boards are more like style tiles and mind maps. They provide ideas for an imagined style.
  • Mood Board
    • As mentioned, mood boards are style tiles with more flexibility. They are brainstorms perfect for briefs. They can give designers an idea of which direction to go with whatever project they are moving forward with. Mood Boards consist of colors, materials, fonts etc. Some clients are guilty of giving a very broad, general, and unspecific project goal. Working with the client to build a mood board (especially if a style tile isnt available) really helps the process.
  • Persona
    • A website should have its own personality. This personality is developed toward and brings in a target audience. Personas are the written points and research made from this audience. For example, if you have a punk rock website, you should monitor the more popular or upcoming bands being listened to by your viewers. In otherwords, personas are records of user behavior. With this type of information, a user-group persona, advertising agencies, stakeholders, user-centered design[ers] and the audience benefits.
  • A/B Testing
    • With controlled testing, websites show 2 groups of visitors 2 different versions of a website. This is called A/B Testing. Group 1 sees version A, Group 2 sees version B. With recorded data, developers/designers/owners etc. learn which site version converts visitors to users/buyers/subscribers more productively. Different versions may have different headers, footers, article locations, navigation locations, what have you.
  • Case Study
    • A/B Testing can be described as a type of Case Study. Case studies are, broadly, more specific to finding what your audience likes when A/B testing is more for finding out about how to better your website’s UI to UX usability. Case Studies collect qualitative data which may give the studier a description of audience and tendencies under specific circumstances.
  • KISS
    • Modern design is simple. If you compare a modern beverly hills mansion to an hereditary English manor you see simplicity vs. elegance. Elegance looks nice, yes. But in modern design simplicity conquers clutter. “Keep It Simple Stupid”, or KISS, is a term coined by engineer Kelly Johnson. Design should be efficient and to increase efficiency is to decrease excess fat. Basically, keep something from being more complicated than it needs to be.

 

  • Usability
    • Self explanatory, usability is a focal point of UI relations with a dabble of UX. Is your website easy to navigate for different audiences? Are the UI Design Patterns up to date and manageable for all browsers or Operating Systems? If yes (amongst other points), your website or application has great usability.
  • Learnability
    • Believe it or not, there are still many old-timers who have little experience with technology. Even then, there are people who would like to learn a computer skill that have no idea how to work a program for their interest. Learnability is an applications ability to teach the user be it direct or indirect experience. Of course, some professional programs are more meticulous. This is more fashioned for companies or websites trying to attract an audience to an industry and less catered for the specific industry professionals.
  • Accessibility
    • In Sacramento’s recent pass, accessibility has been a huge issue for local business. Web Accessibility is assurance that any type of user. Especially those who have assistive technologies made for their personal disability. Age related issues may be addressed as a disability. Users may have a vision impairment, so alternative text > text to speech may offer an audible description of an image.

Glossary IIII

Glossary
  • SEO
    • Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the intentional build up of a website to earn more traffic via search engine referrals without paid influence. The use of keywords to a website structured in a way a search engine can easily decipher are just a few ways SEO is implemented. In layman’s terms. whatever action website developers take to make the site and its pages to be found easier than others is SEO.
  • B2B
    • Sometimes companies use another company’s services to help progress growth, commerce, and efficiency. Maybe a startup hires an advertising agency to help market their goods. Or, a textile company purchases wool from a sheep farm. Business to Business (b2b) is inter-company cooperation with use of goods or services as opposed to commerce directly to the consumer.
  • CPC
    • Cost Per Click is the conversion of traffic to money that ads use to gauge what they owe websites per visitor. Ads agencies utilize SEO and target audiences to gain the most traffic and pay according to the clicks the ad gets. This is more cost efficient as bidding for specific ad space may not bring the amount of attention a company desires.
  • Inbound Marketing
    • A website should have its own personality. This personality is developed toward and brings in a target audience. Personas are the written points and research made from this audience. For example, if you have a punk rock website, you should monitor the more popular or upcoming bands being listened to by your viewers. In otherwords, personas are records of user behavior. With this type of information, a user-group persona, advertising agencies, stakeholders, user-centered design[ers] and the audience benefits.
  • A/B Testing
    • With controlled testing, websites show 2 groups of visitors 2 different versions of a website. This is called A/B Testing. Group 1 sees version A, Group 2 sees version B. With recorded data, developers/designers/owners etc. learn which site version converts visitors to users/buyers/subscribers more productively. Different versions may have different headers, footers, article locations, navigation locations, what have you.
  • Case Study
    • A/B Testing can be described as a type of Case Study. Case studies are, broadly, more specific to finding what your audience likes when A/B testing is more for finding out about how to better your website’s UI to UX usability. Case Studies collect qualitative data which may give the studier a description of audience and tendencies under specific circumstances.
  • KISS
    • Modern design is simple. If you compare a modern beverly hills mansion to an hereditary English manor you see simplicity vs. elegance. Elegance looks nice, yes. But in modern design simplicity conquers clutter. “Keep It Simple Stupid”, or KISS, is a term coined by engineer Kelly Johnson. Design should be efficient and to increase efficiency is to decrease excess fat. Basically, keep something from being more complicated than it needs to be.

 

  • Usability
    • Self explanatory, usability is a focal point of UI relations with a dabble of UX. Is your website easy to navigate for different audiences? Are the UI Design Patterns up to date and manageable for all browsers or Operating Systems? If yes (amongst other points), your website or application has great usability.
  • Learnability
    • Believe it or not, there are still many old-timers who have little experience with technology. Even then, there are people who would like to learn a computer skill that have no idea how to work a program for their interest. Learnability is an applications ability to teach the user be it direct or indirect experience. Of course, some professional programs are more meticulous. This is more fashioned for companies or websites trying to attract an audience to an industry and less catered for the specific industry professionals.
  • Accessibility
    • In Sacramento’s recent pass, accessibility has been a huge issue for local business. Web Accessibility is assurance that any type of user. Especially those who have assistive technologies made for their personal disability. Age related issues may be addressed as a disability. Users may have a vision impairment, so alternative text > text to speech may offer an audible description of an image.

Glossary III

Glossary
  • Information Architecture
    • Information Architecture (IA) is the digital way of organization. Think of UX, the IA of a website influences the UX. IA is the arrangement of data in your website to make it easily accessible based on user tendencies or what a user is surfing to find.
  • Wireframe
    • Similar to a blueprint, a Wireframe is a general layout of a webiste representing locations of objects and the website’s page structure. This frame suggests highlighted points of the page, definitions of specific information’s location, all in a conceptual manner.
  • Site Map
    • Site Maps can be helpfully described as a visual and broad depiction of breadcrumb navigation. Instead of an individual route that breadcrumbs display, sitemaps show the greater pathways a website builds to lead users in specific paths. It is very much like a hierarchy graph.
  • Web Page Header
    • If you have ever been on Google’s main website, you have seen one of the most iconic website headers of our time. The header is the branded “head” (or top) of a website, normally linking to the site’s home page. Every website has a header, be it large or small. There is probably a logo followed by trademarked text. Sometimes headers have navigations. However, the main commonality of headers is to largely represent the website itself.
  • Web Page Footer
    • Webpage footers generally are subliminal and blended into the website. Footers tend to be smaller than its counterpart the header. Some have information including links to a contact page, terms of use, FAQ, or maybe even copyright information.
  • Webfonts
    • The web is an ever changing place with new techniques and styles being uploaded and downloaded constantly. Likewise, typefaces and fonts are uploaded and downloaded in the hundred thousands if not more. But not every website and user can utilize each unique font or typeface as they are generally formatted for system use. Webfonts are standardized fonts installed within a browser. The browsers software includes compatible webfonts while removing mostly unused glyphs for universal use.
  • Creative Commons
    • The digital world is a huge front in the topic of piracy. Not oceanic piracy, but the use of stolen content and the user abuse of owner’s rights. Creative Commons is a firm helping bridge the gap between creators and users across the river of fair use. By offering different sets of use attributions, a creator can label their work with whichever user permissions Creative Commons offers and they prefer.
  • Skeumorphism
    • Skeumorphism is similar to augmented reality. Be it fake panelling to Apple’s Newsstand, skeumorphism is the design of a product to make it resemble what it is made to represent. Many aspects of Apple products are digitally-skeumorphed. Garageband is littered with tools that look like real life studio equipment, and the sounds created from it or even the shutter noise from photobooth are audio-skeumorphs. This design style provides users a familiar and easy-to-use website, app, or program.
  • Web-Safe Color
    • Webfonts are like the font versions of Web-Safe Color[s]. With billions of colors, easily designed sites will use colors consistently compatible with most browsers and systems. There are 216 colors, however, these colors are not constraining web design and more colors may be used.
  • UI Design Patterns
    • Many websites have similar functions when regarding simple user interaction. Login screens, shopping carts, and TOS agreement pages all generally follow the same rules. Thus, UI Design Patterns are followed to create an easy and understood process for the said and many other functions or services.

Critical Analysis III

analysis

“Creativity at its core is the art of generating ideas”

Successful and professional creative design is a process. As a designer, knowing what you are getting into is the right start. You need to establish a firm and contracted plan with a client to assure all minds start in the right place so everyone finishes in the right place as well. This is important, because first impressions are crucial in professionalism. The same page is the right page. “Conduct interviews with your client,” says howdesign’s Kvisockyogrady, “Conduct interviews with people outside of the organization.” A perfect segue to step two.

Now that you know what the job entails, the next professional thing to do is to find out your approach. After finding out what needs to be done, it would be silly to not find out how to do it. Otherwise a designer will be blindly shooting. Research what points are important for your client and what ideas you have to help their vision. Gather all the information you can before you trim the fat.

Not every idea is perfect. Knowing everything a designer possibly could for a client helps he or she eliminate information unecessary to complete the task at hand. Also, the designer can go back to step 2, and find out what may have slipped through the cracks. This is also apart of the next step. It is always good to reread essays. Just like it is always good to make sure your design process results in a smooth flowing product.

Repeating the last two steps as much as one can assures a good final result.  One can’t run a cold engine and keep it healthy. Professional design requires a rinse and repeat method, communication and execution. Have your peers review the product. Review the product yourself. Check corners you struggle with and do not leave a stone unturned. By now, the clients ideas with your creativity should mesh into a well designed product. When you are sure what you designed is just right for the client first and yourself second, the design process worked as it should.

Glossary I

Glossary
  • ISP
    • Internet service provider, or ISP, is exactly as it is read. Companies that provide the use of internet and other forms of information communication are called ISPs. For example, hosting services for your own personal or business website[s]. Some ISPs even offer telephone numbers and personal email addresses.
  • HTTP
    • A sort of standardized language, HTTP is what makes a user able to connect to the web. “Hypertext Transfer Protocol”. When observing the URL address, the abbreviation HTTP:// tells the browser how to speak and listen to the website it is directed to.
  • DNS
    • Domain Name System (DNS) is the way websites have names instead of their assigned Internet Protocol address. For example, when you type in “google.com”, your ISP sends the input “domain” name to a DNS server which then translates the address to the Internet Protocol (IP) address.
  • URL
    • Almost like a file cabinet labeled “RILEYSWEBSITE.COM” URL abbreviates to Universal Resource Locator. It defines the containment of the website’s domain and a functioning, hopefully organized, folders of files. The website’s address (www.google.com) is the URL, and subsequent destinations are found throughout the URL with uses of languages to define where your browser looks for the site’s information.
  • GUI
    • Graphical User Interfaces give the user a way to navigate throughout whatever device they are operating. GUIs build an interactive experience for a user to easily find what they need without having to input specific numeric or textual commands. This is achieved by the use of icons, docks, drop-menus and many other useful tools.
  • FTP
    • An abbreviation of “File Transfer Protocol”, yet another form of language computers connected to the internet use to do just that. Transfer files amongst each other and other IP addresses. It may not be the most efficient way to transfer data, but it is crucial when web development is in question.
  • CMS
    • This is how websites are organized and edited via software. Content management systems help arrange a website’s GUI and background coding. Generally, CMSs help both experienced and less computer savvy users to develop their website.
  • W3C
    • W3C, World Wide Web Consortium, is similar to the UN or Geneva Convention of the internet. This is a collection of many organizations and communities of the web work who together to efficiently standardize the internet’s protocols, guidelines, and overall functionality.
  • HTML
    • HTML is an abbreviation of Hypertext Markup Language. As the backbone that gives websites their layout, functionality, and background information, HTML is the buildingblock of HTML based websites.
  • CSS
    • A sibling of HTML, Cascading Style Sheets is another language which defines the look or form of a web page instead of the functionality. CSS can give the page certain typefaces, colors, and still some changes of layout.

Glossary II

Glossary
  • Browser
    • Software are components of a computer that lack a tangible process viewable on screen. As opposed to hardware, the physical components of a computer, I.E. a hard drive. A piece of software is also called a program, which is a compilation of code to do a specific task. Browsers are pieces of software aimed toward a viewable access to “browse” the internet.
  • Hyperlink
    • Hyperlinks are coded sections of text that when clicked direct the user to wherever the “link”, or connection, was coded toward. Hyperlinks are generally underlined and contrast to other lines of text via webpage. (www.example.com ; EXAMPLE)
  • Mobile First Design
    • In the last two and a half decades, pocket devices have exploded in popularity. From children with gameboys to wall-street blackberrys, device interaction has become a part of daily life. Some people use their phone more than their computer. So, mobile-friendly websites have become a growing trend for businesses standardizing UI/UX practicality. In the last 5 or so years this “Mobile First Design” process has become an incentive for companies and websites to begin with mobile development before desktop applications.
  • Responsive Design
    • Web design now has different types of approaches. Adaptive Design consists of several versions with (hopefully) matching styles which work specifically for different devices. Then, there is Responsive Design, which responds more to the size of the screen, ignoring the device practicality, creating a more fluid and universal look and feel. Completely disregarding device function and considering screen dimension.  
  • UI / UX
    • User Interface (UI) VS. User Experience (UX) is actually very easy to separate by definition. It is sort of like with too much of one, you lack another. However, there are certain applications of either design styles that work with one more than the other. User Interface refers to something developed for usability with less visual appeal, while User Experience would trend toward an aesthetically appealing development.
  • Breadcrumb Navigation
    • Sort of like walking through a maze with a rope, or like Hansel and Gretel, Breadcrumb Navigation is basically a depiction of your horizontal movement throughout a website. It logs the pages you passed through before you reached your current page for ease of access. If you move back to a previous page, all other viewed pages passed that point are erases and a new path after where you returned begins.
  • WYSIWYG
    • Sometimes coding can be difficult when you lack a visual. Think of painting by memory with very dim light. You have an idea of how it will turn out, but it definitely will have some kinks. A W.hat Y.ou S.ee I.s W.hat Y.ou G.et

Critical Analysis I

analysis

“Technical Knowledge aside, what makes for a good web designer?”

The first bit on “[Losing] your ego” (Creative Bloq) is really a great bit to start off this article. In an ever growing, constantly changing, and frequently challenging field of work being arrogant will definitely set you back professionally. People want work done good and fast. It isn’t about your back story. It is about your ability and willingness to tackle obstacles with grace. Your skill is evident in your work and word will spread when clients have confidence in you.

Once you are humble, potential becomes so much greater. Yet the best of us hit walls. It is paramount to improve yourself when being creative. Your attitude translates through to your work. Doing anything to open your world will help you with everything in life. “Traveling will open your mind…”, (Creative Bloq) and show you new things. Even new designs. Running, listening to music, reading, anything to either calm, open, or inspire your mind is healthy and beneficial for your life and work.

Internal battles are conquered this way, but critical thinking is also very useful when interacting with both yourself and clients. Communication is key in design. Knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them is very professional. “By turning the problem into a question, you are directing your thinking towards finding a solution,” says Mark McGuinness. He believes problems are actually questions waiting to be answered. Also, that problem solving is most efficient when the right questions are asked so the best answers are found. Let us say you see an old friend. Asking ,”What’s up?” will almost definitely result in a reply like ,”Nothing much, you?” Instead, asking, “How are you doing?” offers the chance for an answer with greater substance and reasoning.

Beyond all the other factors of bettering yourself professionally both inside and out of design, some designers I guess may be a bit prudish. Design can be their strong point, and only point as other mediums seem scary. Even I have fallen victim of this. With basic html skills (and having to brush up whenever I venture to this realm), I find there are plenty of web tools nowadays that help mash seasoned designers or greenhorn developers to create great sites. Not to mention plenty of online tutorials. Push yourself.