10 UX Terms to Know Right Now

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10 UX Terms to Know Right Now

There's a reason why ordering pizza online has become much more popular than ordering over the phone: it's easier, causes less room for error, and is usually quicker. The website knows your order and your address before you even start. Whenever you post an update to Facebook or submit an online pizza order, you're interacting with the user experience of an application. The website's interface was meticulously studied and tested, with the intention of producing an easy-to-use and user-friendly experience.

Day-to-day interactions are quickly shifting online, and in response, there's a growing need for people to design interfaces. Enter: The UX Designer. We've outlined some of the terms User Experience Designers use in their day-to-day gig. Study up, and then hop into a bootcamp to fine-tune your skills.

Beta Launch

During it's "Soft Opening", a restaurant gives diners the opportunity to sit at the tables and eat their food, with the caveat that there might be delays in the service or other wrinkles, because the staff is working out their methodologies and organization. In a website format, the "beta launch" represents the time period where the website is available for designers and (some) users, but not completely rolled out yet, to provide an opportunity to make any adjustments.

1. A/B Testing

Testing out two versions of an interface or product (version A and version B) to see which one performs best. "Performance" can be measured by whatever you're trying to accomplish - whether it's a click of a button, a certain amount of time spent on a page, or the purchase of a product.

A common example of an A/B test is email subject lines. Senders modify one element of a subject line (for example, adding an emoji at the end or selecting a different adjective), and then send out each version to 50% of their user group. Whichever version receives a higher open rate "wins" - and then is usually tested against another format in the future.

Bounce Rate

Think about it: If you're searching for a particular product and click on an ad or google listing, you're expecting to see what you're looking for once the page loads. If it's not correct, you'll hit "back" and try a different website, or you'll navigate to a different page within the same website. The percentage of visitors who leave a webpage without converting (spending a certain amount of time on a website or buying a product) is represented by the bounce rate. When a UX Designer is laying out a new product, their goal is to reduce the bounce rate by getting people what they need, easily.

Card Sorting

Prior to creating a website, the UX team designs the architecture of a site by using digital or physical cards (our favorite is sticky notes). Here is where the layout of the site's navigation, breadcrumbs, and footer are all determined.

Content Strategy

When a team of writers creates a piece of content - they don't just leave it at that. There's a strategy that takes place after the piece is posted, which involves social media, paid advertising, and other marketing formats. A team's content strategy establishes a threshold of results which need to be met, and modify the strategy to accomplish those results, whether it's by increasing the amount of content, creating shorter pieces, or changing the subject matter of the content (for example, shifting from copywriting to infographics)


Key Performance Indicator. Usually represented as numbers (50 inquiries, 15% open rate, 140 purchases) - these are the amounts that need to be hit in order to determine an initiative as "successful". From a UX standpoint, KPIs usually include button clicks, time spent on page, and bounce rate.

KWHL Chart

A KWHL Chart is usually a UX Designers' first stop when they need to study their users. K = what you do know, W = what do I need to find out, H = how do I find the information I need, and L = what you want to learn. After filling out a KWHL chart, designers have more insight into how they need to schedule out their project, and what people/resources they need to bring in (for example, a survey)

Mood Board

A Mood Board lays out all the visual elements of a website prior to any creative development. Think of it as a collage, where pictures, color swatches, and font samples assemble together. In this stage, a websites creative assets (fonts, primary colors, imagery) are determined.


Minimum Viable Product. Imagine spending a huge amount of time and money on a fully-functional, completed project - and then realizing it doesn't meet the goals of what you needed to accomplish.

Rather than having to scrap everything and start fresh, companies develop MVPs as an interim product. MVPs work, and serve as a liaison between the user and the product, but they aren't fully developed. A certain amount of development time is reserved for after the product has been used for an amount of time, to "work out the kinks" and gather feedback from the beta users.


Much like sketching up a floor plan prior to laying the foundation of a home, wireframes lay out the pieces of a website or application before moving into development. Wireframes make it easy to reorganize and reprioritize items, without having to recode or redesign anything.


Take a look online at some free resources, and read some UX studies. If you're ready to take the plunge into a UX career, the best way to get the skills you need is to attend an immersive bootcamp, either in person or online. Skills Fund works with the best UX and UI Design bootcamps in the United States. What's holding you back? Your future can change in a matter of weeks.



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Originally published September 5, 2017. Updated April 2, 2019.