Why all the Acronyms in Digital Design?
When I think about my worst nightmare, it would be speed dating. I’ve never done it before, but I bet that if I did, this is what would happen…
“Hi, I’m Aimee. I’m a writer, websites and blogs mostly, and I live on the North Shore of Auckland.”
“Hi Aimee, I’m Greg. I’m an interaction designer, mainly working on UIs, but I also do some UX and CX stuff too and…”
And then I just sit there taking it all in and wondering when will it end. “…I really enjoy doing MVT or A/B testing…”
Argghhh. Acronyms. Even having spent years in the digital industry, I still can’t get over how many there are, and I feel like it’s getting worse.
Why so many acronyms in Digital Design?
When it comes to digital, especially digital design and development, acronyms and jargon are everywhere. And they can be a tad confusing for people.
On the other hand, it’s obviously a positive sign of how the digital industry is adapting and growing. The rapid growth and advances across the technology industry, even just over the last five years, have helped create an extremely competitive industry and also changed the working environment. You just need to look at job titles to see the impact these technological advances have had on on digital design – with more and more specialised jobs (and their acronym buddies) out there. For example, not many people would have heard of a User Experience or used the term UX designer 10 years ago.
This advancement in the technology space is a worldwide trend. A survey done by Sageworks in 2017 showed that “Computer systems design (and related services)” was the fastest growing industry in the US.
The Kiwi market is similar, with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise stating that telecommunication, computer, and information services grew nearly 10 percent from 2015-2016 and technology remains New Zealand’s third largest and second fastest growing major export sector.
How can we make digital easier to understand?
This growth in the digital industry is obviously a good thing, but on the flip side it’s bringing about these new job titles and digital terms that all seem to have acronyms. The use of acronyms can really confuse and frustrate people, but worst of all it can leave some (especially clients) out of the loop.
The team at HEROIC want all New Zealanders, especially those in the digital industry, to do their bit to bring everything back to basics and make it easier to understand digital and digital design.
Our Director, Jake Burdess, is so passionate about this that he wants to champion the removal of acronyms: “I just want to remove anything that makes it harder for our customers, because I want to make working with digital people as easy as it can be,” he says. “When our team works with people I want to make sure that we bring them up to speed with all the latest ways of doing things and make sure they understand what we’re talking about. And basically, that means trying to avoid using acronyms and jargon as much as possible.”
Common misconceptions about digital design
For those that are a little confused about some of these digital terms, we thought we’d weigh in and try to help out. Here are some tips from the team at HEROIC to help you out with some of the most common frustrations.
The difference between User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX)
User experience refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service – specifically in relation to human–computer interaction and product ownership. Customer experience has a broader scope and generally deals with all the interactions (such as face-to-face, telephone and digital) that a person has with a brand.
The difference between User Experience (UX) design and User Interface (UI) design
Comparing UX and UI design for software is like comparing the science and the art. For example, UX seeks to discover how things should be designed to align with user expectations, while UI is the final polish of the design.
List of common digital acronyms
The team at HEROIC have put together a list of the most common digital terms to help make things a little less blurry.
UX – User experience
User experience refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service – specifically in relation to human–computer interaction and product ownership. What is user experience?
UXD – User experience design
User Experience design is seen as a way of optimising a product for its effective and enjoyable use. In general, it follows a method of validating and optimising your products and services, so that they align as closely as possible to your user’s needs.
CX – Customer experience
All the interactions (such as face-to-face, telephone and digital) a person has with a brand.
UI – User Interface
The digital interface, such as websites or mobile apps, that a person interacts with.
UID – User Interface design
The design of user interfaces for digital touchpoints, such as websites and mobile apps. It normally follows on from UX design and can be seen as the final polish of the design.
UCD – User-centric design
A design process that focuses on user needs and requirements. The users goals, characteristics, environment, tasks as well as the workflow of a product, service or process are given extensive attention.
IxD – Interaction design
The design of the interaction between users and products (such as apps or websites) to help people do what they want to do in the best and easiest way.
A/B test – Split test
A test where you compare two variations of a single variable to see which one performs better. For example, sending an email out with two different subject lines to see which one gets better open rates.
MVT – Multi-Variate Testing
Testing multiple elements of something to see which combination of variations performs the best. For example, on a web page you might change a heading and an image and you might have three different variations to test of these.
MVP – Minimum Viable Product
A technique whereby a new product or website is developed with just enough features to please a segment of customers who will use or interact with it first. The feedback from these initial customers is then used to make changes to or finalise the product or website.
CTA – Call-to-Action
A link, button or image used to encourage people to visit a particular place, e.g. a web page or application.
CR – Conversion Rate
The percentage of people who completed the desired action. For example, number of people who filled out an application form.
CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation
The process to increase the percentage of people who take a desired action, such as filling out a form.
CTR – Click-Through-Rate
The percentage of people who clicked the desired link. For example, the number of people who clicked on your advert.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Techniques to help your website rank higher in organic search results via search engines like Google, which can make make your website more visible.