Glossary of usability terms for beginners. Part 1
07.10.2016
usability glossary

In any professional activity there are specific terms that are unfamiliar to a wide range of users and customers. We decided to make a list of useful terms, the knowledge of which will come in handy to customers and every beginner in usability.

Usability – simplicity, convenience, comfort or increased productivity in the interaction between human and any interface.

Interface – in the broadest sense it’s any tool or function that is adapted for human interaction with an object or device. Each interface is characterized by special rules, actions or patterns that can facilitate or greatly complicate the achievement desired result for a person.

UI (user interface) – most often a graphical interface that is displayed by informational system on the screen to inform the user about the system status. Although the best UI specialists know that in addition to graphical UI there are also sound, tactile, etc.

UX (user experience) – a set of human impressions of communication with the system: experience, emotions, the ability to easily learn the skills of interaction, willingness to recommend the site, game, blog, etc. In a broad sense means any knowledge that user gains when interacting with anything. With regard to website development the meaning of this term is shown on the scheme:


Mobile first – a modern method of product design (for example, an online store), which requires primarily the creation of mobile version of the design.

MVP – the minimum viable product that can be profitable or collect requests from customers with the lowest possible range of functions. The technique of MVP creation allows yet in the process of long‐term development of a beautiful multipage site – to make profit through a simple order form in the “cap”.


Mindmap – mental map, memory structure. Any logically consistent scheme that allows to structure thoughts, challenges, opportunities, constraints, desirable features and so on.

Customer journey map – one of the varieties of mindmap, which describes all possible points of user’s contact with the task. It allows to more widely embrace the user experience beyond the screen, analyzing the process of payment, expectation of delivery or interaction with the manager on the phone. It also helps to develop more qualitative UX product.

Onboarding – a step by step process of involving a new user in the interaction with the information system. At each step special tips help user understand the interface, work or gaming process, to feel all the advantages and special features of the system or product. When an employee finds a new job, and the chief personally shows him all departments and acquaints him with key personnel – this is an example of onboarding.

Next time, we will continue our list of usability terms. Subscribe to not miss! Also, feel free to contact SoftwareGarage, if you want to improve the usability of your website.

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