Glossary of usability terms for beginners. Part 2
10.10.2016
usability glossary-2

Today we finish our little glossary of useful usability terms. The first part of the article can be found here.

Data driven – a method of design and further creation of a product that is based primarily on feedback, rather than on expert assessments or similar examples of competitors. It allows to focus on the analysis of the behavior and interaction of the user with the created system and requires a desire to constantly make changes and adjustments to already functioning product.

UCD (user centered design) – most humanized approach, which is based on concerns, interests, psychology and even anatomy of the user. The user is placed at the center of created system for accurate adjustment of functional and interface for his needs (usually they create a character that accumulates all typical features of the target audience).


Information architecture – very simplistically can be understood as a site map, which lists all the sections, subsections, pages and blocks of information system. Information architecture is based, as a rule, on assessment of character’s needs and on forecast of his actions on the site.

User scenario – a description of step by step behavior of the user when he gets on the site or opens mobile app. Within one system there can be several scenarios, but each of them should be based on the specific objectives of users and should be measured separately.

Heatmap – a map that shows the most popular places on the web page (the most clickable).

Prototype – a cheap and quick layout, which is capable to demonstrate the basic functions to the customer or to test the hypothesis on the focus group. Maximum efficiency of resources allows to try a huge amount of options untill the perfect solution will be found. 20‐30 options of final design can cost a lot of time and money, while the prototyping allows to create up to 70 options whithin a week. Detailing of prototypes can be gradually increased with each new iteration, gradually showing the final picture.


Technical task/specifications – the official document that contains a complete set of objectives, requirements and restrictions on the project. It must also contain a development plan, methods of acceptance and measurable indicators of the expected results, the achievement of which is essential for the project. In the annexes to the technical task there can be schemes of business processes, prototypes of pages, database structure and other additional instructions for the beginning of development.

Now that you know a little more about the step by step process of designing of information systems, it will be easier for you to choose the right person or web‐studio, as you begin to better understand all of what these people say. And be sure to contact SoftwareGarage if you need free consultation on the usability of your website.

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Article thumbnail image by wce.wwu.edu