A glossary of terms that newcomers to UX may find confusing:
Agile is a project management methodology often used in software development. The Agile development process enables teams to adaptively plan, test, develop, and continuously improve products. Because teams work in incremental, iterative work cadences, known as sprints, Agile encourages rapid and flexible response to change.
Agile UX adds UX design and research methods to the agile methodology. The most important driver for Agile UX is the close cooperation between developers, UX designers and UX researchers during the entire process of product development. Ideally, every sprint entails a design and/or research goal. By planning, testing, optimizing and re-testing elements throughout the project, the UX team is able to roll out a final product that has already been validated by their target users.
Automated UX Research
Automated business processes save time and budgets. Just like software for Marketing Automation, UX testing tools allow to digitalise user research efforts and accelerate every part of a project. Online UX software do not only allow to systematically plan continuous studies and manage the recruitment process, but to automatically gather and filter usability data, create individual research reports based on UX metrics and to easily export and share results within an organisation.
To determine the user experience of a website, it is essential to compare it with its competitors. Within a UX benchmark study, participants perform the same tasks / test the same key processes on a company’s and its competitors’ websites. Results help establish best practices, form baseline performance metrics, identify problem areas and build a vision and direction for product strategies for the next product release cycle.
Customer Experience (CX)
CX includes the experiences customers and potential buyers have with a brand whenever the get in touch with a company throughout their customer journey. Every customer touch point (physical, digital, human) influences the Customer Experience and thus the brand strength and popularity. User experience is an essential part of CX
By validating designs UX design teams make sure their design or re-design meet the expectations and intentions of use of their defined target users.
Effectiveness Ratios show if users or test participants successfully complete a predetermined task on a website, mobile website or app. Also see quantitative user data.
Efficiency Ratios show how long users or test participants need to complete a predetermined task. Also see quantitative user data.
Information Architecture (IA)
Information architecture refers to the structural design of a website, mobile website or app and includes the science of organising and labelling information to support usability and findability.
With (email) invitation links companies can invite users to participate in a research study. The link redirects to the study. If customer profiles already exist in a company’s contact list (for example by age or gender), multiple invitation links can be used rather than one. If an organisation still needs to profile users, participants can be profiled by asking initial questions at the beginning of a study.
Iterative Testing are tests, which are repeated multiple times in order to detect usability issues and improve usability.
Mobile Usability Testing
Mobile Usability Testing are task-based usability studies on mobile websites in order to obtain quantitative and qualitative data from participants while they use their own smartphone or tablet.
A modal window (also called a ‘modal dialog’ or ‘heavy window’)is a child window, dialog or popover element subordinate to an application’s main window. It creates a ‘mode’ that disables interaction with the main window while keeping it visible behind the child window. Users must interact with the modal window, even if only to close it, before they return to the parent application. This provides a way for interactions to occur in a screen separate from the workflow on the main window. Often used for image galleries, login prompts or alerts. They can be ineffective due to mode errors, especially if not intentionaly triggered by the user.
Multichannel or Omnichannel Experiences are related to the experiences customers or potential buyers make when interacting with a brand. They typically use a variety of channels to research product information and compare offers.
UX designers usually create prototypes of website or features and test the Information Architecture before new products are further tested, designed and programmed. A prototype usually As the name suggests, Prototype Testing is a test of any kind of designs and concepts: functional prototypes hosted online in tools like Axure, Justinmind or iRise, other high-fidelity prototypes, low-fidelity prototypes, mock-ups and other new product concepts.
Usability Testing is conducted to detect usability barriers and to improve the usability of human-computer interfaces. The testing methods include Card Sorting, Tree Testing and Screenshot Click Testing among others. A good usability is one of the requirements for a positive User Experience.
UX Management is the discipline that takes care of providing business outcomes through optimising the experiences that users have while interacting with the company brand. UX management is important to show the impact a good user experience can have on business and why it is worth to invest in UX research.