Terminology

Our next order of business: terminology. If you don’t understand the terms you’ll never understand the process.

User Interface (UI) – how the user interacts with a digital device/computerized system, particularly the use of input devices and software.

User Experience (UX) – the overall event of a person using a digital product such as a website, mobile app, or computer application, highlighting the ease of use and amount of pleasure generated.

Graphical User Interface (GUI) an interface by which a user interacts with an electronic/digital device such as a computer, mobile device, or other appliances or applications.

Product – a digital object (website or app) offered to a market to satisfy a need or want.

Minimal Viable Product (MVP) – a product with just enough features to satisfy early adopters to provide future product development feedback with enhanced features.

Customer Journey Map (CJM) – is a visual representation of how and when your customers interact and have an experience with you. It helps to tell the visual story of a customer’s experience with your brand from initial engagement through lifetime value. Depending on the nature of your product or service, the customer journey could be short or long and would include subscription models that last for years into the future.

Swiss Colors – Developed by German designer Fabian Burghardt, known for his ability to code and design interactive websites and experiences, Swiss Colors is a digital tool created to help artisans find new, useful, and inspiring color combinations. The palette is displayed as geometric patterns in a cube format. 

Color Gradient – Gradient, also known as color transitions, is what is referred to by blending one color into another, essentially creating an entirely new color. Gradients add depth, giving an object a new dimension that makes it stand out. The added dimension gives the object a new level of realism. A gradient is a graphical effect that produces a three-dimensional color look. 

Color Converter – A color converter converts colors from one data type to another. Color formats include RGB, CMYK, PMS, HEX, etc. They differ in their purpose. For example, PMS and CMYK are for print. RGB and HEX are for onscreen.

Flat Colors – Flat color is usually used to describe a solid color with no gradients, screens, or halftones. Flat can refer to color without shine or sheen. In the context of graphic design, flat is often used to describe a color that lacks any surrounding contrast colors without other embellishments such as shadows, bevels, or gradients. 

Material Design – Material Design is a color system that helps you create a color scheme that relates to your brand and/or design. The system allows you to pair a synergistic primary and secondary color and give meaning to your brand development. This is a useful tool when creating a UI where you want to distinguish between separate elements by deploying a contrast, whether by selecting a secondary color or using the primary color with light or dark variants or other forms of typography or iconography.

Control Elements – When presenting the design package to the developers with all the stylistic requirements, they will need to code the new interface. One of the elements that must be included is a list of the change of state items. A change of state element might include a button, slider, or hover over effect. For example, if you hover your mouse over a button on the site, the cursor’s icon might change from an arrow to a hand, or the actual button might change the copy or change colors. It represents a change in the static state to a new state. The design team must present a style guide to the development team with all the elements that change state. 

Quality Assurance (QA) – To best define what quality assurance is, it helps understand what it is not. To best understand quality assurance, be careful not to confuse it with quality control. There are distinct differences between QA and QC. Quality is defined as meeting a previously set requirement, expectation, and/or need determined by the client/customer. On the other hand, assurance is provided by a senior-level manager who, following thorough and systematic testing, confirms a product’s technical functionality is working as designed. It gives security that the product will work without any issues. When combining “quality” and “‘ assurance,” you get a set of activities that monitor and verify the processes used to manage and create the deliverables have been followed and are up to code. Quality Assurance is proactive and preventative. It recognizes flaws in the process. Quality Assurance has to be completed before Quality Control. QA and QC are often used interchangeably, but this is incorrect. They are closely aligned, and sometimes it is challenging to distinguish one from the other. They are both under the Quality Management umbrella, but QA emphasizes preventative measures, whereas QC looks to identify any defects.

According to Softwaretesting.com, the differences between QA and QC, include:

Quality Assurance – Process for assuring that quality will be achieved. The aim is to prevent the defect—the technique of managing quality.

vs.

Quality Control – The process that determines whether the quality request has been achieved. The aim is to identify and improve the defects. Method to verify the quality.

Branding – Given the presence, visibility, and success of many high-profile brands, our digital economy has placed an even greater emphasis on the demand for brand management, recognition programs, brand services, and overall brand expertise. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies a seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. The legal term for a brand is a trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller. If used for the firm as a whole, the preferred term is a trading name.”

Quality Attribute (QA) – Unlike the other type of “QA” that focuses on measuring software functionality against its expected applications, quality attributes are the properties that are testing in terms of how well they align with the needs of the users of the product. Quality attributes are the characteristics most important as judged by a user of the product and their interests, including reliability, functionality, usability, efficiency, and portability.

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