I'm a programmer, and I come across the issue of naming UI elements on web pages often.

What are some good words/phrases?


  • Dialog popup
  • Modal Window
  • Alert Box
  • Image carousel

Is there a list of standardized UI metaphors somewhere?

  • Are you asking about "good for user" or "good for developers"? Your example point towards the latter.
    – peterchen
    Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 22:25
  • What's the difference?
    – CamelBlues
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 0:14
  • 1
    Terms like 'modal dialog' are likely to be understood by programmers, but will rarely be understood by the average user.
    – Bobby Jack
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 0:28
  • as Bobby Jack said. A typical user does not know (or correctly interpret/use) terms like "popup" or "modal". They have a very precise meaning for techies, but for users, the meaning is vague at best. --- that means: use less, simpler, more common terms when communicating with users.
    – peterchen
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 12:26
  • you mean to say that between the designers and the users there is a vocabulary gap. something that the designers need to acknowledge and work to resolve.
    – Dan D.
    Commented Feb 11, 2011 at 20:18

2 Answers 2




Here's a great glossary for Web Design as a whole with lot of expressions you should know: http://webdesign.about.com/od/webdesignhtmlatoz/a/blglossary.htm

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