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Questions tagged [terminology]

Words used to describe or identify things, either from the user or designer's perspective.

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216
votes
10answers
41k views

Do we “exit”, “quit” or “close” an application?

Do we “exit” an application, do we “quit” an application, do we “close” an application? This is in relation to a desktop app. What is the most meaningful term to use?
102
votes
11answers
31k views

Why is backslash called BACK slash when arguably it points forward?

This is a backslash \. If you read the slash from left to right it starts at the top and goes down - hence it is a downslash. If you read the slash from top to bottom it starts on the left - which ...
99
votes
24answers
35k views

What word can be used to mean either click or tap?

Very often we need to speak generically about clicking or tapping an item, but there seems to be a lack of vocabulary in English for this. We could just say "click or tap" every time, but that is ...
96
votes
1answer
29k views

Update vs Modify vs Change - Create vs Add - Delete vs Remove

I am working in a human resources management application and I have to often work with the creation/deletion/updating of people from the web interface. I'd like to know whether Update, Change and ...
87
votes
2answers
102k views

What's the difference between a Modal, Popup, Popover and Lightbox?

I've seen many terms used to describe message boxes that notify and alert users or display information such as modal, popup, popover and lightbox. What is the difference between these components? ...
86
votes
9answers
93k views

What is this side menu called that can be found in many multi-touch apps, and where does it originate from?

It can be found for example in the YouTube and Facebook app.
85
votes
10answers
12k views

“New” vs. “Create”

For buttons that initiate some content creation interaction, which label is better: "New X" or "Create X"? Are there specific uses that in which one is better than the other?
83
votes
2answers
45k views

When to use “join,” “register,” or “sign up”?

For a user, when is it better to be asked to do the following: "Sign In" vs. "Log in" "Join" vs. "Register" vs. "Sign Up" "Sign Out" vs. "Log out" Different websites seem to use them differently, ...
81
votes
17answers
49k views

Search Vs. Filter- what is the difference

From the view of the user (not from a technical view)- What are the main differences between searching and filtering data, in order to get specific results? i.e.- in both cases the user is looking ...
73
votes
5answers
109k views

What is a “toast notification”?

Microsoft mentions the toast as a visual element in the package manifest for Metro-style apps with the attribute ToastCapable="true". What does this mean?
66
votes
23answers
14k views

Better term for “user” [closed]

I often have to explain some aspect of an application, and often need to refer to users. I really don't like the term as it is not something with a good connotation (e.g. drug users) to the non-...
65
votes
11answers
20k views

Why did Microsoft choose the word “Recycle Bin”?

If you delete something in Windows OS, it will go to Recycle bin. But if you think about it nothing recycles in it right? Say, you delete a virus infected file and again restore it from recycle bin ...
63
votes
15answers
9k views

Alternatives to “Like”, “+1”, “Bookmark”, and “Favorite”?

I'm building a web-app where users indicate that they "like" feed-items published by other users. The act of "liking" also inherently bookmarks the feed-item as well as the publishing user. I'm ...
61
votes
7answers
88k views

What is the exact difference between fluid and responsive design?

What is the exact difference between fluid and responsive design? I am bit confused about fluid and responsive design. Fluid is the one where we give width in percentages so that design will look ...
55
votes
7answers
11k views

Synonym for 'GUI' for non-technical people?

Does anyone know a good synonym for 'GUI' that non-technical people will understand? Or a simple sentence explaining it that still won't scare them off? I mean this in the context of, for example, ...
54
votes
9answers
3k views

Do non-technical/non-web savvy users understand the concept of tags?

Here at Stack Exchange we're currently wrestling with weaknesses in our tags system. As we open up new verticals – some of which include very non-technical users like cooking – we suspect that the ...
53
votes
9answers
21k views

How can I deal with diverse gender identities in user profiles?

I'm trying to work out the wording for (preferably) a gender dropdown in a user profile of a site I'm working on. I want to be inclusive of people who don't gender orient to either male or female ( ...
49
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is it called the fold?

Why is the place where the visible screen (on load) ends called the Fold? I have a hard time even writing out the definition for it, but when someone says The Fold, I know exactly what they mean. ...
46
votes
13answers
5k views

Better term for “Favorites”

I'm designing some surveillance camera footage. I'm adding a little "Favorites" section where the user could make a temporarily list of camera feeds to save and put at the top of the list, since there ...
41
votes
3answers
4k views

What do you call this input element where a focus will automatically be transferred to next text field after being filled?

I have seen this input element often when inputting a serial number or similar code. Each text field accepts N characters, after which focus is automatically transferred to the next field. Pressing ...
40
votes
16answers
4k views

Why do we say we “browse” to a place on the Internet when we actually download a web server’s content to our browser? [closed]

Browsing the web is a common daily task for more than a billion users, and we do not pay much attention to it. We just “browse to a place” or ask our laughing friend across the table “where she is on ...
39
votes
6answers
3k views

Is the term 'field' too technical when giving messages on a form?

When writing help or validation messages on a form I usually write something along the lines of: "This field is required" "5 fields need to be corrected on this form" etc Is the term field too ...
38
votes
9answers
39k views

Documentation - do we “Click”, “Push”, “Press” or “Select” a button on a touch-screen interface

I'm writing some documentation for a web-based application that will run on Android tablets at the factory at which I am employed. I am having trouble wording the steps where the users must interact ...
37
votes
10answers
7k views

Should I avoid using “abort” in favor of its synonyms?

I've heard that the term "abort" could have a negative meaning in some contexts (i.e. due to abortion-related issues), and for that reason it was avoided in some interfaces of the 80's/90's, probably ...
36
votes
19answers
20k views

A universal word or term for “your device/machine/computer/tablet/phone/smart watch/gadget/whatever”?

I want a word that accurately covers tablets, phones, desktop PCs & Macs, laptop PCs & Macs, smart watches, smart glasses, smart fridges, smart socks (watch this space...) and any future kind ...
36
votes
13answers
10k views

Is it true that “the only 'intuitive' interface is the nipple”?

Everyone knows the famous quote (by Bruce Ediger or Steve Jobs, I'm not sure): The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned. It's an amusing gem, but is it really ...
35
votes
5answers
8k views

Is there a UX term for a “happy state”?

A "happy state" is a bit like an empty state but occurs when the user successfully completes a task or likewise. Is there a coined term for this kind of screen? Example (this source names it a "...
35
votes
5answers
4k views

What's the common name for this GUI element? (left-right box, assignmentbox, relationbox)

You often see the following element to assign objects of a certain type to another object. We call it relationbox, but I can't find anything at all about relationboxes on the internet... It's such a ...
32
votes
5answers
3k views

Is database too technical a term for user?

Are these terms 'Database', 'Record', 'Table', 'Field', 'Row', and 'Column' too technical (or even relevant) for a normal online banking application user, especially when talking to a customer service ...
31
votes
3answers
2k views

More clicks while using “Noun” or “Verb” for actions?

“Sign up” or “Membership”? “Donate Now” or “Donations”? You can create an action button with verb or a noun. Is there any recommendation for increasing the click-rates? Which one is better than the ...
30
votes
12answers
4k views

Usability/UX elevator pitch?

Whenever I try to introduce someone to usability/ux, I always find myself having to explain the following: The definition of usability/ux. The fact that I make web site easier and more pleasant to ...
30
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the terminology for tricking the user into thinking they've almost won big?

I don't exactly know the name for this mechanic, that tricks the user into thinking they were very close to winning big. The following screenshot is from the game Dirty Bomb: Imagine a deck of cards, ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

You, Me, or Joe Soap

When listing content in an application (think of a list of documents) we show the name of the document and the name of the author. What should be shown for the author's name when the person reading ...
27
votes
6answers
3k views

Should I use the terminology left/right click?

When instructing users which mouse button to click an element with, it seems standard practice to use the phrase 'left/right click': To download the file, 'right click' the link and choose 'Save ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Defining “Instantaneous” as part of usability acceptance criteria

The Setup I have run into this problem time and time again. An interface is performing slow and QA and/or Engineering come back and ask, "can you please define the acceptance criteria for how fast ...
26
votes
8answers
9k views

Which phrase is better: “Sort chronologically” or “Sort by date”?

I'm adding on to an advanced search screen, the standard few sort orders: by date, by name, etc. I'm just wondering what the more commonly used/accepted way of phrasing it would be. "Chronologically" ...
26
votes
6answers
6k views

What’s the origin of the metaphor “cloud”?

Today we use the term “cloud” without thinking about it. We use it mainly in terms of storage online, far away and unreachable. We can’t plug in a USB memory in the cloud to download data. We plug the ...
26
votes
9answers
7k views

When did UX start being called UX?

When did people start talking about User Experience as a role/domain similar to the way that it's used today? The earliest reference I can find is the Norman, Miller, Henderson CHI 95 piece on Apple'...
25
votes
4answers
20k views

What's the difference between cards, panels, and tiles?

It seems as if with some of the modern front-end development frameworks there is a blur between the different types of 'container' elements. Whether this is an attempt to abstract the design from ...
25
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a name for the UI that marks key positions in a scroll bar?

In Chrome, when you do a text search, you'll see the locations of found instances of the text string shown as yellow lines in the vertical scrollbar. If you run Visual Studio with the Resharper ...
25
votes
7answers
1k views

Is the term 'real-time' understood outside the tech community?

We are making a website for pixel art that will have a diverse audience. Our leading tagline for the site is: "Real-time, collaborative pixel art." Real-time meaning updates to the pages will be ...
24
votes
4answers
53k views

What is the difference between a 'slider', a 'gallery' and a 'carousel'?

From a pattern perspective is there a difference? Or are they really different names for the same thing?
24
votes
3answers
7k views

Is there a visual glossary of (Windows) UI controls?

Some days it seems every member of my team calls each control by a different name. Is there a good resource, preferably with images, for what the official name of each control type is? I found a few ...
23
votes
11answers
35k views

How to explain to my client the difference between Front End and Back End?

I'm currently managing a project to bring a medium-sized shop into the online world for the first time. The very non-technical shop owner is failing to understand what "front-end" and "back-end" ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the information that's always present without requiring user interaction called?

I remember reading about this type of information displayed in a toolbar before, but I can't recall or find it on the web. Ideas? Update the initial title of this question was What is the ...
21
votes
6answers
20k views

What's the difference between the terms “affordances” and “signifiers”?

I do not understand the difference between the concepts affordances and signifiers. I am given the following definitions: Affordances: "Relationship between properties of an object and the ...
21
votes
6answers
8k views

The notification tray at the top of Stack Exchange sites: what is it called? And are there other good examples of this?

I'm trying to clean up notifications for a client site and was wondering if the notification pattern that Stack Exchange employs has a name that I can use to search for more examples.
21
votes
3answers
750 views

Is “having fun” a quality of User Experience?

Most of us here take user experience very seriously, and we answer questions with testing, convention, design pattern, white spacing, grouping, similarity, simplicity, proximity, consistency and much ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

What is User Experience (UX)?

I've looked at this site for the first time today. I've checked About, the FAQ and the FAQ and searched, and I don't seem to be able to find an answer on this site. These are the closest I can find: ...
20
votes
7answers
13k views

Is user experience design (UXD) equal to user centered design (UCD)?

Can user experience design (UXD) and user centered design (UCD) be considered the same? If not, how do they relate to each other and how do they differ?