Over the past year I have been humbled. I started at Yellow Pencil thinking that my experience as a marketer would be enough to talk-the-talk within a web agency. I was soon in over my head scribbling down acronyms to reference later and embarrassingly asking people what things such as UAT, responsive design, and card sorts all meant. I noticed that many of our clients were also looking around the room nervously when some of these terms were used. So, I would like to share a few basic terms that will hopefully offer you the credibility and understanding needed to get through a web meeting.
Some definitions to help you out
Responsive Design – This is a design technique that restructures the content and design of a page to maintain an optimal experience as the viewing area of a page is changed. This is very useful for viewing pages on mobile devices and tablets since their viewing areas are smaller than desktop monitors.
UAT - User Acceptance Testing. Typically in the development process, an environment is set up that mirrors the final site and it is called the UAT environment. This is used by the client to review the website, test functionality, and for final sign off before it is launched.
Card sort – Testers are given a set of labels and categories on cards and then asked to arrange them in a structure that makes the most sense to them. This is used to gain an understanding of how the typical user would envision the structure of the site.
Browser Requirements – One thing you may want to consider is what browsers you would like your site to be compatible with. We automatically make the site compatible with all modern desktop browsers. But there may be a need for responsive design for mobile devices or even requirements for the site to work with outdated browsers.
CMS – Content Management System. This is a system that offers a user friendly interface to content creators and allows them to make edits to a website. At Yellow Pencil, our services include setting up CMS’s for our clients. The CMS’s we typically recommend are Drupal, Open Text, and Oracle.
Wireframes – A basic visual guide we use to suggest the structure of a Web site, as well as the relationships between its pages. Wireframes come long before we do any visual design. Wireframing lets us outline a Web site’s basic, overall structure and flow and helps us explore divergent ideas from our sketches.
Hosting – This is the service of storing a website on a server and allowing other users access to it via the internet. This is a service that we offer at Yellow Pencil as well as support and management of the hosting.
QA – Quality Assurance. This is a process in which a product (in our case websites or software) is tested for defects or bugs. It involves creating and executing a test plan made up of test cases that ensure the requirements are met.
SEO - Search engine optimization (SEO). This is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic") search results. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
Personas - A persona is a fictional character that communicates the primary characteristics of a group of users, identified and selected as a key target through use of segmentation data, across the company in a usable and effective manner.
Content Migration - Automatic or manual migration of content from another web property or location (.doc file, Google doc, etc.) into its new location. Includes static content, assets (images, videos), web applications, etc.
If you come across any other jargon-y words during one of our meetings, just call it out and ask us what the heck we mean. If anything, it just shows us that you are paying attention. ;)