The geek speak glossary: UX edition

From UI to IA, User Experience (UX) planning can feel like an exercise in perplexing acronyms.

It’s hard to create a seamless UX if you need to learn a new language to give your users what they want. Here, we’ve cut through the jargon and uncovered what those buzzwords really mean: welcome to the UX edition of the Geek Speak Cheat Sheet!


UI or User Interface relates to the specific tools users use to engage with your website or app. This includes features such as menus, buttons and sliders that are designed to help you accomplish tasks. Although UX and UI are sometimes used interchangeably, it’s important to note that latter refers to the website’s framework – not the user experience itself.


Usability is the quotient used to describe how easy an interface is to use. It also refers to the extent to which a user can seamlessly complete tasks – such as signing up to a newsletter or purchasing a product – with minimal interruption to workflow.

User journey

The end-to-end journey a user takes to arrive at their end goal.


A touchpoint refers to a point of interaction between a business and its consumers. These can span online and offline channels and include everything from websites, mobile sites and social media to call centres, kiosks and direct mail.


IA or information architecture describes a website’s structure as well as the systems that organise content in a logical way. In the digital world, information architects use flowcharts and diagrams to map a website’s content so that it’s simple for users to access and navigate.


A fictional identity that draws on real-world data and helps a business better understand its user group.

Lean UX

This term refers to a UX approach that emphasises an evolving user experience over fixed deliverables and goals.

UX jargon can be confusing but don’t let this put you off. Taking the time to ask questions and master the terminology is key to designing an experience that works.


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