Learn the Lingo of Popular Website and App Terms

Importance of Understanding Tech Lingo

Navigating tech jargon can be tough. If you’re just getting started with website and app lingo, check out our guide of common terms below.

It takes only 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website – but months of planning and developing to launch a website. By knowing the right web and app terms, you can streamline discussions with your developers, ask them the right questions, and speed up the process.

In addition, having a sense of industry lingo will give you insight into your product journey and help you make better decisions along the way. We’ve put together key tech terms to make your foray into the tech world a whole lot easier.

Tech terms to kick off your project

To kick off your project, you’ll definitely want to understand these top terms.

  • MVP: The Minimum Viable Product is a bare-bones version of the product with just enough functionality for customers to use. The concept of an MVP is to get a functional version in the hands of real users as quickly as possible. By building an MVP, you’ll also have to prioritize features and iterate as you go, which can save your developers tons of unnecessary work.
  • Agile method: The Agile method focuses on iterating throughout the development phase so that the end product is shaped by ongoing insights and updates in the scope. This allows teams to pivot quickly and avoid rigid, unrealistic plans.
  • Mockups: Mockups of your product are static designs that show all aspects of the look, including the layout, colors, fonts, visuals, and more.
  • DevOps: DevOps is a combination of the terms software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). DevOps is a set of practices to bring together both sides of successful product delivery. DevOps is mostly focused on testing and QA for the delivery of business-ready products.
  • SaaS platform: Software as a Service (SaaS), also known as on-demand software, makes products available through online subscriptions and delivers them over the cloud.
  • Responsive design: Responsive design is about making sure design looks good on all devices, including mobile, tablet,s and desktops. This approach focuses on design that responds to new sizes so that usability isn’t compromised.

Tech terms that are easily confused

As you get deeper into web and app terms, you’ll also want to understand the differences between these concepts. Many of these terms are easily confused, so we’ve teased out the differences below.

Discovery vs. development phases

The Discovery phase is the initial process when information is collected and analyzed so that developers have an in-depth understanding of the vision and scope. Often defining an MVP is the first initial goal. The Development phase then uses the insights during the Discovery phase to create a roadmap and start building the product. Development may be staged into several phases, especially for larger projects.

Backend vs. frontend vs. full-stack

Backend, frontend and full-stack are terms related to a developer’s skillset. A backend developer works on the server, database and overall architecture of a product, while the frontend undergoes the programming for the user interface. Full stack developers have the skills for both areas.

UI design vs. UX design

UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) are two separate areas of design. UI is all about the product’s look and function, especially tangible elements and how users interact with them. On the other hand, UX is focused on the overall user journey, which is about solving their problems. It’s a more conceptual area of design that isn’t just about the look, but also how well the product fulfills user needs.

iFrame vs. wireframe

iFrame is an “Inline Frame” that lets you load another HTML document within it. Basically, it allows you to embed content from external sources on your page. A wireframe is a type of mockup to show the structural framework of a website. Each wireframe shows the layout and function for each page. This is before visual design is included.

SEO vs. SERP

SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) includes all the results of a user’s search. It’s what you see after you type something into a search engine like Google. Elements may include paid or organic results. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is how you get your content served to users looking for it. SEO optimizes pages to match the user-intent and improve the quality of hits for searches.

CSS vs. HTML

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the language used to define a web page’s structure. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used to style web pages in order to get the ideal presentation.

SSL vs. HTTPS

SSL is a security protocol for online communication channels. HTTPS is a communication protocol that refers to sites having both Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and SSL.

Beta version vs. A/B testing

The Beta version is software that’s being tested by a limited group of users before a product launch. A/B testing is a method to experiment two variants (A and B) with users. During user testing, it’s common to have two variants available to find out which gets better results.

Know the terms, but lean on your team

This list of typical web and app terms will give you the basics for understanding tech jargon. Now you can better ask questions of your team and understand your options. See, speaking geek isn’t so hard after all! You can get even more web terms from our list here and use this handy tech terms dictionary to look up anything else! 

Remember to trust in your tech team, too. Lean on their expertise and ask them for more information when you’re not sure of the details. Every software development team is composed of specialists of all kinds, so they’re sure to have an answer for you. Learn more about the key team members for every software project on our downloadable checklist.  

Ideally, you should hire a development partner that you trust, so you can make the most of their know-how. Reach out to Onsharp to find out how we build long-term relationships with our clients.

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