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Web Design Terms for Dummies Vol. 1

Web Design Terms for Dummies Vol. 1

Posted on Jun 23, 2016 by

When you think of web design terms or any computer based terms, words like HTML, coding, UI, UX, CSS, etc. probably pop into your head. Fear not, we have developed the perfect definitions to break down those scary terms into very simple words for the average Internet surfer. Whether you are looking for a web designer like HMG Creative (shameless plug) to create an awesome website for your company or you’re just a curious cat, we hope you find some solace after reading our web design series.

Due to the range of terms associated to web design and development, we have Web Design Terms for Dummies Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. We have broken our terms into two easy parts so our readers are not so overwhelmed. In this first part of the series, we will introduce visual design and discovery terms, as well as a few miscellaneous words that you may hear from time to time.

When creating a website for yourself or a client, the layout and navigation of the webpage is one of the most important factors in a consumer’s eye. If a company’s website fails to gain credibility and their online presence is not a good representation of the brand or company online it’s likely that the consumer will have a lack of trust based on this engagement. Your mom may have told you, never judge a book by it’s cover… but in this case, your consumers are taught to judge a website by it’s homepage. When creating a webpage layout, you may come across these Visual Design/ Discovery words:

  • Fold: the term originally associated with newspapers, refers to the line that cuts off the webpage content before scrolling down. The content that is seen on the screen without having to scroll down the page is called above the fold.
  •  Information Architecture (IA): the information design, organization of content and the navigation for a website.
  • Project Discovery: the phase containing a vision/ mission statement detailing the overall objectives of the design project.
  • User Interface Design (UI):  The primary focus is on the user’s experience and website interactions. The goal of user interface design is to make the user’s interaction as simple and efficient (through visual design) as possible, in terms of accomplishing user goals.
  • User Experience Design (UX): a way to improve usability and accessibility between the user and the product for better user satisfaction.
  • Visual Design: The typography (text style, font size, font color etc.), layout space, images and website coloring.
  • Wire Frames: visual guide that shows content of web page without graphics or text design elements. It focuses on the layout without being distracted by design.


With some Visual Design/Discovery terms under your belt, you may also come across some more terms that do not fit into one specific category. These are the Miscellaneous terms:

  • Accessibility: the process of making websites suitable for all users, disabled or not, to have equal access to information. Some features include keyboard shortcuts to perform actions on the webpage, videos that do not contain flashing lights, providing subtitles within video content, etc.
  • Anchor Text: a link integrated into the website content that directs the viewer to another webpage or website. This link is also called a hyperlink.
  • Bandwidth: refers to the speed of data transferring through electronic devices.
  • Browser: a website that connects you to the Internet. Examples include: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
  • Bounce Rate: measurement of how many viewers leave the page after only viewing one page of your website and then immediately leaving the site.
  • Content Management System (CMS): providing a non-technical way for a website administrator to manage their content through an application by creating new content, editing and erasing existing content, etc. Examples: WordPress and Drupal.
  • Landing Page: webpage used to collect a name and email from the viewer in order to contact them with offers in the future. At times this is also called a squeeze page. Landing pages are usually accessed through a hyperlink.
  • Project Management: the nuclease of any web project and their role is the keep the project in budget, scope and communicate between the client and departments within the agency.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): the method used to increase the number of visitors to a webpage by having the site appear high on the results provided by a search engine.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): paid marketing that promotes websites to higher search result spots to increase their visibility.

Now having read some of the basic terms used in the web design and development world, how can HMG Creative help your company? Stay tuned for Web Design Terms for Dummies Vol. 2 where we introduce the terms associated with development, testing and launching of a website!


Kate Gothing

Advertising Student at UT Austin; Social Media and Marketing Intern at HMG Creative; World traveler and burger enthusiast. Follow her on Instagram @kategothing

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