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UX Glossary

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A
A / B Testing
What Is A/B Testing?

A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a method of comparing two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which one performs better. A/B testing is essentially an experiment where two or more variants of a page are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal.

Running an A/B test that directly compares a variation against a current experience lets you ask focused questions about changes to your website or app, and then collect data about the impact of that change.

Testing takes the guesswork out of website optimization and enables data-informed decisions that shift business conversations from "we think" to "we know." By measuring the impact that changes have on your metrics, you can ensure that every change produces positive results.

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Abductive Reasoning
Is responsible for all great scientific discoveries, because abduction is based on an adoption of evidential hypothesis. This general assumption consists in the study of phenomena facts, and through these, a proposition of exploratory explanation. Therefore, abduction is a process for creating explanatory hypotheses.

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Above-the-Fold
For web pages, the area that is visible upfront before scrolling the page. The term is derived from the space as seen on the front page of a newspaper when folded in half. Most important matter is placed above the fold.

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Accessibility
Accessibility or accessible design is a design process that enables people with disabilities to interact with a product. This means designing for people who are color blind, blind, deaf, and people with cognitive disabilities, among others. Accessibility is important to the 1 billion people in the world who are disabled. And accessibility is good for business because it:
  • Builds positive public relations
  • Avoids discrimination and legal complications
  • Contributes to a positive company image
  • Boosts your SEO
  • Improves usability and user satisfaction
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Affinity Diagram
Affinity Diagram is a method that helps organize information generated during brainstorming, an open-end survey, notes from a focus group, etc. by sorting the data into groups or themes based on their relationships for review and analysis.
Affordance
Affordances are an object's properties that show the possible actions users can take with it, thereby suggesting how they may interact with that object. For instance, a button can look as if it needs to be turned or pushed. On user interfaces, affordances help clearly communicate to users what can and cannot be done on a screen. Buttons on interfaces, for example, afford being pressed to trigger an action.

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C
Cognitive Bias
A Cognitive Bias refers to a systematic illogical thinking pattern that affects judgments and decisions. They are a series of mental shortcuts, distortions in our perception that make part of our cognitive activity. These biases allow us to make decisions quicker and easier, but sometimes it also hinders us from generating accurate judgment. Humans are programmed to make cognitive shortcuts. Cognitive Bias are outcomes of our brain's attempting to simplify Information Processing. Often Bias are beneficial but sometimes they can hurt our designs.

  • Biases during UX research:
  • Confirmation Bias
  • Observer-Expectancy Effect
  • Social Desirability Bias
  • Hawthorne Effect
  • Wording bias
  • Sampling bias
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Card Sorting
Card sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture of a site. In a card sorting session, participants organize topics into categories that make sense to them and they may also help you label these groups. To conduct a card sort, you can use actual cards, pieces of paper, or one of several online card-sorting software tools.

Benefits of Card Sorting
Card sorting will help you understand your users' expectations and understanding of your topics. It is often most useful once you have done some homework to find out about your users and understand your content. Knowing how your users group information can help you:

  • Build the structure for your website
  • Decide what to put on the homepage
  • Label categories and navigation
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D
Dark Pattern
Dark Patterns are tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn't mean to, like buying or signing up for something. The purpose of this site is to spread awareness and to shame companies that use them.
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Design Thinking
"Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success. " — Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO

When Design Thinking made the cover of Business Week in 2004, it was identified with the design agency IDEO. IDEO'S founder David Kelly, along with Terry Winograd and Lerry Leifer, gave the name Design Thinking to a process for generation innovative ideas in all areas of a company. Now Design Thinking is an established model used to break up existing patterns of thought in the planning and design of products and services.

Empathy, integrative thinking, an interdisciplinary approach and experimentation are considered essential for developing innovative, customized solutions. Design Thinking Process consists of six steps that are presented in the image above.

Spies, Marco. 2015. Branded Interactions, Creating the Digital Experience. London: Yhames & Hudson Ltd.
Diagnostic Mapping
Contrary to an Affinity Diagram that is a method to visualize "core categories" from the body of data. Diagnostic mapping visualizes problems, their causes, and their consequences, along with any ideas for solutions. Both techniques are used in workshop form where the participants jointly analyze, discuss, and interpret the empirical material visualized by pads of adhesive notes.

Both are Collective Analysis of Qualitative Data Tools.

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E
Experience Bubble
Internet, social media, search engines, social networking platforms increase the number of available viewpoints, perspectives, ideas and opinions available, leading to a very diverse pool of information. However, since in December 2009, Google began customizing its search results for each user. Instead of giving you the most broadly popular result, Google now tries to predict what you are most likely to click on. Those algorithms and other large online intermediaries actually decrease information diversity by forming so-called ''filter bubbles''.

According to MoveOn.org board president Eli Pariser, Google's change in policy is symptomatic of the most significant shift to take place on the Web in recent years - the rise of personalization.

Though the phenomenon has gone largely undetected until now, personalized filters are sweeping the Web, creating individual universes of information for each of us. Facebook - the primary news source for an increasing number of Americans - prioritizes the links it believes will appeal to you so that if you are a liberal, you can expect to see only progressive links. Even an old-media bastion like "The Washington Post" devotes the top of its home page to a news feed with the links your Facebook friends are sharing.

In a personalized world, we will increasingly be typed and fed only news that is pleasant, familiar, and confirms our beliefs - and because these filters are invisible, we won't know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas.

While we all worry that the Internet is eroding privacy or shrinking our attention spans, Pariser uncovers a more pernicious and far-reaching trend on the Internet and shows how we can - and must - change course. With vivid detail and remarkable scope, The Filter Bubble reveals how personalization undermines the Internet's original purpose as an open platform for the spread of ideas and could leave us all in an isolated, echoing world.
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H
Human-Computer Interation, HCI
Is the study of people interacting with computers and technology.

Human–computer interaction is what happens when a human user and a computer system, in the broadest sense, get together to accomplish something.
HCI is a multidisciplinary field of study focusing on the design of computer technology and, in particular, the interaction between humans (the users) and computers. While initially concerned with computers, HCI has since expanded to cover almost all forms of information technology design.
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I
Identity Model
The Identity Model tells the team how users see themselves: what characteristics they are invested in, their source of pride, and self-value.

After interviews, for example, the Identity Model is a method to reveal the different user's identity elements and personal values. They are captured during interpretation sessions and are collected together across users into potential identity elements. Like, sources of pride, self-esteem, or value as relevant to a target activity. Any identity element names captured during interviews and interpretation sessions become the starting point for grouping the observations meaningfully to represent different aspects of self that matter for the project focus.

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M
Mini-Max
Minimax is a decision rule used in artificial intelligence, decision theory, game theory, statistics and philosophy for minimizing the possible loss for a worst case (maximum loss) scenario.
U
Usability
Usability is an aspect of Human-Computer Interaction devoted to ensuring that HCI is, among other things, effective, efficient, and satisfying for the User (ISO 9241-11, 1997).

Usability includes characteristics such as ease of use, productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, learnability, retainability, and user satisfaction (ISO 9241-11, 1997).

ISO 9241-11 also emphasises that usability is dependent on the context of use and that the level of usability achieved will depend on the specific circumstances in which a product is used. The context of use consists of the users, tasks, equipment (hardware, software and materials), and the physical and organisational environments which may all influence the usability of a product.
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