Accessibility is the practice of designing products that are usable to all users, regardless of ability or context of use. Different than usability, accessibility focuses on technical and visual aspects of a design that directly relate to its functionality for users of different ability levels. While intended to aid users with specific disabilities, considering accessibility of digital products provides benefits to all users.
Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that refers to the simulation of intelligent behaviour in computers. Artificial intelligence is meant to solve cognitive problems such as learning, problem solving, and pattern recognition. The term artificial intelligence can apply to any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully reaching defined goals.
Availability means that a product or resource is open for everyone to observe and use. Often it refers to how easily a user can find the required information.
Beta is a testing phase of a new system or digital product. The beta is an early version of a product that requires user testing, bug testing and adjustments prior to a full launch. Beta versions of a digital product are typically made available to sample of the desired user base, before being opened to all users.
Machine learning is a specific application of artificial intelligence. Machine learning uses statistical techniques that give a computer or device the ability to learn without a certain set of data. Machine learning refers to the construction of algorithmns that can learn from and make predictions about a given set of data.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
A minimum viable product is a digital product that has enough features to meet the needs of early adopters and key users, but does not include the full set of desired features. In agile development, a minimum viable product is launched so that iterations can be made based on user feedback. Typically, feature requirements for an MVP will be set out from the start of a project, and additional features will be determined after the MVP has been launched and adopted by users. With an MVP, feedback is key to guiding future development.
A prototype is a stylized and more complete version of a wireframe that shows features and interfaces as they would appear to the user on-screen. Prototypes can be low or high fidelity. Fidelity refers to how closely the prototype mimics the final product, with high fidelity often including development work. Both low and high fidelity prototypes are used after wireframe testing, and are often used for usability or A/B testing.
Usability refers to how easy user interfaces are to use, which is usually determined by a usability test. Usability is defined by 5 components: learnability, efficiency, memorability, user errors, and satisfaction. Usability tests usually focus on specific tasks, and determine the efficiency and the ease of which users can complete them.
User interface design refers to the front-end of a system, or, the elements in which a user will interact with on the page. User interface design incorporates styled elements to create the aesthetic appearance of the website or application. Development for the user interface usually happens in conjunction with or after testing has been done on application prototypes, and is usually done using HTML and CSS. User interface design plays a role in the overall experience of the user.
Mobile user interface focuses on the appearance and usability of mobile applications.
User experience is the overall experience of using a product. It is a broader concept than user interface or usability. Although both of these are important aspects of user experience, the term refers to a person's overall emotions and attitudes about using a product, system or service. User experience encompasses all aspects of a person's feelings about using a product, including their understanding of the product, the context in which they are using it, how well it meets their needs, and the enjoyment or frustration that comes from using the product.
Utility refers to whether or not a product provides the features needed by defined users. If the product or system provides all the features required for users to meet their goals, it has a high level of utility.
Wireframes are basic black-and-white samples of a new feature or interface. Often using placeholder content and simple boxes and outlines, wireframes are not fully representative of the final product. Wireframes can be designed digitally or on paper, and are meant to be used early in the user experience research and design process.