A repository of acronyms, jargon, and useful words for product and customer teams
A/B testing, sometimes known as split testing, is a randomized process of presenting users with two different versions of a website—an A or a B version to observe which one performs better. Key metrics are then measured to see if variation 'A' or 'B' is statistically better at increasing business KPIs. Determining and implementing the winning variation can boost conversions and help with continuous improvement in customer experience.
Active listening is when before beginning to try to solve a customer's problems, you listen and understand your customer's feedback, needs, and insights. Design teams should make a conscious effort to listen to and engage with their customers, so customers can feel like their voices are being heard and understood.
The active voice is a form of writing that's more direct, concise, and explicitly states who's doing what. When UX writers use the active voice, it empowers users to take action and enables clear web copy.
When customer journey mapping, the actor is the person who is experiencing the journey.
Affinity mapping, also known as affinity diagramming, snowballing, or collaborative sorting, is the process of creating an affinity diagram. Simply put, it’s when you gather qualitative information about your users and group it by category.
A call-to-action, or CTA, is a button, banner, or link intended to persuade the user to click or take the desired action. Whether they’re on pricing, product, or landing pages, well-designed CTAs clarify what people will get when they click and can increase your conversions.
Card sorting is a qualitative research method used to group, label, and describe information more effectively, based on feedback from customers or users.
Think of a case study as a way to tell the story of your UX design or research project. In it, you’ll highlight the process you took to address a specific challenge you were solving for your users and customers as well as the resulting outcomes.
A centralized UX team reports to a UX manager, sometimes called the "internal agency model" or a UX center of excellence.
Presents participants with a static image or screenshot of a page from a site or app, before asking questions.
A cognitive walkthrough is a usability testing method where reviewers perform tasks from the user's perspective. The goal is to discern whether new users can complete tasks on an interface.
Commercial banking provides financial services to various clients, including small-to-medium-sized organizations and customers. They offer everyday banking services to consumers, like mobile banking or opening a credit card, as well as loans and lines of credit to businesses. Commercial banks profit from service fees and interest and are operated by tellers, sales teams, and branch managers. While commercial banks have historically operated from physical branches, some now function exclusively online.
Concept testing is a method of research that involves getting feedback from your customers or target audience to validate a concept before bringing it to market.
Confirmation bias occurs in UX research when teams rely on results that support their ideas or hypotheses rather than thoroughly testing them. It also happens to be a common human tendency which can make it especially challenging for teams to identify.
Context of use analysis is about understanding and analyzing your users, their tasks, and how they intend to use your product in everyday situations.
The UserTesting Contributor Network is a network of real people from more than 30 countries who opt-in to provide their perspectives on any product or experience. Their feedback is captured with the UserTesting Human Insight Platform, and typically returned in just a few hours. Our platform allows you to find the right audiences using demographic filters and custom screener questions, ensuring you receive fast high-quality feedback from your exact target audience.
Process of tweaking your website in order to increase the number of visitors who will complete a specific action on the page.
Deciding which audiences you’re getting feedback from is critical. Depending on your organization’s goals and needs, you may want to test with your own audience instead of using the UserTesting Contributor Network.
Customer activation is when customers transition into the next stage of the customer lifecycle, typically after engagement and before retention. It’s the process of a consumer realizing the value of your product and service and learning all the benefits, leading them to actively engage. It also includes re-activation, known as encouraging existing customers to begin logging into their accounts more regularly or realizing the full potential of your product. Remember, it’s too early to celebrate when customers sign up for your service or notifications. At any point, they can leave for a competitor or become confused about what you offer.
Customer empathy is focused around gaining a richer understanding of your customers—who they are, what their lives are like, how they manage their work and personal lives, and what motivates them.
There are many different definitions for CX, but at its core, it all comes down to how a person feels about the experience of interacting with your brand. Great CX is about providing a valuable, easy-to-use, and enjoyable experience to every customer, on every device, across every touchpoint—in a way that fulfills on the expectations that you set and the promises you made.
While customer experience (CX) is known as the way a user feels about interacting with your brand or product, Customer Experience Narratives (CxNs) is the dataset generated from user feedback entries received through the UserTesting platform.
Customer insights are an interpretation of trends in human behaviors which aims to uncover the underlying preferences, frustrations, and motivations of a consumer to increase the effectiveness and relevance of a product or service.
A customer journey is all the interactions a customer has with your organization before, during, and after the buying process. This includes anything from the first time they hear about your organization to noticing a billboard of your brand while driving to getting help from customer support after a purchase.
A customer journey map tells the story of your customer’s experience. From initial contact, through the various points of engagement, to the eventual long term relationship.
Customer onboarding is the process of introducing a customer to your organization’s product and ensuring a seamless experience. It also includes reacquainting users who're logging into their account for the first time in a while or being introduced to a new product feature. An onboarding experience is part of what makes up the first impression of an organization and is considered by some to be the first stage of the lifecycle, so it’s critical to get it right. Just as a book or film only has a few moments to reel you in, a great onboarding experience reinforces trust in your organization and can turn adoption into customer retention and loyalty.
Cyber insurance protects companies from hackers and other people attempting to interfere with private, protected information. It helps protect against losses from data breaches or interferences with sensitive, personally identifiable information or personal health information.
Cybersecurity, sometimes referred to as information technology security, is how organizations protect their networked technologies, information, and customer data. This includes preventing data theft or corruption, as well as damage to the organization’s hardware, software, or disruption of services.
Deceptive patterns—also known as deceptive design patterns—are interfaces designed to subtly trick you into doing a task you otherwise normally wouldn’t do.
Diary studies gather information about a user experience over an extended period of time.
Digital personalization is the process of offering customers and web visitors a tailored advertising, marketing, and brand experience across digital channels. The spirit of digital personalization is to deliver an experience that speaks directly to each customer, meets them where they’re at, and offers something valuable that they want or need. However, when personalization isn’t done right, customers can feel annoyed, misunderstood, or unsettled.
The 80/20 rule, also described as the Pareto Principle, is an assertion that 80% of outcomes stem from 20% of the effort. Put, it’s about creating the most impact and influence with the minimum amount of work. This can be applied to productivity and time management, economics, finance, psychology, and almost any industry. To find the 20%, you may rely on methods like usability testing and analytics.
In general, the empathy gap refers to the idea of not being able to relate to the emotions, needs, and feelings of others because they’re naturally experiencing the world around them differently than you are. In business, this refers to the gap between the experience organizations feel they’re providing versus how customers actually feel about those experiences.
The employee experience (EX) is an all-encompassing term that represents the sentiments about an employee's (or potential employee’s) experiences with an employer, from applying, onboarding, and managing benefits, to leaving.
An enterprise organization is a large business that has the size and resources to dominate a specific market and is characterized by being high revenue and having many employees.
Ethnography is qualitative type of study that observes people in their natural environment to gain a deeper understanding of their daily habits and provide more context around their behaviors and actions.
Evaluative research can be defined as a research method used for assessing a specific problem to ensure usability and ground it in the wants, needs, and desires of real people.
An expert review, also known as expert evaluation, critique, assessment, is what its name suggests. It’s a process when UX professionals conduct an analysis of a digital product, from a website to a service. Similar to a user feedback test, a user takes an outsider view and analyzes the usability and accessibility of a system while recommending improvements. However, expert reviews are easier to organize and ideal for tight budgets and timelines. Both are valuable to developing your prototype or redesigning your product.
The false consensus effect is the phenomenon and tendency to overestimate the degree to which other people will agree with you, think like you, and behave like you.
Fintech, also known as financial technology, refers to new and emerging technology that enhances and simplifies the usage of financial services—typically through smart devices and by startup organizations. Think about the last time you deposited a paper check using your mobile banking app, split a bill with a friend using a digital wallet, or tracked your monthly expenses online. These all fit within the fintech space. While many of these services are geared toward consumers, fintech also aids organizations and entrepreneurs who rely on these technologies to automate tasks, manage accounting needs, and provide better user experiences.
A fishbone diagram, also known as an Ishikawa diagram or cause and effect diagram, is a visual tool that illustrates the causes of an event. The goal is to find the root cause of an issue instead of implementing a surface-level resolution.
A simple usability test in which a participant is shown a webpage for five seconds and is then asked some simple questions.
A focus group is a set of participants researchers gather for qualitative research purposes to engage in a guided discussion about a predetermined topic.
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a US federal law that protects sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent.
Heuristics are basically ‘educated guesses’ – a quick, but well-informed way of solving a problem.
A highlight reel, or HLR, is a curated selection of video clips edited on an insight platform. Highlight reels can include multiple video clips from the same feedback session or clips from multiple sessions. Highlight reels are easily searchable and shareable to amplify your organization's customer insight.
Human insight is the process of understanding your customer by listening and observing with empathy. It offers a valuable new understanding of your customer that results from listening and observing with empathy and can be used to connect the dots between what they think, feel, say, and do. It provides the "why" context that gives organizations the ability to understand customer needs and rethink ways to better serve them.
A hybrid navigation model, or an information architecture is the method of organizing information in a structured format where users can easily find what they need. When designing a site, content should be categorized clearly and flow interchangeably between other pieces of content.
Qualitative research technique that involves conducting multiple individual interviews.
An incentive is a reward or compensation that motivates a participant to take your survey or test, in exchange for their effort and time. Having a compelling incentive is important to help your study get to the top of the ‘to do’ list of your customer.
Refers to the way content is presented and accessed from any given page on your website.
The intent path is an interactive visualization, part of the UserTesting platform, that groups specific customer behaviors, based on that individual's intent. As part of the Interactive Path Flow, it works to evaluate the web elements users engage with.
Refers to the way content is presented and accessed from any given page on your website.
In the context of human insight, an interview is a face-to-face conversation between an organization and its target audience. Sometimes called a moderated study, interviews can be conducted either in person, or more commonly, remotely via remote conferencing.
In Lean UX, non UX-trained people carry out UX activities involving all members of a development team.
Likert scales assess the degree to which a test participant agrees or disagrees about a given statement, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 commonly representing “strongly agree,” and 1 signifying “strongly disagree.” Due to the numeric scale, these assessments offer more insight than a “yes” or “no” question, which is often too black and white and doesn’t allow for any neutrality.
UserTesting’s Live Conversation is a type of moderated test. It enables interactive, live, remote conversations in the form of a two-way video conference across all platforms, including mobile. With Live Conversation, you and the contributor can talk, see each other, and share screens.
Refers to collecting user insights by surveying live visitors to a website, mobile site, or app.
Longitudinal studies refer to the repetitive action of observing the same test participants over days, months, or even years to notice what changes and developments naturally occur. Researchers can obtain long-term insights into their customers, providing valuable information for how they interact with and experience a product or service.
Machine learning is a subset of AI that teaches computers to learn from data instead of having every step programmed. Although the concept isn't new, advancements in artificial intelligence have made machine learning a cornerstone of AI research and development.
A middle market, or mid-market, organization is a business with an annual revenue range of between $10 million and $1 billion—with categorizations of the lower middle market, middle market, and upper middle market.
Minesweeping is the manual act of using your web cursor, or “sweeping,” to pinpoint tooltips and page links.
A minimum viable product (MVP) is the earliest version of a product that an organization feels is ready to be introduced to customers, especially early adopters. Many top organizations you know and use today were once MVPs, from Amazon and HelloFresh to Microsoft. Product teams use MVPs to get a product out into the real world, validate whether or not it’ll provide value, and gather insight and feedback to help improve their product. By testing MVPs with your target audience, you’re ensuring you’re building the right product at just the right time—and gaining valuable user feedback that’ll mitigate risk.
Mobile testing is the process by which mobile apps and digital experiences (like websites and ecommerce) are tested for relevance, functionality, usability, and consistency.
Moderated testing is a form of usability testing where a UX researcher, or moderator, helps facilitate the study alongside test participant(s). During this qualitative research type, the moderator works directly with the test contributor, guiding them through the study and answering questions in real time if the contributor encounters any challenges while completing their tasks. What’s beneficial about moderated studies is that they can be conducted either remotely or in person, 1:1 or in a focus group setting, and provide a space for dynamic discussions.
Multichannel testing tests if your users have a consistent and similar experience across multiple channels and devices.
Net promoter score, or NPS, measures customer satisfaction. It’s typically measured with a customer survey that asks the customer, “How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or colleague?” on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the highest and the best score and 0 being the lowest.
Omnichannel banking is the process of customers being offered diverse service options, offline and online, and the ability to seamlessly switch between them. In this process, any task started in one channel can easily be finished in another.
An omnichannel test is when participants complete an activity that spans more than one channel or device. For example, if a customer finds a recipe on their desktop and adds the ingredients to a shopping list on their smartphone, refers to the list on their phone while at the grocery store, and then follows the recipe at home on their tablet, they’ve completed an omnichannel experience.
The act of defining, finding and inviting representatives of your target audience into your user research or usability study.
Interactive Path Flows (IPFs) help you understand the behavioral data of the individuals who took your test. They illustrate the diverse paths users take to navigate a web-based experience you are testing.
A persona is a description of a user that details their characteristics, pain points, and sometimes some personality traits, intended to serve as an archetype for real uses to help teams anticipate user needs.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is data that could be used to contact and discover the identity of a living person. Since many contributors use their personal devices for recorded tests, which must adhere to certain policies, PII should always be taken seriously.
Phishing is a method of cyber attacking, with the hopes that an unsuspecting individual will consensually offer personal and sensitive data through a form of communication that appears reputable but isn’t. Commonly, the goal is identify theft or financial gain and the most-used method is through email.
Product management is the intersection of business, technology, and UX to strategically drive the vision, development, market launch, and continual support and improvement of an organization’s products.
Qualitative data is non-numerical data describing qualities and characteristics that can be collected or recorded.
Qualitative research is a behavioral research method that relies on non-numerical data derived from observations and recordings that approximate and characterize phenomena. It’s collecting, analyzing, and interpreting non-numerical data, such as language. It sometimes seeks to understand how an individual subjectively perceives and gives meaning to their social reality.
Quantitative data is numerical data that can be counted or measured. It's any data that can be quantified and has a numerical value. This data is calculable and can always be verified.
Any kind of investigation, experiment or study where the results can be presented with numerical values.
Remote focus groups, or group interviews, are similar to traditional in-person focus groups, however, they’re conducted remotely via video conferencing.
Remote usability testing is a method of remote research that uses an insight platform to record the screen (and voice, depending on the software you choose) of test participants as they interact with your product or experience in their natural environment—at home, in their office, or a specific location.
Use of video recording software to capture the actions and spoken thoughts of users as they interact with your website, content or other marketing assets.
A research objective, also known as a goal or an objective, is a sentence or question that summarizes the purpose of your study or test. In other words, it’s an idea you want to understand deeper by performing research. Objectives should be the driving force behind every task you assign and each question that you ask. These objectives should be centered on specific features or processes of your product. By having a solid understanding of the information you need when running your usability study, you’ll be able to better stay on track throughout your development process.
Retail banking offers financial services to consumers instead of businesses or enterprises. Also referred to as personal or consumer banking, retail banking is designed to meet the everyday financial needs of individuals. It’s how people deposit money securely and privately, manage their finances, and access credit—online or in person.
Scannability is the method of implementing formatting and writing techniques to make your site easily digestible for the reader.
A scenario is a few sentences that help set the stage for your test contributor. It appears only after a test participant has passed the screener questions and met the qualifications, and is the first part of the test that they see when it commences. A scenario may complement screener questions, but this doesn’t always have to be the case.
A screener (or screener question) is an opportunity for you to have bit more control over who carries out your test before they begin.
When it comes to testing, a script is a plan that one follows to ensure all tasks are completed successfully and consistently, leaving the contributor with plenty of opportunities to provide feedback. For you to stay organized and strategic, a script should be made for various types of tests, from usability and moderated tests to benchmark studies.
Self-service banking is a service where customers can conduct financial transactions and activities using devices and channels without going into a branch. This service is convenient for customers to stay on top of their finances at any time of day without being limited by long wait times or a closed bank branch or call center.
A sentiment path is an analytical feature, part of the UserTesting platform, that highlights positive and negative experiences as users complete tasks. Similar to other features like intent path, click maps, keyword maps, and more, they make up some of the many metrics—which are designed to save time by automatically highlighting contributor sentiment, intent, and behavioral insights.
Skip navigation, also known as skip logic, is a link that allows users to skip a chunk of navigational links to get to the main content.
A small business is an organization with less than 500 employees, according to the Small Business Administration. However, a small business can be classified various ways depending on factors like size, revenue, country, and industry, so there is no one set definition.
A startup is an early-stage organization made to fulfill a need a founder believes exists—and disrupt the industry for the better. Startups are typically funded by the founders themselves, or family and friends, as they seek out crowdfunding and venture capitalists.
A study is what you set up in an online research tool to answer your research questions.
It is an evaluation of a product with representative users and tasks designed to measure usability of the complete product.
A survey gathers data from a representative group of people, usually to understand a larger population. Surveys with large numbers of contributors collect quantitative feedback, while UserTesting tests collect qualitative feedback via video recording.
Thick data, a term originally coined by Tricia Wang, is qualitative data (like observations, feelings, and reactions) that provides insights into consumers’ everyday emotional lives. Big data is quantitative data sets (collected at an extremely large scale) that may reveal patterns and trends relating to human behavior.
Study that is used to get verbal feedback from participants while they interact with your website, app or online prototype.
This unofficial “rule” in the world of UX design asserts that no page should take more than three clicks or taps to access. Or conversely, no piece of important content or information should take more than three clicks or taps to navigate to.
A tooltip, also known as screentips or hover help, is an overlay or callout that appears in certain parts of the user workflow on a digital product, containing helpful hints about less intuitive features. An appropriately placed tooltip can provide crucial information at the exact moment the user needs it, and is usually initiated either through mouse-hovering or keyboard-hovering.
User interface (UI) is anything a user may interact with to use a digital product or service. This includes everything from screens and touchscreens, keyboards, sounds, and even lights.
Unmoderated usability testing is a form of qualitative research where users complete pre-determined activities using a design or interface. In these unguided studies, only the user r is present during the session. The user uses a usability platform, like the UserTesting platform, and completes tasks while answering questions out loud. These remote tests can be done at users’ own pace, on their own time, at a time and location of their choosing—making it highly convenient for both participants and researchers. Unmoderated testing is fast and flexible and enables users can complete their tests independently without disrupting the researcher’s daily workflow.
Measure of how well a specific user in a specific context can use a product/design to achieve a defined goal effectively, efficiently and satisfactorily.
Usability evaluation, composed of qualitative and quantitative research, is the process of assessing the user-friendliness of a system or product—and whether or not it satisfies users’ needs. Potential goals include simplifying a process, boosting efficiency, and raising awareness of a specific feature.
Usability labs are laboratories where usability testing is conducted under the supervision of a UX researcher. Test participants are recorded to observe how they complete tasks using the software.
When you instruct a research participant to complete an activity on a website, prototype, or mobile app for the purpose of understanding whether they can achieve a goal.
Study to gather qualitative feedback from users as they interact with a website, mobile site, or app.
A use case is a written account of how a particular product, feature, or concept is utilized, or alternatively, how a specific challenge or pain point can be addressed. Organizations typically rely on use cases to highlight how their products or services can benefit their customers.
User experience is how you feel about every interaction you have with what's in front of you in the moment you're using it.
UX research is the practice of studying user interactions to help with the design of people-first products and experiences.
A user research education program is an education program within an organization that strives to educate more individuals within the organization about customer research and testing to help build awareness, knowledge, and skills so human insight can scale across the organization.
User-centered design can be defined as a creative approach to problem-solving that centers on users throughout planning, design, and development—customized to fit their needs. Whether you’re developing a digital or physical product, with the user in mind, you guarantee creating a product that’s both desired and user-friendly.
Allow you to measure your digital product's baseline performance and measure how changes are affecting the UX needle over time.
UX design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with. It’s about enhancing the experience that people have while interacting with your product, and making sure they find value in what you’re providing.
Set of quantitative data points used to measure, compare, and track the user experience of a website or app over time.
User experience (UX) writing carefully considers information that addresses people’s contexts, needs, and behaviors. While UX writing uses the same skillset as design, UX writers use words to guide users through an experience. The primary goal of UX writing is to help users successfully complete tasks in digital products and mobile apps in an intuitive and natural way, like writing a review, understanding an error message, or navigating a page. UX writers must continuously ask themselves, “Does the language in this digital product help my customers easily navigate their way around and do what they need to?”