Web Design Jargon for Non-Designers: 14 Buzzwords to Get Familiar With

With the growing popularity of website building platforms, such as Oxxy, you don’t need to be a professional web designer or web developer to create a website. Still, being familiar with all the buzzwords from the industry will help you read web design blogs, network with web designers and even impress your colleagues and friends.

So, here are some of the most popular terms from the web design jargon.

(Read also: Marketing Jargon for Non-Marketers: 12 Buzzwords You Need to Know)

  • Above / Below the fold

These two terms – above the fold and below the fold, come from the print industry. On a newspaper, the most important news are printed on the front page and above the fold so that they could easily catch readers’ attention.

In the web design world, above the fold is the section of your screen that is visible without the need to scroll. Needless to say, this is the place where you put your most important content.

Logically, below the fold refers to the space that is visible when you scroll the page.

  • Alignment

The term alignment refers to the position of the elements on your page. In order to make your page visually appealing, usually you will want to align your elements next to each other or one under another.

  • CMYK

CMYK is an abbreviation from “Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black)”. This is a color model used in the print industry as this four colors are injected by printers. By combining them in various ways, you get all the colors you can use in the printed materials.

  • RGB

RGB is an abbreviation of “Red, Green and Blue” and like CMYK it’s another color model. The difference is that RGB is used in the web industry where by combining this three colors you get all other colors.

  • Crop

To crop an image means to remove its outer-parts so that you can achieve better composition or to zoom in on a certain element. Cropping can be done with any image editing tool and you will often need it the process of web design.

  • Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is one of the key principles of web design. It means arranging the elements in a way that you clearly show what the most important message of your website is. Using visual hierarchy on your site is a way to influence your visitors actions and decisions.

  • Vector Graphics

Unlike other types of visuals that are made up of grids of pixels, vector graphics are made up of geometrical shapes. This means that they can be scaled to larger sizes without losing any quality. Usually, vectors are used to create logos, icons or other design elements.

  • Negative Space

Also known as white space, this is the blank space that surrounds objects on a website. The negative space is very important in web design as if used correctly, it gives a clear and tidy look to your website.

  • Mobile-friendly

Mobile-friendly is usually used to describe a website that looks good when opened from a mobile device. Mobile-friendly websites are either responsive or have a separate mobile version. The difference is that a responsive page is a page that looks equally good on different screen sizes. In the same time, sites with a mobile version serve a separate website (i.e. the mobile version) to users that are opening the site through a mobile device.

  • Flat Design

Flat design is a minimalistic design approach that is used in order to enhance a website’s usability. Graphics are two-dimensional, clean and bright-colored. Flat design has become very popular in the recent years as it very good from a UX point of view.

  • Skeuomorphism

The opposite of flat design, skeuomorphism is another design concept featuring elements that look like taken from the real world. The old iOS used skeuomorphism for its menus and panels before abandoning it a few years ago.

  • Grid

In web design, a grid is a hypothetical table of horizontal and vertical lines that is used by designers to align elements on a page.

  • Single-page website

Usually, websites are divided into several pages. However, in the last few years one of the biggest trends is to create single-page websites. These are websites where all the content is on a single page and is divided into sections. The reason why single-page sites are so popular is that it’s smoother to just scroll to another section on the page than to go to a new page.

  • Storytelling

Storytelling, or also referred to as Brand Storytelling, is a popular technique in web design and online marketing used by companies to tell a story to their customers through their website.