For a start, what is UI?

UI is short for user interface. This is the look and feel of the on-screen menu system and layout of the app, including how it works, the colour scheme and how it responds to user interaction (button presses, etc.). It can be referred to as Graphical User Interface (GUI).

What is UX?

UX is short for user experience. This involves the emotions and attitudes the user experiences when using the app. It may include ease of use and efficiency, but it’s more than that; it’s the user’s subjective opinion. For example, a physical bike would be the UI, but the exhilaration of riding it would be the UX.

What other words are there that will help me to understand design language?

Below are a few of the words that crop up quite often. Obviously, the list could be endless, I have chosen just a few to give you a start.

Bezel: Bezels are the borders between a screen and a phone’s frame. Many of the latest smartphones have ultra-narrow bezels, ones that almost seem to have disappeared. Narrowing the bezel allows for bigger screen real estate, especially on smaller phones.

Mobile Typography: is about the display of the written word on mobile devices. It’s a very important part of design. It’s more than the selection of a font. It takes into consideration how the font is displayed, the shape, spacing, colour, contrast and position.

Animation: is a dynamic medium in which images are manipulated to make it appear that it is moving. You may have shared a GIF file on messenger. It consists of multiple images (‘frames’) that are played in sequence, resulting in an animated clip or short movie. In the mobile app environment, animations are used for such things as visual feedback, moving circles, changing pages (such as sliding in an out), or just for fun.

Above the fold: The region of the mobile app that is visible without scrolling.

Prototype: A preliminary model of an app used to demonstrate or test the user experience and various task flows.

Paper prototyping: A sketch of the mobile app design on paper to simulate the app, often done prior to developing computer-generated prototypes.


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