In part 1 of the Design Agency Glossary, we talked about scope creep, user flow, retainers, WYSIWYGs, and smart objects.
To help those who are new to a design agency setting—and because making animated GIFs is fun—we’re back with 5 more terms from 5 agency departments.
Agency department: client services
MVP stands for minimum viable product and refers to the absolute minimum set of features needed for a product to launch. Defining your MVP helps keep a project on track and on budget, without getting distracted by extraneous ideas.
Term: user personas
Agency department: strategy and user experience
Personas are fictional representations of your target market. A persona serves the purpose of identifying the wants, needs, frustrations, and motivations of your target user. It also helps bring the oft-abstract “user” to life through color such as: demographics, lifestyle interests, devices owned, family members, and more. Though they’re fictional, personas should always be based in research and fact.
Agency department: design
Wireframes are to designers as blueprints are to architects. A wireframe is a visual guide that provides the framework for a website or app. It’s created with the purpose of arranging elements to best accomplish a particular goal. So before websites are designed with gorgeous typefaces and intriguing graphic elements, someone (often a team) works out the layout of each page, the hierarchy of content, and defines the interactions users can take as well as how pages connect to each other.
Term: spec work
Agency department: business development
Spec work is a hot-button issue right now in the design world. Imagine asking an orthodontist to straighten out your top row of teeth, free of charge, before deciding to work with them on your entire smile. Who’d do this, you ask? Well, designers are often asked to provide their services “on spec” so that the potential client can see if they like the work enough to hire them.
Term: hot loader
Agency department: technology
“Hot loader” is a relatively unfancy term for a fancy developer tool. It allows you to instantaneously view updates to code in the front-end browser. Typically, developers must refresh the page to see their changes in action. This approach loses the current state, or application data, in the meantime. The hot loader solves this issue by creating a direct connection between the browser and the server. Instead of refreshing the page, it injects the new code so that no states—including the team’s mental and emotional states—are lost.