Technology can be complicated. Web design can be even more complicated. With hundreds of different terminologies to describe web page functions, design characteristics, or other web design processes, it can be a challenge to keep up with more experienced developers and tech geeks. The lingo thrown around often times leaves less knowledgeable people out of the loop, which can be a disaster if those people are working with you on your next website development project, or if they are customers that do not have the know-how for shortened and unclear explanations. Most often, there are four ‘lingo’ terms which stand out to customers or associates as being unclear. In order to maximize communication and others’ understanding, it might be helpful to be aware of the most commonly used forms of web design lingo. Here are the four that are perhaps used the most in the web design world.
Responsive web design is one of the most important design properties of the modern web environment. Responsive design is all about screen size. With more and more website users shifting to mobile platforms, it is essential that you understand what RWD entails. If you have accessed a web page on a smart phone or tablet that simply does not function properly, it likely does not have responsive characteristics. RWD allows for streamlined access from both mobile devices and desktop computers, forfeiting the less convenient option of having to switch from a desktop version to a mobile one. RWD allows websites to format automatically to various screen sizes so that no device a viewer might use to access your website will access the web page with poor service.
2. The “Hamburger Button”
To many, this might actually stand out as an easy to identify term because of its widespread use. Most recognize the icon immediately as the three stacked, parallel horizontal bars in most web systems. For example, it can be found in the top right corner of the Chrome web browser, as well as in various other operating systems and browsers. For RWD purposes, it is used as a way to shrink the panels in the navigation menu heading up your website. Most commonly this icon indicates the “options” features that allow users to customize or control functions in their web browser or other programs.
A bit more complex, a CDN is a “content delivery network”. In simplistic terms, it is a way to cut back on unreliable server connections for the end user of your website. Through more diverse website hosting through several different servers, the time it takes to load a page and the reliability of connection can both be drastically improved. The more servers you utilize to host your webpage, the better your page will behave to viewers, and the less often it will be unavailable due to site overflow.
Cookies are possibly the most well-known data storing process to even unexperienced web techies. Essentially, they are text files which are saved on your computer, which store anonymous data, that only the website that encrypts the ‘cookies’ is allowed to view. Cookies are important in that the information stored in the website’s data centers is reused so that preferences and other site specific information can be saved and automatically used for whenever you access the webpage.