Knowing the terms involved in the field makes it possible to have a conversation with your web design company and actually speak the same language! Good companies will understand you anyways, but it never hurts to get a working knowledge of the terminology in a field you are working in.
When you want your website to look a certain way, you need to be able to communicate effectively with your designer. Instead of “pop”, use terms like “contrast” or “gradient”. The more specific you are, the closer you will be to getting the design of your dreams! Here are a few terms to help you when communicating with a designer.
Above the fold
Referring to the part of the web page that is visible on-screen before the user scrolls down.
The term was originally used with reference to newspapers, where the newspaper would be folded and placed on a news stand. The visible part of the paper (above the fold) is what sells the paper.
In web design, the part of the site that is above the fold has the same function. There must be enough content of interest above the fold to make the user want to dig deeper.
The backend of a web site refers to the HTML, code, files and server processes that make the website work. The backend is what the web designer builds, the frontend is what the web site visitor sees.
The main text portion of a book or website.
A long quotation–four or more lines–within body text, that is set apart in order to clearly distinguish the author’s words from the words the author is quoting.
Any letter, figure, punctuation, symbol or space.
The state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association.
A domain name is a name by which a web site or web server is identified, for example www.webdesigndictionary.com. Domains can include letters, numbers and hyphens only.
A gradient, or graduated fill, is a color fill that gradually blends from one color to another.
A system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.
In typography, the reduction of letter spacing between certain character combinations in order to reduce the space between them, performed for aesthetic reasons.
Negative Space (or whitespace)
In design, the space not occupied by the text or images.
Shorthand term for picture element, or the smallest point or dot on a computer monitor.
In typography, characters (or typefaces) without serifs, which are lines crossing the free end of the stroke. “Sans serif” means “without serif”. Example below
In typography, an all-inclusive term for characters that have a line crossing the free end of a stroke. The term serif refers to both that finishing line and to characters and typefaces that have them. Example below.
Example of Serif and Sans Serif: