In an effort to make things straightforward, we’ve compiled a glossary of our most commonly used terms. We want to be sure we’re speaking the same language. It’s not an exhaustive list, but a starting point.


In an effort to make things straightforward, we’ve compiled a glossary of our most commonly used terms. We want to be sure we’re speaking the same language. It’s not an exhaustive list, but a starting point.

Defined Feature Set:

The set of features within a specific domain. A feature set defines the features and their attributes (such as type, cardinality, etc.), including constraints that must be enforced amongst features.


Interactive design prototype or unreleased version of a specific feature to show a Client how it can be used by a user. Typically, demos are not built to demonstrate every feature in the application all at once, but are limited to a specific aspect or feature of the application.

Feature Planning:

The process of organizing ideas for the creation of new features. This process involves many different steps, product workshops, divergent and convergent design-thinking, feature requirements writing and refinement, and feature sequencing. 

Feature Release:

Features are built using user stories. When all of the stories that define a feature have been completed and tested, the feature is ready to be included in the released version. 

Feature-driven Development:

Feature-driven development is an iterative and incremental software development process. It is a lightweight or Agile method for developing software.

Feature Mapping:

A technique that helps product owners, product managers, and teams visualize the big picture of the product features with the purpose of structuring the features and sequencing their release to deliver continued value creation to the customers.

Graphic Design:

The discipline of generating visual elements to be used in multiple forms of media. These are intended to convey information, create an effect, and/or communicate certain ideas. 

Human-centered Design & Development:

Software design and development with a deliberate focus on the end-user and their experience.

Inception Week:

A week-long series of meetings intended to synthesize the product goals, define feature set, and begin developing user stories with a contextual understanding of the product space.

Landscape Analysis:

Sometimes referred to as market mapping, identifying the key players and potential competitors in the field, sector or geography a product aims to enter into and classifying them by relevant characteristics (e.g., type of organization, target beneficiary). This helps the product team understand the context in which they are operating, and design their strategy accordingly to maximize their impact.

Manual Testing:

The process of manually testing software for defects. It requires a tester to play the role of an end-user whereby they use most of the application’s features to ensure correct behavior.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP):

An early version of the final product used to get real-world feedback from users and stakeholders that cannot be garnered from design prototypes. This version includes only the most basic set of features. This tool is used to verify the product is meeting project objectives as early in the process as possible.


A fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. 

Production Team:

Those involved in the development and production processes of the project.

Project Architechture:

Refers to the fundamental structures of a software system and the discipline of creating such structures and systems. Each structure comprises software elements, relations among them, and properties of both elements and relations. It functions as a blueprint for the system and the developing project, laying out the tasks necessary to be executed by the development team.


A prototype is generated to test or present how an application or part of an application might look, function or behave. This is not working/functional software but design pages linked to each other to simulate a UX.


A shared source of truth that outlines the vision, direction, priorities, and progress of a product over time. It’s a plan of action that aligns the organization around short- and long-term goals for the product or project, and how they will be achieved.

Software Release Life Cycle:

The sum of the stages of development and maturity for a piece of software. Cycles range from initial development to eventual release and include updated versions of the released product to help improve software or fix software bugs still present in the software.


A statement of work (SOW) is a document routinely employed in the field of project management. It is the narrative description of a project’s work requirement. It defines project-specific activities, deliverables and timelines for a vendor providing services to the client.


A sprint is a repeatable fixed time-box during which a product of the highest possible value is created. Sprints lie at the core of Agile methodology.


The intended audience(s) for an application, software, or system.  

Unit Testing:

A software testing method by which individual units of source code—sets of one or more computer program modules together with associated control data, usage procedures, and operating procedures—are tested to determine whether they are fit for use. 

User Experience (UX):

How a user interacts with and experiences a product, system or service. It includes a person’s perceptions of utility, ease of use, and efficiency.

User Interface (UI):

Also referred to as a Graphical User Interface (GUI), includes elements such as text, links, buttons and images to construct a design system that form the User Experience (UX). Designers aim to create interfaces which users find intuitive and enjoyable. 

User Journey:

The experience(s) a person has while interacting with something, typically software. This idea is generally used by those involved with user experience design, web design, user-centered design, or anyone else focusing on how users interact with software experiences to best understand how a typical user would navigate through the software to meet their needs.

User Test:

A method of testing the functionality of a website, app, or other digital product by observing real users as they attempt to complete tasks on it. The users are usually observed by researchers working for a business. The goal of user testing is to reveal areas of confusion and uncover opportunities to improve the overall user experience.

User Stories:

User stories are a re-writing of the requirements that focus on user needs to ensure the project is a solution to that need. A user story usually has the structure of “AS A [defined user] I NEED [x feature] SO THAT [I can accomplish Y task].” with associated acceptance criteria (i.e. specific technical requirements for the software).


Created to illustrate the UX and user journey of an application. It would include how states/pages within the software are linked and the basic layout of content and controls on each state or page. It does not include the styling that is associated with the application’s UI.