Even More Acronyms OMG!

Welcome to part 2 of our blog series on the many acronyms you could encounter in the world of web design.

HTTP and HTTPS – You will see this if you look at how a domain name is written or appears in your browser, and it refers to the ‘Application Protocol’ that makes the data appear as a web page. What it actually stands for is ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol’ and ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure’. We looked at a similar one in the last blog (FTP – File Transfer Protocol) which treats the data differently.

The other difference is that one has ‘S’ at the end, which means secure.  It is a security protocol, so it should be used for all online shops/banks and helps protect your data. It is also the thing that gives you a padlock in your browser. Look out for it next time you do online banking.

RSS – This stands for ‘really simple syndication’ and is used to allow users to get a web feed (largely of new content) from a website in a standardised format. This means that you could monitor many websites through one platform and it only shows you the updates to the sites. This is a fairly old technology now, but is still useful if you need to monitor a lot of sites at the same time.

UGC – This stands for ‘User Generated Content’ and is widely used across the Internet as well as other non-digital mediums. The most obvious use of this is social media, where all of the content is produced by the user (content being; images, videos, written comments, blogs and articles). But it is also used by news outlets for breaking stories (as in a video from a disaster taken on someone’s mobile phone) or adding a comment to an existing story. It can also be part of a marketing strategy (sending a brand a picture of you wearing/using their product in return for something). There has been a big rise in this as part of Web2.0 and the democratisation of content.

UX – This is short for ‘User Experience’ and is used closely with UI (User Interface – see below) as the two things are heavily interrelated. UX is essentially how good an experience a user (you) has with a product from start to finish. This is very big in Internet development, and a lot of testing goes into websites and mobile apps before they are launched to ensure that they are as straightforward as possible for the user. Ultimately if a user finds something easy and intuitive to use, then they will keep using it, if they don’t then they won’t.

UI – This is short for ‘User Interface’ and is the other side of the UX/UI mentioned above. This is distinct from User Experience, as it deals with what users see and how information is displayed, rather than the user’s journey. So if UX is how you get from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B’ UI is about how things are what you see on that journey. A typical UI application on Websites is ‘where do I put this button and what should it look like?’

GUI – This is short for ‘Graphical User Interface’ and if you are reading this on your computer you are using one right now! This is the technology that allows users to interface with electronic devices using icons and a mouse, rather than having to type out line commands. So if you have any computer that has Windows, MacOS or Linux on it, then the GUI is the interface you can see on the screen that allows you to control what the computer does.

SQL – ‘Structured Query Language’ is the coding language that is used to manage relational databases. So if you have a website, and are able to update the content via an admin profile, that data is held in a relational database, and it will be SQL that allows you to access the data.

Look out for our next instalment when we will cover some marketing speak as well.

And if you need help with your website then get in contact.