Interactive by Nature

The Geek I Speak

A lot of my family and friends don’t know what the hell I’m talking about when I use front-end developer jargon. Just the other day I threw out “IE” to the guy at the liquor store who steals MMA fights from a website he mentioned. I assumed he was savvy enough to know what I meant. He said, “say what?”. Turns out he was using Firefox, but my jargon was still foreign to him.

With the help of wikipedia, I’m going to attempt to educate non-geeks on what the hell I’m talking about. Since I’m a User Interface Developer, I’ll start with UI.

UI (User Interface)

In computer science and human-computer interaction, the user interface (of a computer program) refers to the graphical, textual and auditory information the program presents to the user, and the control sequences (such as keystrokes with the computer keyboard, movements of the computer mouse, and selections with the touchscreen) the user employs to control the program.

UX (User Experience)

How a person feels about using a product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership, but it also includes a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system.


Refers to the class of computer programs on the web that are executed client-side, by the user’s web browser, instead of server-side (on the web server). This type of computer programming is an important part of the Dynamic HTML (DHTML) concept, enabling web pages to be scripted; that is, to have different and changing content depending on user input, environmental conditions (such as the time of day), or other variables.

Semantic HTML

The use of HTML markup to reinforce the semantics, or meaning, of the information in webpages rather than merely to define its presentation (look). Semantic HTML is processed by regular web browsers as well as by many other user agents.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

A style sheet language used to describe the presentation semantics (the look and formatting) of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML, but the language can also be applied to any kind of XML document, including plain XML, SVG and XUL.


An implementation of the ECMAScript language standard and is primarily used in the form of client-side JavaScript, implemented as part of a web browser in order to provide enhanced user interfaces and dynamic websites. This enables programmatic access to computational objects within a host environment.

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML)

A group of interrelated web development methods used on the client-side to create interactive web applications.


A software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. An information resource is identified by a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) and may be a web page, image, video, or other piece of content.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that specifies where an identified resource is available and the mechanism for retrieving it. In popular usage and in many technical documents and verbal discussions it is often incorrectly used as a synonym for URI. The best-known example of the use of URLs is for the addresses of web pages on the World Wide Web, such as

Web Standards

A general term for the formal standards and other technical specifications that define and describe aspects of the World Wide Web. In recent years, the term has been more frequently associated with the trend of endorsing a set of standardized best practices for building web sites, and a philosophy of web design and development that includes those methods.

If you’re a front-end designer/developer and have some jargon/lingo that I failed to mention, please contact me and I’ll add it to the list. I hope this helps the people in my life understand the geek I speak. And for the guy at the liquor store, “IE” means Internet Explorer.

Definition Sources:

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