10 Popular IT Acronyms You Need To Know

If you work with a digital agency, you probably will hear some of the acronyms we explain below. Knowing them is crucial not only for communication but also for a better understanding of the process of software development.

Why do we use acronyms anyway? Well, it’s just convenient. We probably don’t save hours, but saying and writing long names of all the terms can be annoying.

Acronyms, or should we say abbreviations, are short versions of words or names, usually created from initial letters. People started to use them long ago when computers weren’t even existing yet. Writing “FBI” instead of “Federal Bureau of Investigation” or “NASA” instead of “National Aeronautics and Space Administration” could save lots of space on a paper and ink in a pen.

In the IT industry, acronyms are very popular. There are so many specialistic concepts we use and lots of them have their acronyms. Today, we will explain the most common ones for everyone who is collaborating with a dev house or is considering it in the future.

UX & UI

Let’s start with two acronyms we use very often at iteo. In web and mobile design, these are very important. We describe them together, because, although they are different things, they complement each other and are often a part of the whole design process.

UX is short for “User Experience”. UX designers are responsible for people’s feelings when using an app, a website or other software. They create interactions between the user and the product, caring to deliver a positive experience. People who want to work in this field should know not only what colors are easy on the eye or what kind of interactions are most intuitive, but also they need to understand cultural contexts, symbolics and other factors that shape user’s reactions. What’s interesting, is that UX is not a term that was created in a digital environment. UX design is practiced in all sorts of industries — to make our surroundings convenient to use.

UI stands for “User Interface”. UI designers create interfaces that we, as users, see every day. They are responsible for making them easy-to-use and effective. Unlike UX, this is a strictly digital kind of work. Designing UI is all about colors, typography, buttons, icons, interactive elements and all that jazz we see when we use a digital product. If their job is done properly, we receive a piece of software that we use with pleasure, not thinking too much about all the steps we need to take to use it. That’s because good UI makes it all logical for most of the users and they can focus on main functionalities instead of wondering where is the button that will make it happen.

Too complicated? Here’s a quote that will simply explain the difference between those two:

“The main difference to bear in mind is this: UX design is all about the overall feel of the experience, while UI design is all about how the product’s interfaces look and function.”

UX and UI work great together to give the user the ultimate experience. Both done with attention to the detail result in a good-looking product that is highly functional.

MVP & PoC

We wrote a whole article about MVPs and PoCs. Another two popular acronyms in software development — often used in the process, so every client should be aware of their meaning and purpose.

“Minimal Viable Product” (MVP for short) is the most basic form of an application. Usually, it is made to verify the idea — it is shared with potential users so they can test it and leave feedback. To cite our mentioned article: “It should have core features and basic design so people who use it can focus on its functionalities. The main focus of MVP is proving value proposition.”.

Proof of Concept (PoC) is also used to validate the project, but it is usually created for internal purposes. Its main goal is to determine if the idea is viable. This quote will explain it thoroughly: “It gives all the project participants fast clarification if the concept is worth pursuing. It’s also the cheapest and safest way to test it beforehand.”.

Preparing an MVP or a PoC helps with the validation of the product idea, which can reduce additional costs. Also, seeing the “live” version of the project, even when its basic, can help determine if it will be sufficient to fulfill the business needs that were established at the beginning.

QA

This mysterious acronym stands for “Quality Assurance” and is a more correct name for what we call testing. Why software tests are important, we already explained in one of our blog posts. QA is the whole process of finding bugs in developed products and giving feedback that helps to fix them. It’s one of the most crucial processes in software design — without this step, a lot of apps could not work improperly.

HTTPS

You probably know this acronym — you could see it not once not twice in your web browser. Websites that have HTTPS before their WWW can be considered secure for your data. “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure” is used for safe communication in the online environment. It prevents all the information sent between computers from hijacking and editing by third parties. It encrypts them all with a TLS or SSL which are acronyms as well.

Authentication of a website is based on certificates provided by another entity. Nowadays most browsers block pages that don’t have HTTPS. This protocol is very important to protect our information, especially during online payments.

CTA

Let’s leave the topic of security for now, and focus on the marketing of your business. CTAs are also a part of the design — because when working on digital products, designers need to decide where to put a “Call to Action” button or notification.

CTA is supposed to encourage users to take concrete action. They are put on landing pages, inside mobile apps and on websites. Being a part of the sales process is just one of their functions. They can be a great way to collect newsletter subscribers, tell the users to download your freebie or send them to the next piece of content on your blog.

API

“Application Programming Interface” is a set of concrete rules and descriptions for communication between computer programs. It is used to simplify all the processes between certain pieces of software. Often used in development — for example when an app needs to connect with the client’s internal system, it sends a request to its API. Simply put, afterward, it receives an answer on how it should react to the user’s action.

CMS

If you own a website or a blog, you probably need to change its content sometimes. With CMS, which is “Content Management System”, it’s easy. You just log in to your administration panel where you can find all available options — to add a new article, change a picture on the page and more. This way you don’t need to know even the slightest bit of code to edit your webpage.

Usually, when you collaborate with a digital agency that creates a website for you, they provide a CMS with it so you can easily manage it after finishing the project.

VPN

Security is more than important — at work and in life. Privacy is another thing we like to protect in today’s world. VPN which is “Virtual Private Network” can be useful in this case.

VPNs come in a form of software that allows the user to extend their private network. They are often used in big companies that want to share their internal resources with remote employees or between offices in different locations. Data sent between computers in the network is compressed and encrypted, so the process is efficient and the information is protected. These attributes are also appreciated when working with clients — so their files are safe when sent to the business partner.

Now you know a little bit more about acronyms we use all the time in the IT industry. These are just a handful of all the abbreviations we say and write — but probably the most common ones. With this small vocabulary provided above, you will understand more when collaborating with a digital agency. And we will explain the rest to you when it is necessary. Just let us know what you have in mind — let’s work on your extraordinary project together!

human-centric software design & development. check out our website: www.iteo.com