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OUGD504 - Design For Web - Terminology


The creation of a series of graphic images or frames so that they have the look of moving continuously. This can include simple animation (created using .gif files), the appearance of animation with JavaScript, or more complex animations using Flash.

Broken Links

Hyperlinks, or links that fail to open a web page, usually producing an error page instead.

Composite (Comps)

The look of the website without actually creating it. This is achieved with graphics only, and is usually presented to the client in printed form or as an attachment in an email.

Contact Page

The page in a website that contains all information as to how to contact a business or individual. This usually includes a mailing address, phone number, fax number, email addresses and any other criteria that may be necessary. This page can also include a map and directions.


The body of a web page. Content includes words, selling points, graphics, animations, etc. that do not comprise the framework of the page. This is the information that changes from page to page.


Detecting, locating and correcting errors or problems in a computer program or web site.

Domain Name

Allows you to reference Internet sites. To register a domain name, you can contact an online company that sells them or you can ask your web designer, Internet Service Provider or site host to register your name for you. A few domain name suffixes (also known as top-level domains) are:

.com for businesses (the most commonly known suffix)
.net for networking companies, ISPs, and Web hosting companies
.org for non-profit organizations
.me for personal sites
.info for information sites
.biz for businesses
.edu for educational institutions
.gov for government institutions
.mil for military institutions


Interactive elements which allow a user to input information to be utilized by the website. Forms can be used to gather information supplied by the user in order to help the user interact with various components within the site.


The entry page to a website, also known as the index page. Often mistakenly referred to as the "Portal" page.


Most commonly thought of as the place (think of a heavy-duty computer) where your website's files reside. An Internet host has a unique Internet address (IP address) and a unique domain name or host name. A host can also refer to a Web hosting company.


The act of upkeep for a website. This can include updates, changes, re-design, and troubleshooting.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the skill of designing (or re-designing) a website so that search engines will rank it higher for a particular set of keywords.

Target Audience

Groups of people who are considered a marketing strategy's main objective. For instance, toys are marketed toward the Target Audience of children within certain age ranges. Target Audiences can be comprised of one or combinations of different groups. A few examples of Target Audiences are:

Gender-Based Groups
Age Groups
Ethnic Groups
Religious Groups
Political Groups


Checking a computer program or website for errors. Depending on the complexity of a program, testing (and debugging) can take nearly as long as the actual creation of the program.


A generic term that refers to design features that enable a website to be user-friendly. This generally refers to how easily a user can find their way around a site. There are five basic components to usability according to Jacob Nielson (known as THE authority on usability):

Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design?
Efficiency: Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?
Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency?
Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors?
Satisfaction: How pleasant is it to use the design?

A wireframe is a front end prototype of a website or web based software system. It is usually developed from a functional specification that defines the system and user functions. The wire frame usually is a bare bones online prototype with no graphics or backend functionality. It serves to display and finalise the user functions of the software system and to analyse any changes to the functional specification. Not every interactive agency will use this approach to developing a system but we think that on many projects it is an excellent way to define system functionality, get that functionality signed off and hence increase the projects time to market.


PHP is short for Hypertext Preprocessor and is a scripting language that has become very popular in developing dynamic & database driven websites. This popularity is down to the fact that the language was designed for use on the web, its relative simplicity and open source nature which means that one can add functionality to PHP ones self offering complete control.


CSS is an abbreviation for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is a way of defining the formating and "look and feel" of a web page. This is important as one can separate the data from the way that data looks making the website easier to maintain and also making the website easier to interpret by web browsers using XML technology. The style sheets are called cascading as they are separated into sections that can cascade or lay on top of each other. As a leading interactive agency Creative Theorem uses industry best practice XHTML & CSS when developing its websites.

Server - a computer on a network that manages network resources; Web servers "serve" up pages when requested.

Client - an application that runs on a personal computer or workstation that relies on a server to perform some operations.

Host - provide the infrastructure (servers and networking) for a Web site.

Quota - amount of disk space you have on your account.

ISP - Internet Service Provider: organization that provides access to the Internet, and other services, such as email.

HTML - Hypertext Markup Language: code "rendered" by a browser to display Web page.

XML - Extensible Markup Language: Mark-up that enables transmission and interpretation of data between applications or organizations.

FTP - File Transfer Protocol: FTP software is used to transfer files between computers on a network.

HTTP - Hypertext transfer protocol: allows Web browsers and Web servers to communicate.

CSS - Cascading style sheets: documents that definte elements and control how pages are displayed.

.JPG - Type of graphics file, usually used for photographs or images with many colors.

.GIF - Type of graphics file, usually used for illustrations or images with few colors.

.PNG - "New" type of graphics file, similar to GIF (except it’s license-free).

WYSIWYG editor – A “What You See Is What You Get” editor is software that allows you to create Web pages without knowing

HTML Editor - Software that allows you to create Web pages without knowing HTML

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