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Glossary

  • Page density
    A measure of the percentage of the screen that is filled with text and graphics.
  • Page flow
    A hierarchy or sequence suggested by arrangement of elements on a page.
  • Page templates
    Predefined layouts or formats for sets of common web pages.
  • Page title
    Page titles refer to the text located in the browser title bar (this is the bar found at the very top of the screen of common browsers).
  • Pagination
    Dividing information into separate sequentially numbered or linked pages.
  • Paging
    A Web site design methodology that requires users to follow a series of "Next page" links to read an entire article. Moving from page-to-page is an alternative to scrolling through long pages.
  • Panels
    Visually and thematically-defined sections of a Web page. Panels are frequently placed in the left and right margins of pages. Panels often contain navigation aids, including related links. Content is not usually placed in left or right panels.
  • Paper Prototyping
    A prototyping method in which paper models are used to simulate computer or web applications.
  • Parallel Design
    A design methodology that involves several designers pursuing the same effort simultaneously, but independently, with the intention to combine the best aspects of each for the ultimate solution.
  • Parse
    Extracting component parts
  • Passive voice
    Voice is a grammatical feature of English verbs. Passive voice permits subjects to have something done to them (by someone or something). For example, ?The link was clicked by John.? Some argue that passive voice is more indirect and wordier than active voice.
  • Path
    The route taken by a user as they move through a Web site. The path can be shown by breadcrumbs.
  • Performance data
    Data used to measure how easily or completely a user did a task.
  • Performance objectives
    The goals set for user behaviors on an individual Web page or a series of Web pages. These objectives usually are stated in terms of the time to correctly select a link, the overall accuracy of selecting links, the average time to select a target page, etc.
  • Performance test
    A usability test that is characterized by having typical users perform a series of tasks where their speed, accuracy and success are closely monitored and measured.
  • Persona
    The creation of a representative user based on available data and user interviews. Though the personal details of the persona may be fiction, the information used to create the user type is not.
  • Physical consistency
    Physical consistency refers to the "look and feel" of a Web site. Physically consistent Web pages will have logos, headers, and navigation elements all located in the same place. The pages also will use the same fonts and graphic elements across all pages in the site.
  • Plain language
    Clear and succinct communication written to ensure readers can understand the information as quickly and completely as possible.
  • Plug-in
    A software module that adds a specific feature or service to a larger system. For example, there is a number of plug-ins for common browsers that enable them to display different types of audio and video.
  • Point-and-click
    A term used to describe conventional Web surfing behavior. When a user visually identifies a link they wish to follow, they place their mouse pointer over the link (point) and depress the appropriate button on the mouse (click). [See also Mouseover]
  • Pop ups
    A window that is opened up by the browser, not by the user.
  • Pop-under/Pop-up
    A pop-under or pop-up is a window that is automatically invoked when a user loads a Web page. Pop-under appears below the active browser window, whereas pop-ups appear above the active window and can obscure screen contents.
  • Preference data
    Information that is gathered about a user's perception and feelings about the experience.
  • Preference objectives
    The goals set for user attitudes toward individual Web pages or an entire Web site. The objectives are usually set and measured using questionnaires. These objectives include information concerning user acceptance and user satisfaction.
  • Product Design or Industrial Design
    Design of consumer products that considers usability, human factors, ergonomics, and appearance while still maintaining function.
  • Programmatic Focus
    Where the computer's focus is on a Web page.
  • Proportional font
    Type with spacing apportioned according to the shape and width of the character .
  • Prose text
    Ordinary writing, in a Web context, prose text comprises sentences and paragraphs. [See also Continuous Text]
  • Prototype
    A preliminary model or archetype of a web page or website used to demonstrate or test the user experience and various task flows. [See also Low & High Fidelity Prototypes]
  • Pushbutton
    Pushbuttons are screen-based controls that contain a text label or an image (or both). Pushbuttons are used to provide quick and convenient access to frequently-used actions. The pushbutton control is always activated with a single click of a mouse button. Clicking on pushbuttons should cause the indicated action to take place, i.e., "search." Do not use pushbuttons to move from one location to another in a Web site.