‘Make The Design Pops’ and Other Slang to Make You Sound Like a Real Designer

I still remember one manager said to the design team, “make the design pops!” When asked for what pop means, guess what’s the answer? “You’re the designer, figure that out.” We figured out that ‘make the design pops‘ means ‘I have no idea what I want, I just wanna sound smart‘. Using design slang would help us to collaborate better when designing stuffs, but only if you know what you’re saying 🙂 I found this interesting article about design language on Fastcodesign. Some of my favorites:

ASAP  adv. “This acronym really irritates the shit out of me, so I believe it means this: As Slow As Possible. Otherwise, why not give me a fucking date?” (Source: Eddie Opara, Pentagram)

Clean adj. Example: I want a design that looks clean.Undefinable. No one exactly knows what this means. (Source: Mark Kawano, Storehouse); Smooth and uninterrupted design. The visible elements are functional, not embellished. Easy on the eyes. (Source:@SoftGoodsJess on Twitter)

Design research n. See: research. Adding the word “design” in front makes your focus groups seem less like total bullshit. (Source: Nate Bolt, Ethnio)

Familiar adj. A term non-designers use to say they like something. See also: progressive. (Source: D’Wayne Edwards, Pensole)

I showed this to my (wife / husband / other)… phrase. “I don’t like the concept, but would rather attribute the criticism to someone else.” (Source: Todd Greco, Ziba)

Insight n. Translation: what came up when I Googled “trend” plus the name of your industry. Source: mrBallistic on Twitter)

Intuitive adj. The “ideal” product interaction. Based on the assumption that there are built in instincts in all human beings that provide the keys to a product experience that is easy and enjoyable. Examples of intuitive interactions are often in fact just familiar. What may be intuitive to one person (based on his/her experience) may be counter-intuitive to another person. (Source: Dana Krieger, Minus-8)

Make it look like Apple v. “We have no idea what we want.” (Source: Chelsea Vandiver, Ziba)

Make it sexy v. “We have no idea what we want.” (Source: Chelsea Vandiver, Ziba)

Modern adj. Something that looks good, but your client doesn’t know what it is. (Source: Katie Henderson, Huge); Looks like an iPod. (Source: D’Wayne Edwards, Pensole)

qualitative research n. “We only had time to interview four users.” (Source: mrBallistic on Twitter)

quantitative research n. The infinite monkey theorem in practice. (Source: mrBallistic on Twitter)

Sleek adj. The generic term for things that feel cool, modern, and or “designy.” Frequently heard in focus groups as a positive. (Source: Dana Krieger, Minus-8)

Tasty adj. A term meaning ‘attractive design’ driven into the ground by yuppies in the late 70’s and early 80’s. (Source: Packgraphics in the comments)

Timeless adj. A solution that will not be embarrassing in the future. (Source: Dana Krieger, Minus-8)

Usability study n. “Get more numbers to convince the team and pushobvious design solutions.” (Source: @nitishq on Twitter)

Read more here The Urban Dictionary of Design Slang.

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