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Evolving Terminology to Confuse You

22.11.2017

There is so much new terminology and even if some of it has been around for a while, it feels new and you might just be getting to grips with it before something else comes along and hurls you back into the abyss of ignorance.

Unless you are operating in the new terminology’s space, you either remain in the dark or simply pretend to know its meaning and just hope the spinning bottle doesn’t stop in front of you.

It’s a bit like these new words that seem to morph and grow and suddenly become everyday normal language for anyone under the age of 18 while the rest of us sit wondering if they are actually speaking the same language.

Anyway, here are some tech terms, some new terms and some old terms explained, not to mention a peak one!

Sorry that one is from my daughters….

“PEAK” means something is bad! However when it first hit the teenage streets it could also mean good so go figure that one. Right now it is definitely “bad”

Moving on….

BLOCKCHAIN

This is a decentralised and distributed digital ledger recording transactions across lots of computers, which means the records cannot be changed after the event without everyone seeing it and agreeing the change. I think I got that right.

GROWTH HACKING

Who came up with this one? Growth who? Growth whacking? Hacking! So this is using a whole bunch of technologies (creatively I might add) such as websites, emails, apps and all the analytics alongside product development to ultimately aid a company’s growth. However, Growth Hacking focuses on lower marketing costs (avoiding TV or National Press for example) and is often used by start-ups. So quite normal strategy then for any new company looking to keep costs down but badged as Growth Hacking – mmm…ok

A/B TESTING

Just when we thought we knew all about testing eh? Yeah non-functional testing (such as load/performance, compatibility, localization, security, reliability, stress, usability, compliance) or functional testing (such as integration, system, interface, smoke, regression and acceptance) then along comes A/B testing – so this is testing to compare two versions of the same thing to see which performs better. What “things” I hear you ask? Well, websites, marketing emails and apps. You then present the two versions, wait for it…version A and version B to random users or is it users at random and gauge their response.

MICROBLOGS

So we all know what a blog is. And we all know what Twitter is (even I know that) but then we had to give these sites a collective name and we now have Microblogs. Twitter, Google+, Facebook and Tumblr are considered Microblogs because the messages are short or just links to other stuff. And even if Twitter has increased the number of characters you can use now, it still fits into the Microblog space.

COLOUR

Colours are not colours anymore; they need a value and a theory!

Colour value is actually its shade (kind of like dark or light in my language) but value can now be defined in HTML by name (black), hexadecimal colour code (#000000), or RGB code (0, 0, 0). Yup, that’s black and when the artist reaches for his/her palette to mix some paints they really should have studied…..COLOUR THEORY. That will be the study of mixing digital colours and the graphic designer will tell you it gives them the visual effects of different colour combinations, tints, shades etc and unlike the “real artist” they know in an instant if it works or not and just save it or change it. Picasso would have loved it, wouldn’t he?

RETINA DISPLAY

Last I checked my retina was in my eye and long may it remain there. Apple decided to mess with Retinas and trademarked the term “Retina Display” and use it now for any “electronic device display with density so high (usually over 300 ppi) that people can’t see the individual pixels”. We have Retina Display on all the usual Apple products iMacs, iPads, iPhones, MacBooks and Watches.

MOOD BOARD

Mood boards, right? Well if you just think of anything that you would normally consider to be content then you have your mood board – it could be images or text which then give you the visual style of a website say or it could be a more creative project incorporating colours, icons and fonts…so think of the content as having a mood…

USER PERSONA

So we all know what User Researchers are up to (investigating how users behave on a website and then looking at how that behaviour can enhance the website’s experience and design) but User Personas?

User Personas are imaginary (theoretical) user profiles created by UX Designers or Web Designers to define what kind of user a website is being designed and built for and what their needs might be. So they are, in fact, your imaginary friends!

BITCOIN

So we all know this is the digital currency you can use to make payments but without any fees. And we know what Blockchain is and Bitcoin runs on the Blockchain – the digital ledger does all the crunching and rewards in Bitcoins.

Satoshi Nakamoto invented Bitcoin back in 2008 and it went on line in 2009. A bit like Banksy, there is no definitive proof of who he is.

So what’s the point? There is no bank involved, no bank fees and the money is free from any governmental control. To boot, Bitcoins have been used for some more illicit transactions including drugs and other illegal purchases.

There are around 16.5 million bitcoins in “circulation” and somewhere around March 2017 the value of a bitcoin (for the first time) actually exceeded the value of an ounce of gold!

Before my brain explodes, I’m off to make dinner for my family and just hope it’s not too peak!

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