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Below are some key terms that may be referenced in the toolkit, as well as through the sprint and in conversations with individuals in the civic tech community. Click the term for additional resources and the source of each definition.


End User

The person that a tech product is designed for

Human-Centered Design

A process of designing for people. HCD develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

A product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product idea early in the product development cycle


A sketch that represents the way a product will look

User Experience (UX) Design

The process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function

User Interface (UI) Design

The process of making interfaces in software or computerized devices with a focus on looks or style. Designers aim to create designs users will find easy to use and pleasurable

User Journey

A path a user may take to reach their goal when using a particular digital tool. User journeys are used in designing digital tools to identify the different ways to enable the user to achieve their goal as quickly and easily as possible

User Research

Conducted so as to understand users’ characteristics, aims, and behaviors towards achieving these aims. Its purpose is to produce designs that improve users’ working practices and lives. User research also involves the continuous evaluation of the impact of designs on the users, not only during the design and development phase but after long-term use, too

Usability Testing

The practice of testing how easy a design is to use for a group of representative users. It usually involves observing users as they attempt to complete tasks and can be done for different types of designs, from user interfaces to physical products


An initial design of a website or app at the structural level. A wireframe is commonly used to lay out content and functionality on a page which takes into account user needs and user journeys. Wireframes are used early in the development process to establish the basic structure of a page before visual design and content is added