The use of design features that are shaped to resemble a familiar object or thing in order to facilitate user interaction.

More terms you might want to know


The distance between the baseline and the mean line of lowercase letters in a typeface. Nearby descenders (such as j) and ascenders (such as q) usually extend slightly below or above this height.


The part of lowercase letters that goes above the baseline when used in running text. As such, ascenders are considered less condensed than those used for numerals and other capital letters. Some examples of ascenders include b, d, h, k, and l. The opposite of an ascender is a descender.

Thumbnail Sketch

A quick and rough sketch of what you are about to work on. Good for getting the ideas out of your head and onto the page while you're still in that creative phase.

Printer's Proof

A print that the printer receives to monitor the progress of production. Proofing is a matter of looking at the print to ensure that it has been printed correctly and that the colours are rendered accurately.

Pull Quote

A brief snippet taken from the text of an article.

PNG Image

A PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file is a bitmap image format that has been designed to store images with an alpha channel. This format is primarily used for transparency so that it can be placed over other graphics in many design applications.

Font Style

Designers and developers use font styles to denote differences in meaning between two or more words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or blocks of text. Typical font styles in CSS and web development are normal, italic, oblique and inherit.

Serial Position Effect

A phenomenon in psychology in which recalling items in a list imposes an order on the list, with the first and last items remembered best. That is, if given a list of words to remember like "dog apple tree", people will tend to recall "dog" as being at the beginning of the sentence and "tree" as being at the end of it.

Point Size

A unit for defining the size of a font. It's not a distance; this unit's measurement is only relative to the typeface's design.

User Scenario

An example of a typical user and the actions they take. Typically these are written in the form of a story.


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