Categories: Business

So you’re building a mobile app, but you don’t speak tech jargon. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the key terms, acronyms and phrases you’ll probably come across.

Agile development

Fido is agile, but that's not what the word means in mobile app development.

Fido is agile, but that’s not what the word means in mobile app development.

Sounds nimble, doesn’t it? Agile is a type of software development methodology. Note: it’s a project management approach, not a programming language. Highly iterative, it involves building out bits of an app, getting user feedback, then using that feedback to shape the next build.

Agile is a great way to move quickly, keep budgets down and ensure that your app meets user needs at every step along the way.

API (application programming interface)

APIs are a set of definitions and protocols that interface with an operating system, program or app. Basically they define how software components interact. APIs are a handy way of “plugging together” different the building blocks that your app needs to work.

Backend development

Basically the stuff that you don’t see or interact with when using your app. Think databases, services and APIs. It’s distinct from frontend development, which relates to the implementation of your app’s visual elements.

KPI (key performance indicator)

You’ve probably come across this one in your day-to-day work. KPIs measure the success and performance of a product over time. Your KPIs should reflect what you’re trying to achieve or solve with your app, and should be valuable, measurable and on-going. So if you know what you’re trying to measure, but aren’t sure how best to measure it, we can help!

OS (operating system)

Think Windows, macOS, iOS and Android – the system software that your app runs on. When we build your app we build it for a certain type of OS. Don’t know which one’s best for your product? We’ll help guide you during our discovery process.

MVP (minimum viable product)

MVP? Think prototypes, not sports.

MVP? Think prototypes, not sports.

Not the Most Valuable Player – that’s for later on. An MVP is the simplest functional version of your product. It’s good for gauging market demand and user feedback before committing time and budget to a full build.

All products are built based on assumptions, and an MVP is a low-risk way for testing whether those assumptions hold up. Not sure what your MVP should include? We can make recommendations about features.

UX (user experience)

User experience is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s focused on delivering a product that meets users’ needs and understands how and why they use a product. Good UX demonstrates deep understanding of a user and provides a seamless, frictionless experience.

UX is the difference between an app that goes viral and one that fails to get traction. When building your app we’ll help you get to know your audience, their goals and their expectations about how your app should work.

UI (user interface)

Not the same as UX, although there is some overlap. The user interface is what a person uses to control your app (or a device). There are different types of UI design, but for us it usually refers to things like buttons, menus and navigation options.

A good UI is integral to good UX. We’ll ensure that your app delivers a seamless UI – for seamless, frustration-free UX.


A wireframe is a diagram showing how your app will work.

Not quite. A wireframe is a diagram showing how your app will work.

You may see this one used in tandem or interchangeably with “mockups”. Wireframes are an early part of the design process and are akin to architectural blueprints. They show, step by step, how the app works before anything is built. Wireframes can range from simple sketches on a piece of paper to realistic looking renderings (mockups).

So why do we bother with this stage? It’s much easier and cost effective to adjust and review early on in the process!

Ready to build your mobile app?

With these definitions under your belt you’re well-placed to talk tech. Need help getting your head around your new mobile app development project? Get in touch!

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Touchtap is a digital agency specializing in mobile-first development.We can build your mobile app for you.

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