The Urban Dictionary Of Design Slang

Here are all the designer terms you need to know, as well as quite a few most designers would love to never hear again.

Joining the ranks of any profession is the same as committing yourself to learning an entirely new language, most of which is frankly gibberish. (TPS reports, anyone?) Design is no exception. So we asked some of our friends at design firms–including Pentagram, Ammunition, Huge, Ziba, Pensole, Google Ventures, Sagmeister & Walsh, and more–to define their favorite examples of design slang and jargon. The answers we received range from serious to tongue-in-cheek, but if you’ve ever been puzzled by a designer telling you he needed to “ideate a more approachable FTUX” or “add more value to that horsey mega menu,” this resource should help you translate.


A bunch of numpties n. A group of idiots. Can also be used to refer to placeholder elements on a page that have zero UX thinking behind them. (Source: Kate Proulx, Huge)

A magnet that acquires meaning n. A design that gets recognized over times, and becomes associated with people’s experiences. For example, your first MP3 player. (Source: Team, Ammunition Group)

Above the fold adj. “This term is about whatever content can be seen on a web page before the user starts to scroll. It originates from the print industry, where above the fold meant the top half of a front page on a folded newspaper. This term is disliked by many designers I know (myself included) because we know that although first impressions are very important, users will inevitably scroll down a page to see the remainder of the content. Also, the “fold” in digital is different depending on what device the user is on, so designing with a specific size in mind will actually do more harm than good.” (Source: Natalie Be’er, Huge)

Add more value
v. Something a client requests when a project is already overbudget. (Source: D’Wayne Edwards, Pensole)

v. To have a meeting with your boss, client, or team, especially if someone’s thoughts are going off the rails. (Source: Regina Rose, comments)...more