Dictionary for non designers

Every profession manages to develop its own jargon, or specialized language. That jargon is in must know territory, of course, if you wish to work in or closely with that profession. It gets interesting when the general public gets thrust into that profession’s universe for whatever reason, making its jargon good to know. Such is the case with graphic design terminology and wordpreneurs.

This resource is an excellent “dictionary” and friendly tutorial on graphic design terminology for non-designers, as its name clearly informs us. I put “dictionary” in quotes because it isn’t comprehensive—they selected a small group of jargon terms they deem important for non-designers to know. Which is actually great for non-designers who don’t really need to learn too much, just enough to know what the heck is going on and to communicate effectively with designers.

This smaller selection lets the site present this information in a non-traditional way for a “dictionary.” It is this presentation that makes the site truly shine, and frankly, it’s a great idea model for us who may have similar education-oriented sites in mind that deal with quite a bit of technical info.

Go to the site and scroll down. You’ll find a grid of boxes—in my head, index cards—each with a different term (kerning, UX, wireframe, etc.). No, the grid cards aren’t sorted alphabetically, but there aren’t that many terms for that to matter anyway. We’re basically meant to go through all these cards, like a tutorial.

Click on a card, and you’ll get a popup with the expected written definition/description of the term. On the popup’s left side is an illustration, an animated one, simple, not a full-blown cartoon, but one that demonstrates what the term means in action. It’s a brilliant way to teach these visual tasks and concepts, frankly. Check out the animation for kerning, for instance, if you’ve always wondered what that’s all about.

Continuing on with the tutorial paradigm, at the bottom is a simple memory card game about the jargon covered. Nice touch!

Even if you already know what all the terms mean, go on over to check out the site and how they’ve implemented an educational “dictionary.” I think you’ll be duly impressed, particularly with its simplicity. Give you any ideas?

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