Let’s face it. Jargon is never a good thing. It makes a person come across as an annoying little know-it-all, like that kid in class who knew all the answers, and aced all the tests, and was the teacher’s pet. Bah! Sure, as a designer you definitely know a whole lot more than, say a client. But that doesn’t make us masters of the Universe. Jargon and all that literary jazz mislead clients, makes them feel inferior and makes you come across as untrustworthy. If that’s not how you want your clients to feel, then keep reading. Here are the 10 most unforgivable expression of designer jargon that’s doing the rounds out there:
1. Brand alignment
If you find yourself say things like, “our company will bring your visual corporate elements into brand alignment”, you may as well be saying, “ajbiufk nsdla ndbla acins c icsoidncs”. Why don’t just simplify it and say that we will make sure that all your marketing and sales communications are consistent with each other?
2. Paradigm shift
Think about it. No matter how fancy your logo design or your web design is, is it really going to create a paradigm shift for your client? We thought not. Sure your design may be fabulous for brand recognition and brand awareness, but it’s unlikely to shift anyone paradigm.
Who knows what Web 2.0 is? Like really? Clients don’t have the time to research what benefits Web 2.0 can bring to the table. So as a designer, instead of just telling them stuff like “We are offering you a complete Web 2.0 experience which is the cutting edge of web design”, why not tell them how their business can benefit from it?
Lots of designers and marketers are guilty of using this word more often than they change underpants in an effort to sound corporate or serious. Well, news flash. It makes you sound like a stuffed shirt.
5. Open the kimono
Are you a flasher? Please do not open your kimono and show a client anything or you might get arrested for indecent exposure. We get it, opening the kimono means sharing information, but why not just say that? It’s so much better and less creepy!
6. FTP – File Transfer Protocol
If you want to tell a client that you share files securely online, all you have to do is say it, in those exact words. Please don’t say things like “Our file transfer protocols safely allow a share of information between parties.”
7. GUI – Graphical User Interface
“We will conduct a research and design a GUI that is consistent with the mindset of your target audience.” Say what? Aren’t you just saying that you’re going to make sure that your design is accessible and user-friendly?
8. Enterprise Level
Corporate and tech lingo is probably the worst of them all. No client wants to know what your ‘enterprise level’ CMS software or even coffee maker for that matter, does. You may think it sounds impressive, but all they really want to know is if what they’re paying for is going to give them a great bang for the buck or not.
KPIs are probably one of the most abused terminologies. Keep it simple and just tell a client that you have been effectively helping businesses get noticed on Google.
10. All Web Acronyms
Use acronyms very very sparingly, and only if you must. Before you do, always think whether you can convey the same message in simpler, more meaningful ways.