As you read around our site and talk with us about your website, you might come across some words that you don't know. Or maybe your understanding of the word doesn't seem to match up with how we use it.

It's vital in any project for everyone involved to speak the same language.

  • Absolute URL

    An absolute URL is a full web path. A relative URL is a link that is formatted with a partial web path and points to specific content on your site.

  • Accessibility/Accessible

    In the context of digital properties, content and technology that can be easily understood, navigated, and used by as many people as possible, especially those with disabilities. Digital accessibility attempts to improve usability for all audiences, such as individuals with limited access to technology.

  • Alternative (Alternate) Text

    A text description for an image. Search engines and screen readers present alternative text for site visitors who have visual disabilities.

  • Block

    In the context of GovHub, Blocks are small chunks of information that become part of the larger content types. In most cases, we refer to Blocks as the items that can be placed and moved within the Layout of a Landing Page or a Program or Service page. Certain Blocks can also be embedded into some WYSIWYG text editors. Blocks sometimes exist as part of a content type's default structure, such as the "First Step" Block on Program or Service pages.

  • Content First

    Content First leads our focus in the design phase. A content first approach means that we make design decisions based on the needs of the content, not the other way around.

  • Content Management System (CMS)

    A system designed to manage the content of a website. The Digital Services Georgia CMS, GovHub, is built using Drupal 8.

  • Content Type

    The particular formatting a content node uses, for example: News, Topic Page, and Press Release. Each of these comes with a set of fields for editors to fill, and a structure specific to that type of content. In most cases, a content type will create a full page and is meant to be viewed on its own. Many content types can also be displayed as automatic teasers and placed as Blocks on Landing Pages, Program or Service pages, and within certain WYSIWYG text editors

  • Context First

    Context First leads our focus in the planning phase. A context first approach considers the users' context, whether they are accessing the digital property on desktop or mobile device, at a kiosk, or using a conversational interface. The goal of a context first approach is for information and services to be accessible and usable regardless of the user's device. Context can also refer to the situation the user is in when using a digital property, such as meeting an urgent deadline.

  • (Customer, User, or Citizen) Journey Map

    A visualization of a user's process to accomplish a goal. A journey map is often organized as a type of chart and might include a variety of categories such as the user's goals and emotional state, touch points with the organization, and more. It should show the user’s full experience from start to finish, identifying their key interactions with the organization. The goal of mapping a user's journey in this way is to understand and address user needs and pain points.

  • Data Visualization (Data Viz)

    The representation of information, often to show relationships between numerical data, in the form of a chart, diagram, or picture.

  • Design System

    A design system is a collection of reusable components that can be assembled together to build websites and transactional applications. The goals of a design system are to increase scalability and efficiency of design and development, and to create accessible, performant, digital properties that work across an unrestricted range of devices. These goals are guided by best practices and standards. A complete design system includes:

    • An underlying style guide
    • A set of rules for design implementation and editorial guidelines
    • A pattern library consisting of templates, modules, components, and elements
    • Ready-to-implement color palettes, typography, grids, and visual assets

    The official design system of the state of Georgia is Orchard.

  • Domain Name

    A unique name or value that identifies a site.

  • Heat Map

    A heat map is a visually annotated screenshot of a site page indicating where users have interacted with (clicked or tapped) the page with colored spots. In many heat map tracking tools, parts of the page with more interactions will show in a brighter color, indicating that the area is "hot."

  • Heuristic Evaluation

    A usability inspection method that helps to identify problems with the user interface by judging its compliance with recognized usability standards.

  • Information Architecture (IA)

    A framework for organizing content in a complex system. The goal is to create a user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) that help your visitors to find what they need and complete a task. At the user level, this framework includes elements like main navigation, secondary navigation, and search results. Backend elements include metadata (e.g., tags), structured content, taxonomy, and controlled vocabulary.

    Information Architecture is a website’s connective tissue; it makes content easier to:

    • Organize into navigation
    • Optimize for search visibility
    • Filter in search results
    • Deliver in personalized ways
    • Compile and segment for pages and campaigns
    • Deliver across channels and user journeys
    • Analyze for performance reporting
  • Landing Page

    In the context of GovHub, a Landing Page is a content type that uses Drupal 8's Layout Builder. Landing Pages can most easily be distinguished from other content types by the fact that they stretch across the full width of the screen on tablet and desktop devices (unless specifically indicated not to), whereas most other content types leave room on the left for a side navigation bar. The homepage of every GovHub website is a Landing Page. Other Landing Pages are most often main navigation items and introduce large sections of content.

    In the context of site analytics, a landing page is the first page a user visits during a session, also known as the entrance page.

  • Mental Model

    How your typical user thinks or what they expect an element of a website to do. The more the user's mental model aligns with how a website functions, the easier it will be for them to use.

  • Micro-Content Type

    The particular formatting a custom Block uses, for example: Promo, Link Collection, and Tileset. Each of these comes with a set of fields for editors to fill, and a structure specific to that type of content. Micro-content differs from content in that they never exist as a page to themselves; users will only see them when placed as Blocks on Landing Pages, Program or Service pages, and within certain WYSIWYG text editors.

  • Open Source

    A software program's source code is freely available to the public. The goal is to continuously improve the program for its community of users by directly integrating their feedback. The Digital Services Georgia web publishing system, GovHub, is a highly customized and secure open source platform for which features and enhancements are developed and shared with all its partners.

  • Orchard

    Orchard is Georgia's design system.

  • People First (User-First)

    People First lead our focus in the discovery phase. A people first approach allows us to balance user goals with business objectives.

  • Persona

    Profile of an imaginary person who would use your website. Personas represent your actual users but are not real people. Personas can portray the age, education, frustrations, goals, and other basic information of your users.

  • Problem First

    Problem First leads our focus in the strategy phase. A problem first approach allows us to balance user goals with business objectives.

  • Production Site

    This is your live, public-facing site. Any changes made to your production site will appear within 1 hour and are visible to everyone who visits your site.

  • Region

    In the context of GovHub, a Region defines the horizontal space in which an editor can place a Block on a Landing Page or a Program or Service page. Regions determine the layout of a Section. When viewing the Layout screen of one of these pages, a Region is indicated by blue dashed lines.

  • Relative URL

    A relative URL is a partial web path and points to specific content on your site.

    Relative URL: /education
    Absolute URL:

  • Responsive Design

    Websites that adapt to different-sized devices like phones, tablets, wearable devices, etc. All GovHub websites are responsive and will adapt to any device type or size.

  • Scenario

    A mini story that describes a situation or context a user when using a website. It can define why a user is there, what they want to accomplish and/or outside factors (such as distractions, time pressures, emotions) that could impact how they interact with the website.

  • Section

    In the context of GovHub, a Section is a full-width band containing 1-3 side-by-side Regions on a Landing Page or a Program or Service page. A Section can have a title, background color, and (if it meets certain conditions) a background image.

  • Siteimprove

    Siteimprove is analytics tool that is used to detect issues that impact content quality, accessibility and more on GovHub websites.  

  • Staging Site

    A replica of your production site, but not public-facing. Only those with login credentials can access the staging site. This lets you "practice" using features or test the way something will appear without making it public.

    • Drupal 8 staging URL:
  • Subject Matter Expert (SME)

    A person with expert knowledge in a field or topic.

  • Usability

    How effectively, efficiently, and satisfactorily a specific user can interact with a specific user interface (UI) to achieve the user's goal.

  • Usability Test

    Typically when using the term "usability test" we are referring to human performance testing. In a typical performance test, users perform a variety of tasks on a website, prototype, or other digital property while observers note what the user does and says. Usability tests help researchers and designers identify issues and potential solutions to improve the usability of a website or other digital property.

  • User Experience (UX)

    The overall experience of a person using a product like a website, especially in terms of how easy or pleasant it is to use.

  • User Experience Design (UXD)

    The practice of developing a product that is user-focused, enhancing the user's satisfaction with the product.

  • User Interface (UI)

    How a website is laid out and how users interact with it. It is what the users see when they visit a site.

  • Web Publishing Platform

    The content management system (CMS) that Digital Services Georgia maintains. State agencies publish public-facing content on the web publishing platform.

  • Wireframe

    Simple sketch of the key information that goes on each webpage. Wireframes typically don't include colors, fonts, or images to keep the main focus on the function of the webpage.