Learn the lingo

Agile is a form of project management designed to deliver products and services that put people at the heart of the design process.

If you’re new to agile you may not be familiar with what all the jargon means. To help with this, we’ve given a quick summary below of some key terms. 

Customer/user journey map  

A user journey map illustrates the “as is” user journey through a service. Focusing on a specific journey enables you to see where users are getting frustrated, and where to target to build better user outcomes.  

Double diamond   

Key to Agile working is the Double Diamond. It is a development approach that maps out the creative process via four phases:   

  • Discover: identify, research and understand the problem  
  • Define: define a clear problem to be solved  
  • Develop: develop a solution  
  • Deliver: test and evaluate and prepare the concept for production and launch.  

Empathy mapping  

An empathy map is a tool used to gain deeper insight into targeted user personas. To create an empathy map, you need to ask users emotion-based questions about what they are thinking or feeling, their pain points, worries and aspirations and what they experience when using your product or service.  

Human Centered Design  

This is a creative approach to problem solving that starts with user needs and results in a product or service that has been designed from the users’ perspective from the beginning.   


This involves breaking down a project into stages and testing at the end of each stage to ensure the product is on track to meet user needs. The team quickly adapts and makes improvements to the service in every iteration. 


A minimum viable product (MVP) is a new product, service or website that is released for use with enough basic functionality to satisfy user needs. It is then tested to find out what needs to be improved or added before being further developed until is the final bells and whistles version.   


Scrum is based around teams of three to nine members. The team breaks down the work plan into tasks to be completed within a defined timeframe, known as a sprint – a timeframe of up to 30 days but usually two weeks. Progress is tracked daily in daily, 15-minute, stand-up meetings. 


Sprints are agreed periods usually from two weeks to one month during which an iteration of the product or service is created for release into the testing environment. A new sprint starts as soon as the previous one has ended.   

Stand up  

A stand-up is a quick 15-minute meeting where the team stands near the team wall and talks about what they worked on yesterday, their priorities for today, and blockers – issues preventing them from finishing a user story card.  

User story  

User stories form the basis of your research. They are descriptions of your users and the reason they need the service you’re building. User stories should include:  

  • The person using the service (the actor)  
  • What the user needs the service for (the narrative)  
  • Why the user needs it (the goal)   


UX stands for user experience. It is the design process of creating products and services that create a seamless and enjoyable way for customers to use a product or service to find or achieve what they need. It includes branding, design, usability, and function.  


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