Technology Terms The Non-Techie People Are Probably Confused With

The purpose of technology is not to confuse the brain but to serve the body

— William S. Burroughs

Have you ever found yourself surrounded by a bunch of techies? How many times do you have to look around for explanations when tech terms are tossed around in these meetings? Do you often get confused between basic technical terms? It is common for people who don’t have a technical background to be stuck with terms they don’t understand. While some try to avoid embarrassment by faking it, others learn and adapt. In this article, you’ll discover the most common technical terms that confuse non-techie people. By the end of this article, you’ll have learned the definitions of the common tech terms tossed around daily in meetings.

Technology Terms The Non-Techie People Are Probably Confused With

UI and UX

These abbreviations stand for User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). While UI defines the layout of a product, system, application, or website, the UX is focused on the experience of the user trying out the product or website. The user interface can be understood as the elements that include the placement of buttons, the size of the fonts, and the organization of all the options in the various menus.

On the other hand, the UX is dedicated to how a user feels while using the website or product. To understand it better, let’s take an example of a social media website. While the way the content is organized in your feed is a part of the UI, the way you navigate through the website is a part of the UX.

Application and Software

Getting confused between an application and software is easy for a non-technical person. An application can be understood as a set of instructions or a program that can be used to perform specific functions for a user. On the other hand, the software is a set of complex instructions that enable you to operate a system. To understand it better, let us consider an example.

The calculator on your phone is an application while the operating system of your phone can be termed as software. If you can make the connection, an application is just one type of software. This means that all applications are software but not all software are applications.

Megabits and Megabytes

These are probably the most confusing and most commonly used technical terms in the technology sector. However, it is easy to differentiate between the two when you grasp their usage. The term “megabits” is used to measure the speed of the internet connection. “Mbps” is an abbreviation for Megabits per second and is used to measure the speed of transfer of data.

On the other hand, Megabytes is used for the measurement of memory storage capacity and hard drive space. However, with the advances in technology, the magnitude of the measurement of memory space has increased from megabytes to gigabytes (GB). In recent times, the storage and RAM of a computer are defined by gigabytes of space rather than megabytes.


Both of these terms define different languages that are used to make websites. The language that is used to create web pages is known as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). HTML is used to provide a structure for the pages of a website. It includes elements such as headers, paragraphs, links, and lists. HTML is also responsible for containing the content of the website such as the images, videos, and text. On the other hand, the format and style of an HTML document are decided by Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

CSS is responsible for instructing the web browsers to make the HTML document look good. CSS can be used to provide colors, fonts, 3-D transformations, backgrounds, and even animations. To understand it better, HTML is responsible for the content on the website while CSS takes care of how the HTML document is displayed on a web browser.

Technology Terms The Non-Techie People Are Probably Confused With

Front End and Back End

The front end of a website defines how the web pages are displayed. It includes both CSS and HTML. The front-end programming is usually done using the JavaScript language. On the other hand, the back end of a website consists of the code, databases, and information about the servers. The backend is where all the information about the website is stored. In short, the front end of a website is the face while the back end is the brain behind it.

To conclude, let’s take a look at the most common techie terms listed in this article. We’ve learned about the difference between UI and UX, application and software, megabits and megabytes, HTML and CSS, and front end and back end. With this brief guide, you’ll probably be less confused with these terms the next time you participate in a meeting.

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