10 Confusing Tech Terms Explained

Tech Tips

In this increasingly technical world, it can be hard to keep up with the latest lingo. Technology rapidly morphs and adapts and updates, as does the lexicon used to describe it. If you’ve ever been caught in a conversation and heard a tech term you didn’t recognize, you’re not alone. Here are some of the most confusing tech terms explained.

Back End

It’s not what you think. The term back-end refers to the back-end development of a website, which is the part of a website that makes it work. The back end encompasses many moving parts, including the servers where data is collected from, databases where websites’ information is kept, and applications that instruct websites. Basically, it’s everything behind the screen that goes into making what you see on your screen.


Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, is what tells web browsers how to format and style HTML documents. CSS allows you to give a web page its own unique appearance, including fonts, text styles, colors, and backgrounds. It’s what makes HTML look so good.


The digitizer is a component of a touch screen on a device like a smartphone that essentially acts as a keyboard and mouse. It converts the screen into a set of coordinates on a grid so that it can follow the movement of your fingertips in real time. This is how you are able to use your phone effectively. Every time you touch your screen, the digitizer is employed.


HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, is what is used to write web pages. It’s a language made up of elements that give a page its structure as well as its content. Structural elements include paragraphs, headers, lists, and links. Page content that can be written in HTML includes text, images, and videos.


Liquid crystal display, or LCD, is a form of display technology. It enables displays to be thinner and consume less power since it works by blocking light instead of emitting it. LCD is used in a plethora of electronic devices, from laptop computers to microwave ovens.


Near Field Communication, or NFC, is the technology that allows devices to communicate using radio waves when in extremely close proximity to each other. This distance usually needs to be under 4 centimeters. NFC is used for sharing files, pairing with accessories, or wireless payments.


If a website is deemed responsive, it means that it adapts to whatever size screen on which it’s being viewed. To be responsive, it needs to look as good on a phone or tablet as well as it does on a desktop computer screen. The transitions should be seamless.

Short Circuit

A short circuit is a low resistance connection between two conductors. This causes an excessive current flow, which can destroy the power source.


Software is any set of instructions for your computer, tablet, or phone. Apps are a type of software for your iPhone or Android while operating systems like iOS or Windows are system software for your computers. Other types of system software are drivers, which are controls for computer extras like printers or speakers, and utilities like antivirus or backup software. System software helps keep your computer running smoothly as an entire unit.


User Experience, or UX, is how a user feels when they’re using a website or product. Companies want users to have positive interactions with their site or product and work hard to make their UX reflective of that. If you’re excited about the newest iPhone launch, that’s UX.

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