Debunking the UX myth. Over again.

What are really the differences between a UI and a UX designer or how to forget vanity titles and use logic instead.  

The UX vs UI concern

The difference between UX and UI has come to the general public (read internet geeks) attention a while back when internet made a jump to the 2.0 era, and when the way a website looked started to matter. Only things were not as simple as they seemed. They still aren’t. As the confusion between UX and UI is still happily perpetuated by…. vanity maybe?

The moment of bewilderment

For some mysterious reason once the UX designer title emerged, you could rarely see companies looking to hire just UI designers. All of a sudden you needed to be a UI/UX designer. Only guess what, you don’t become someone you were not, without being previously trained by formal or informal education, work experience, trial and error, you name it.

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Version 1
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As a result of the feedback received, I’m publishing Version 2, to better illustrate UX.

The roots of Customer Experience

In order to debunk the UX myth, I’m inviting you to look for the roots of what the duties of a UX designer are, in the HBR article I was mentioning earlier. In this way, the distinction UI-UX might become loud and clear.

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The progress of Economic Value

“Experiences are a distinct economic offering, as different from services as services are from goods.”

It doesn’t mean though that you need to give up on the services you were providing as a company or on the goods you were producing. Rather,

A business designer and a design thinker

All the points above lead me to the conclusion that a User/Customer Experience designer is actually the designer of the business itself. The UX designer is ultimately a strategist that tailors a well documented plan to build a solution, and whose way of thinking is deeply rooted in the Design Thinking process the way it was defined and popularized by IDEO.

Experience doesn’t end once the customer leaves the web

I feel obliged to mention that even though all the argumentation in the HBR article introducing the Customer Experience concept is mostly based on offline businesses, the exact same principles, adapted, apply to the online ones, especially now when more extensively your business is not exclusively residing in the virtual world. For now at least, your customers don’t live in the cloud and they take the memorable moments out of interacting with your offering to the real world, which means that the experience you have staged doesn’t end the moment your customer is leaving your software. Plus, software is eating the world.

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Customer Experience doesn’t end once the customer leaves your software.

Some of the things UX designers should actually do

It’s impossible to enter here into all the details of the process of designing a memorable experience, as it is a complex one by itself, relying on several other disciplines, but you get the point. UX designers are actually business designers that conceive an entire business in a whole new way, a way that is suitable for the times we’re living and the demands of customers we’re addressing. But they don’t do it by themselves. They do it together with great UI designers, copywriters, developers, marketers, operators, PMs, etc.

My last address to you

Dear business creators, for the sake of your own business, go against the stream and hire separate people to do your UX and your UI.

Written by

Business designer. Design Thinking practitioner. Previously in the tech seed investment business. Tango dancer. Experimentalist. World citizen.

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