UX vs CX

We’re preaching to the converted, but we’ll say it again — user experience has become an integral part of digital design and the job market for UX designers is (still) blowing up. Another term you might have heard alongside UX is CX — or Customer Experience. Surely the user and the customer are the same person right? Well… kind of, but not exactly. Let us explain.

In a nutshell, UX is part of CX. If you think about the whole journey someone has with a product or a service, from the first time they hear the brand name to using the product, accessing technical help, upgrading — all that stuff is CX. It’s the experience as a whole. UX lives along that timeline of experience, specifically as the interaction between the user and the product, or website/app. UX can be viewed as one or a few of the important touch points within a larger system of touchpoints that is CX. UX usually lives in the digital world, while CX encompasses IRL (in real life). Both are opportunities to have really impactful, positive interactions with your audience, leaving them with a big old smile and wanting more.

Image Source: Usabillia Why does UX matter?

If the user can’t find what they’re looking for, it doesn’t exist. If the user can’t use it, it doesn’t work. Harsh? Maybe, but gospel. It doesn’t matter what you’re offering, or how cool it looks — when things are hard to use, people won’t use them. Simple. When framed like this, UX matters a lot. Put simply, UX design is about making something easy to use. A beautiful interface, product or website creates appeal, but usability creates loyalty.

To go a step further, UX is also about creating a positive experience. Eg. Is it simple and clear? Is it intuitive? Does it make sense? Does the journey unfold organically? Is the user making a connection? When a user has positive interactions, they’ll come back for more. We have plenty of choices as users, so making something to fall in love with using is both hard and vital.

Why does CX matter?

The entire experience a customer has with a brand can make or break their love for it. This includes research, enquiry, purchase, usability, and any customer service that follows, including tech support, servicing, or even a follow-up email. Designing this journey as a series of interactions that at least meets or ideally exceeds expectations is what CX aims for. This creates a positive emotional response and repeat customers who tell everybody what an awesome product you’ve got. Satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.

Let’s take Uber as an example. The UX design will look at how people use the Uber app and use their account, but the customer experience will also take into account their experience actually using the service, customer issues, tech support and so on.

CX matters because whether they be negative or positive, interactions influence the decision of your customer to pursue your product or go elsewhere. If the interaction is awesome and sets you apart from your competitors, it inevitably increases the value of what you’ve got. High fives all round!

Image Source: U1 Group

And the winner is….?

Everyone’s a winner. Neither UX or CX is better or more valuable than the other, they’re part of the same journey and therefore need each other. Both have key roles and go hand in hand.

These two disciplines collaborating to create a seamless touchpoint of interactions for a brand is what we want to see, and what the pros are already doing. As a designer, aside from obviously being super cool (let’s all agree that designers just ARE), you’ll know it’s all about being user/customer-centric. Make products people want, and make it easy to use.

To get deeper into UX, check out our UX Programs starting soon.

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