Comparing UX with some of its Misused Terms

Differentiating UX from a sea of labels.

Rachel Windsor
Feb 13, 2019 · 3 min read

Often times the term user experience (UX) is used interchangeably with other titles. Essentially, UX refers to the overall experience a user has when interacting with a product. Since the meaning of UX is so broad, there still seems to be a murky understanding of UX and the role of UX designers. Here we’ll discuss the main terms and operations commonly mistaken for user experience.

UX vs. User Interface (UI)

Source: Harpal Singh (Unsplash)

While UX centers around the experience of a user as a whole, user interface focuses on the visual design or any visual element a user may interact with when using a product. Although they both focus on the user’s satisfaction with the product, user interface is a subset of the overall user experience. For instance, the appearance of a product is only one part of the experience a user may interact with.

Elements of UI:

  • Input Controls
  • Navigational components
  • Informational components
  • Containers

UX vs. Customer Experience (CX)

Source: Robert Bye (Unsplash)

A customer experience (CX) would seem synonymous with UX but it focuses on the relationship or interaction a customer has with the company, product and overall brand. They both aim to meet the needs of the user with the product. The CX is more broad in that it’s not restricted to only accounting for the experience a user has with the product, it can be independent of the product. A customer may not own a particular product but can have a perception of it or the company, this would still be considered CX.

Elements of Customer Experience:

  • Customer service
  • Advertising
  • Brand reputation
  • Sales process
  • Pricing fairness
  • product delivery

UX vs. Product Management

Source: Matthew Henry (Burst)

Depending on the size of the company, UX designers can be product managers and vice versa. However, the role of a UX designer is not the same as a product manager. In product management, managers will oversee the overall product development processes. They will set a product vision and work with the UX designers, engineers, marketers and stakeholders to execute that vision.

Roles of Product Management:

  • Have the responsibility to create a design concept, manage the execution of the design, branding and promotion, cost, and production.
  • Deliver operational plans and strategy.
  • Delegate between designers, engineers, marketers and stakeholders to complete a product design and its production.

Rachel Windsor

Written by

UX Design Student | #STEMinist | Certified Cat Lady 🐱

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