We all know that businesses should be investing in creating an optimal user experience, but it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the terminology, all of the different things involved, and knowing exactly where to start. With all of the interdisciplinary acronyms becoming more and more commonly used (and often wrongly used as interchangeable), we thought it was time to set the record straight with a list of definitive explanations! These are a combination of widely-used definitions from industry experts and our own interpretations of the terms.
UX (User Experience)
User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
“UX is the totality of end-users’ perceptions as they interact with a product or service. These perceptions include effectiveness, efficiency, emotional satisfaction, and the quality of the relationship with the entity that created the product or service” (Kuniavsky , 2010).
UXD (User Experience Design)
User Experience Design is the process of designing for the all-encompassing, user-focussed aspects of any system.
CX (Customer Experience)
Customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction includes a customer’s attraction, awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy and purchase and use of a service.
CX includes every interaction a shopper has with your brand, from the start to the end of their journey. CX can be measured through factors such as overall experience, the probability of the customer to continue using your website and the likelihood they will share your site with others.
Note: CX and UX are not interchangeable! Essentially, UX is a more specific component within CX, primarily concerned with the usability of your products or website. On the other hand CX encompasses the experience of your entire brand.
UI (User Interface)
The user interface is what the user of any system actually sees; this can be a set of commands or menus through which a user communicates with a program. Essentially. it’s the space where interactions between humans and machines occur.
Note: UI and UX are not interchangeable! UI is what your users interact with, UX (in a nutshell) is how they feel while they’re doing it.
IxD (Interaction Design)
Interaction Design is about making the connection between a device, its interface and the user; it facilitates the actions we want to take with any given system. Every time you make a choice on a digital device, interaction design is what responds; it makes a framework of text and objects useful, learnable and ultimately, intuitive. It delivers that almost human element that makes technology enjoyable and pleasant to interact with.
Want to learn more about Interaction Design? Download our free ebook.
Don’t agree with any of these definitions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet us @usabilla