Web design is a vibrant, diverse area incorporating countless aspects. The most important of them is currently UX – the user experience – that determines whether your digital product will be likable or not. UX is critical for any product’s success, so a reputable UX/UI design firm always pays much attention to UX optimization. However, some companies focus more on the customer experience (CX) dimension, which is often perceived as a synonym of UX.
Here we provide an expert guide on distinguishing UX and CX dimensions of web design work. We dwell on each concept in detail and explain UX- and CX-related business practices to clarify which of them possesses more significance for the project outcomes.
What Is UX?
As we’ve already discussed, the term ‘UX’ stands for the user experience. Products with a good UX are appealing to users and enjoy success in new user adoption. Excellent UX is achieved by means of organizing your app’s visual hierarchy and information structure to simplify the onboarding process for users. Usable apps are also easy to learn, so new users won’t need to spend much time and effort mastering the key navigation and functionality components.
What Is CX?
CX is an acronym for customer experience. It measures and explains the customer’s relationship with a brand – from the first impression formed by visiting a website to the formation of trust and loyalty. The CX parameter is shaped by many constituents and takes time to measure.
How Are UX and CX Related?
CX and UX are closely related, though not identical. One should perceive UX as a part of the broader CX formation and measurement process, as CX is longer in duration and more stable, forming cumulatively based on user impressions and opinions about all brand products. UX is a feature of every product that contributes to CX and affects the overall opinion.
In other words, UX determines the user’s experience with a specific product. CX, in turn, is the user’s relationship with a specific company. It may be limited to one product or stretch across several products with different functionality. Besides UX, the CX concept includes the quality of customer service, the pricing, the organization of sales, etc.
Therefore, UX designers may focus on UX design as a part of the broader, longer-term CX strategy. They may adjust specific design elements or target particular impressions to ensure that the broader CX target is achieved in the long run.
UX/CX Goals in Web Design
In the broadest sense, UX and CX are both about achieving positive user experiences. This goal can be achieved with several means, but every effort’s starting point is identifying usability bottlenecks. You should research user practices thoroughly to see whether they experience challenges and what features frustrate them.
Once the problems are identified, they can be addressed at the UX and CX levels with the help of different tools.
The UX level of solving the problem would involve:
- Ensure successful user task completion
- Guarantee user satisfaction with the digital product use experience
- Improve the ease and accessibility of interactions with the digital product
At the CX plane of user problem resolution, the designer should:
- Ensure consistently positive experiences for users across all brand products
- Offer a stellar UX outperforming that of competitors
- Invest time and effort into building customer trust and loyalty
- Turn customers into brand ambassadors and advocates
- Guarantee brand equity for all customers
How to Improve CX/UX in Practice?
Now that we know the distinctions in the UX/CX designer efforts, it’s time to clarify how the positive gains in the company’s UX and CX are achieved in practice. Here is a list of activities that experts in the positions of UX and CX designers typically fulfill to achieve their strategic goals.
To meet the UX goals and metrics set for them in the company, UX designers typically engage in the following practices for UX optimization in digital products:
- Collaborating with product owners, designers, and programmers to ensure a consistent design idea shared by all involved experts throughout the design process.
- Prototype development
- Product research
- User persona development
- Consistent design of a digital product
- Design testing and review of design solutions based on user feedback
- Using proven UX practices and patterns to ensure usable, frictionless UX
The outcome of these efforts is an intuitive, functional, appealing, and user-friendly interface with an optimal set of features that gives users a positive experience and helps them complete their goals with minimal effort.
CX experts typically work on the whole scope of UX objectives outlined above and add a broader scope of action to their daily routines:
- Customer journey research and mapping
- Designing seamless user interactions with the brand’s products via omnichannel platforms
- In-depth customer psychology and perception research
- Collaboration with all engaged experts in the company to align business strategy and customer goals
- Incorporating the customer-centric mindset and culture shift into the organizational structure
- Building loyal, long-term customer relationships through numerous touchpoints (e.g., social media, official website, apps, etc.)
- Improving the quality of customer support and communication
As a result of these efforts, a more stable, prolonged, and consistent positive CX effect is achieved, improving the business’s relationship with customers and solidifying its market position.
So, How Do CX and UX Work?
In most cases, CX is a broader aspect of web design compared to UX. It focuses on the customers’ perception of your brand overall and the way that perception shapes their interactions with your products. UX, in its turn, focuses on a single product, determining how easy and enjoyable its use is for the customers.
From this perspective, one may conclude that CX is broader in scope and more important in strategic terms. Still, it’s possible to achieve the CX goal only in case you tailor the UX efforts consistently. While CX is strategically more important for a business in its market, UX represents daily practical efforts for the CX formation. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended to keep both UX and CX in the focus of your web design efforts.