You may have heard of the terms Customer Experience (CX), User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). It is important to understand the difference between each of these terms, and more importantly, the relationship between them.
Customer Experience is perhaps the most important aspect of a successful business. A flourishing business is one that is successful at solving a particular problem and helping their customers achieve specific goals. Customer experience can be defined as the sum total of interactions people have with a business. For a business to deliver exceptional customer experience means meeting or exceeding the expectations of their customer during every interaction.
Whilst customer experience deals with how people feel about their overall experiences with a business, user experience (UX) deals with how an end user interacts with a company’s products and services. Optimising user experience is about improving the accessibility, usability and overall enjoyment a user has with a product or service.
For an eCommerce business one user experience is the journey a user takes to purchase products on a company website – how they navigate the website, how they view and select product and finally checkout. The user experience also includes after sales service – how a customer interacts with sales support staff or who delivers the goods they purchase. User experience design considers all the different elements that shape this experience.
Customer Experience Overview
User interface (UI) is a specific point of interaction between a company and a user. It is about optimising the interface that a user interacts with during a specific portion of a user experience. For an eCommerce business the user interface focuses on the actual design of the website or application a user interacts with. From how the brand is presented and navigation design to typeface selection and combinations to the size, shape and colour of buttons.
You can compare the user interface of a website with the interior design of a vehicle – the placement, position and design of the steering wheel, pedals, dashboard, cluster configuration, panel design, material selection, colours and lighting all contribute to a more pleasurable user experience, which in turn affects your overall perception of the vehicle model, brand and company.
The Relationship Between UI, UX and CX
UI, UX and CX are interdependent. Where CX is more about overall perception and feeling, UI is more granular and is specifically focused on design as a way to improve user experience and impact the overall customer experience.
A company could invest in the latest technology to develop a website that is engaging, generates qualified leads and is optimised to convert visitors into customers, but poor quality products, lack of experienced sales staff or after sales service may result in a negative overall customer experience.
Understanding the difference and relationship between these three concepts creates a more holistic view of the connection between a business, its customers and end users.