Customer Experience (CX) Design

Your constantly-updated definition of Customer Experience (CX) Design and collection of topical content and literature

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What is Customer Experience (CX) Design?

Customer experience (CX) refers to a customer’s experience with a company or brand, at all touchpoints. A touchpoint is any way by which a customer can interact with a brand, such as when purchasing or using a product or through seeing commercials featuring it. CX design focuses on creating an optimal experience for customers at all such touchpoints.

CX designers often use a customer journey map to gain a comprehensive idea of a customer’s experience with the brand. The customer journey map tells the story of different customers’ touchpoints with a brand—as seen from the customers’ points of view. For each customer segment, the customer journey map shows a timeline detailing the customer’s interaction with the brand at various touchpoints, often also describing emotions, motivations, and context. A customer journey map can help identify gaps in the customer experience. As such, it is a good tool for placing customers’ experiences and needs at the center of an organization.

CX design and user experience (UX) design are sometimes used interchangeably, because both are concerned with the overall experience of using a product or service. UX design, however, tends to be more specifically focused on individual products or services, even though it is also concerned with the process of purchasing, using, and even maintaining a product. CX design tends to adopt a broader view than UX, and has a slightly more commercial focus. Consequently, CX design concentrates harder on areas such as advertisement campaigns, customer service, and consistency, while the concerns of UX design span various product lines. Regarding the design of interactive products, a solid appreciation for how the cultivated image of an organization such as Apple translates to the usability—and popularity—of its products will prove helpful in keeping a brand design firmly focused on the targeted users.

Literature on Customer Experience (CX) Design

Here’s the entire UX literature on Customer Experience (CX) Design by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Featured article

User Experience and Customer Experience what’s the Difference?

User Experience and Customer Experience what’s the Difference?

At first glance the two terms appear to be identical don’t they? Our users are our customers and thus they’re the same thing. Except, of course, they’re not. So what’s the difference?

Author/Copyright holder: A-dit-ya. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2.0

What is User Experience (UX)?

The user experience is product (or service) specific. It is the experience that a user (or customer) has when they interact with that product. We can measure the results of the user experience to some extent too. We can look at satisfaction reports, the level of customer care enquiries following an interaction, the time it takes to get something done with our product, etc.

What is Customer Experience (CX)?

Author/Copyright holder: Walter Lim. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2.0

Customer experience is a larger concept. It is the experience that a user (or customer) has whenever they interact with our company or brand. Again we can measure some of this in satisfaction reports, in recommendation rates (would you tell a friend about us?), etc.

In essence user experience is a subset of customer experience. If you added up the sum of all knowledge on each individual user experience with your products and services; you would (theoretically) be able to explain your customer experience. Sadly, that’s not quite how it works and it’s why we need to remain conscious of both when we design products and services.

Why Do We Need to Consider CX when We’re Working With UX?

Author/Copyright holder: AltimeterGroup . Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2.0

Let’s say you are the UX designer on a major online retail store. Your job is to build a website which can be easily found on the internet, which customers enjoy spending time on and more importantly still – that they enjoy spending money with.

So far, so simple, right? You go out and do your user research. You use that to inform your design process and because your team are as least as brilliant as you are; they deliver exactly what you expect.

On the first day your website receives thousands of hits and every customer who lands on that site buys something! You are better than Amazon! Then three weeks later… your company goes out of business. But… the UX was perfect right?

It was but the CX sucked. You sold thousands of products on Day One but they neglected to mention that the warehouse wasn’t full of these products; initial expectations were to sell a little and scale up operations. This wouldn’t have been a total disaster but no-one trained the customer care agents to expect this – they’ve been receiving angry phone calls without end. So they all quit and went to work for somewhere less stressful. Your angry clients have all gone out and claimed refunds on their credit cards too…

User experience must always be seen in the bigger context of customer experience or it’s entirely possible that our work will be wasted even when that work is brilliant.

References & Where to Learn More

Header Image: Author/Copyright holder: 10ch. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2.0

Course: User Experience: The Beginner's Guide:
https://www.interaction-design.org/courses/user-experience-the-beginner-s-guide

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Learn more about Customer Experience (CX) Design

Take a deep dive into Customer Experience (CX) Design with our course User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide.

User experience, or UX, has been a buzzword since about 2005, and customer intelligence agency Walker predicts that experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020 [1]. Chances are, you’ve heard of the term, or even have it on your portfolio. But, like most of us, there’s also a good chance that you sometimes feel unsure of what the term “user experience” actually covers.

[User experience] is used by people to say, Im a user experience designer, I design websites, or I design apps. [] and they think the experience is that simple device, the website, or the app, or who knows what. No! Its everythingits the way you experience the world, its the way you experience your life, its the way you experience the service. Or, yeah, an app or a computer system. But its a system thats everything.[2]

Don Norman, pioneer, and inventor of the term user experience

As indicated by Don Norman, User Experience is an umbrella term that covers a number of different areas. When you work with user experience, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of what those areas are so that you know what tools are available to you.

Throughout this course, you will gain a thorough understanding of the various design principles that come together to create a user’s experience when using a product or service. As you proceed, you’ll learn the value user experience design brings to a project, and what areas you must consider when you want to design great user experiences. Because user experience is an evolving term, we can’t give you a definition of ‘user experience’ to end all discussions, but we will provide you with a solid understanding of the different aspects of user experience, so it becomes clear in your mind what is involved in creating great UX designs.

If you are new to the Interaction Design Foundation, this course is a great place to start because it brings together materials from many of our other courses. This provides you with both an excellent introduction to user experience and with a preview of the courses we have to offer to help you develop your future career. After each lesson, we will introduce you to the courses you can take if a specific topic has caught your attention. That way, you’ll find it easy to continue your learning journey.

All literature

The Principles of Service Design Thinking - Building Better Services

The Principles of Service Design Thinking - Building Better Services

Service design is all about taking a service and making it meet the user’s and customer’s needs for that service. It can be used to improve an existing service or to create a new service from scratch. In order to adapt to service design, a UX designer will need to understand the basic principles of service design thinking and be able to focus on...

  • 318 shares
  • 1 week ago
Customer Touchpoints - The Point of Interaction Between Brands, Businesses, Products and Customers

Customer Touchpoints - The Point of Interaction Between Brands, Businesses, Products and Customers

There are as many different definitions for the word “touchpoint” in customer experience design and marketing as there are flavors on the average restaurant menu. Why? Because these disciplines have been evolving rapidly over the last decades and terminology has become fluid rather than static. To make matters more complicated – the term “touchp...

  • 403 shares
  • 2 weeks ago
Customer Journey Maps - Walking a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes

Customer Journey Maps - Walking a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes

Perhaps the biggest buzzword in customer relationship management is “engagement”. Engagement is a funny thing, in that it is not measured in likes, clicks, or even purchases. It’s a measure of how much customers feel they are in a relationship with a product, business or brand. It focuses on harmony and how your business, product or brand become...

  • 302 shares
  • 1 month ago
Customer Lifecycle Mapping - Getting to Grips with Customers

Customer Lifecycle Mapping - Getting to Grips with Customers

Customer experience is the key to running a successful business just as user experience is key to developing a successful product. Customer experience encompasses a larger range of interaction than user experience in that it not only takes into account UX but also the needs of those paying for the product or service (which may be very different ...

  • 316 shares
  • 3 months ago
User Experience and Customer Experience what’s the Difference?

User Experience and Customer Experience what’s the Difference?

At first glance the two terms appear to be identical don’t they? Our users are our customers and thus they’re the same thing. Except, of course, they’re not. So what’s the difference? What is User Experience (UX)? Author/Copyright holder: A-dit-ya. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2.0 The user experience is product (or service) specific. I...

  • 529 shares
  • 1 year ago
The Moment of Truth - Build Desirable Relationships with Users and Customers

The Moment of Truth - Build Desirable Relationships with Users and Customers

In order to understand “the moment of truth”; it’s important to understand the customer lifecycle with a brand or product. There are many moments at which a customer (or potential customer or former customer) will interact with a brand. A moment of truth is simply any interaction during which a customer may form an impression of your brand or p...

  • 391 shares
  • 3 weeks ago
The Tipping Point in UX Design

The Tipping Point in UX Design

The Tipping Point was postulated by the best-selling author MalcomGladwell. He wanted to examine change in society and he concluded that extreme changes happen both quickly and unexpectedly.He came to the conclusion that new ideas can spread virally; in the same way that diseases can spread in epidemic patterns. That there was a “tipping point” ...

  • 331 shares
  • 3 years ago