CX, UX and UI. What’s the difference?

April 11, 2024
Jim O'Brien
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In the realm of digital commerce and design, the terms CX, UX, and UI are frequently used but often misunderstood. Let's delve into each term individually to gain a clearer understanding of their meanings and how they relate to one another.

CX or Customer Experience

Customer experience (CX) encompasses every interaction a customer has with a brand across all touchpoints and channels. It's about the overall perception and satisfaction customers have with a brand, from the initial awareness stage through the purchase process and beyond.

CX goes beyond individual transactions or interactions; it encompasses the entire customer journey. This includes interactions with a company's website, mobile app, social media, customer service, and even in-person experiences at physical locations.

For example, if a customer has a seamless online shopping experience, receives helpful support from customer service, and has a positive experience when visiting a physical store, they are likely to have a favourable overall impression of the brand.

In essence, CX is about creating a consistent, positive experience that meets or exceeds customer expectations, leading to increased loyalty and advocacy.

UX or User Experience

User experience (UX) focuses on the interaction between users and digital products or services. It's about understanding users' needs, behaviours, and motivations and designing products that are intuitive, easy to use, and enjoyable.

UX design aims to optimise the usability and accessibility of digital interfaces, ensuring that users can accomplish their goals efficiently and effectively. It involves research, analysis, wire-framing, prototyping, and testing to create user-centric designs.

A good UX design considers factors such as navigation, layout, content organisation, and visual hierarchy to guide users through a seamless and enjoyable journey. This encompasses everything from the initial website visit to completing a purchase or task.

For instance, a well-designed e-commerce website will have clear navigation, intuitive search functionality, informative product pages, and a straightforward checkout process, resulting in a positive user experience.

UI or User Interface (and Interaction)

User interface (UI) design focuses on the visual elements of digital interfaces, such as colours, typography, icons, and layout. It's about how the product or service looks and feels to users, with the goal of creating visually appealing and engaging experiences.

UI design complements UX by ensuring that the visual elements support and enhance the overall user experience. It involves creating interface elements that are aesthetically pleasing, consistent, and easy to understand.

In addition to visual design, UI also encompasses user interaction (UI). This involves designing the interactive elements and behaviours that allow users to navigate and interact with the interface effectively.

For example, buttons, menus, forms, and animations are all part of UI design and contribute to the overall usability and functionality of a digital product or service.

Bringing It All Together

In summary, CX, UX, and UI are interconnected aspects of the overall user experience:

- CX focuses on the holistic experience of the customer across all touchpoints and channels.

- UX concentrates on optimising the usability and accessibility of digital interfaces to meet user needs and expectations.

- UI enhances the visual appeal and interaction design of digital interfaces to create engaging user experiences.

By understanding the distinctions between these terms and how they work together, businesses can create exceptional digital experiences that resonate with their customers and drive results.

At Eclipse, we prioritise a customer-centric approach to design, combining data-driven insights with thoughtful UX and UI strategies to deliver outstanding CX. If you're looking to elevate your digital experiences, our Experience team is here to help. Let's collaborate to create solutions that make a genuine difference for your customers.

Jim O'Brien
UX/UI Designer