Imagine you’ve been put on a team with three strangers and tasked with assembling a complicated piece of machinery. Silently, you each study the jumble of parts and poorly drawn diagrams. And then, when the time comes to discuss a plan of action you make a startling discovery—you each speak a very different language.
At times, that’s how we feel when working with diverse sets of clients and partners to craft better digital experiences. We all have the same goal, but different ways of talking about the basic building blocks required to get there.
No worries. I’m here to help. And while I’ll save my Somewhat Comprehensive List of Marketing Terminology for a future post, I think a good place to begin is with a high-level discussion of three of the most-often misused and wrongly defined terms in our industry—UI, UX and CX.
UI (User Interface)
In the simplest terms, think of UI as functionality. It’s the tools you provide the user to accomplish a task—things like:
- Search bars
- Navigational elements
UX (User Experience)
UX, on the other hand, is more about feeling. It’s that perfect flow between information and design that keeps users coming back for more, and includes:
- User testing
CX (Customer Experience)
This is where it all comes together. Customer experience takes into account the crucial contributions of UI and UX, but develops a broader view of the customer journey—from the shopping cart to the call center. From the connections between channels, platforms, products and promotions, it all comes together to influence customer perception of the brand.
And Now, an Important Disclaimer
We’re not dealing with exact science here. Were you to quiz 10 digital marketers about the differences between UX, UI and CX, you’d likely get 11 different answers. (We’re an opinionated bunch, and we love to talk.) But if you take nothing else from this post, remember this:
UI = TOOLS
UX = FLOW
CX = JOURNEY
Questions? Comments? Let me have it @redonkmarketing #heyphill