It seems like almost every technology nowadays is referred to by a different acronym. As if keeping up with the changes wasn’t hard enough, now we have to also decipher seemingly meaningless two, three, four, and even five character codes. God forbid the acronyms are ever used in another industry, which of course further complicates the process. With the challenges executives face just to keep up, I thought to lessen the load by discussing a few popular acronyms that are commonly misunderstood; CX, UX and UI.
Let’s start with CX. CX is short for Customer Experience, and it refers to the entirety experiences your prospects and customers have with your business. It includes every interaction that anyone has with your company or brand, regardless of your involvement. Meaning it includes your ads in magazine, billboards, visits to your website, sales materials, direct communications with prospects and customer, even someone driving by your business and looking in the window. It is the umbrella that covers it all, and both UX and UI fall under CX. The best way to think of it is everything and anything that could create, foster, strengthen or destroy an experience or relationship with either a prospect or a customer.
Next we have UX or User Experience. This includes any items within the entire customer experience that involve some sort of interaction. Meaning these are the touch points you have with your prospects and customers where you actually have some control over what they think about you. Examples include a customer calling in to ask a question, a sales phone call or meeting, even a person visiting your store or business. Another, somewhat more complicated example, would be a visitor interacting with something like a form on your website. Although the initial anonymous visit would fall under CX, once that user takes some action that allows you to get involved, it would be considered UX. Basically any time you can have a direct interaction with the individual it falls under UX.
Finally we have UI or User Interface. Most commonly this is related to usability, or how well someone can interacts with something like your website. Some extend this into other, non-web or application based interactions, but for me I consider those to be generally contained within UX. So I’ll make the argument UI is only referring to non-verbal and non-written interactions with your prospects and customers through applications or web sites. An example here would be the layout of your website, or how many fields are on the form you want someone to fill out. Even how many clicks it takes to get to certain pages, or how the information is laid out on those pages. Any think that is done to make the experience more understandable and easier to use in regards to your applications, or website.
Hopefully this helps to shed some light on a few of the more common acronyms flying around the web.