What is the Difference Between CX and UX?

Whether you’re developing a website or attempting to strengthen your brand, both CX and UX are important. CX refers to the customer experience, which should be great and consistent if you want your customers to be satisfied with your brand and website. People who get a great customer experience when visiting your website will pay […]

Bryan Miller
Bryan Miller

Dec 06, 2022 | 11 min. read

ux vs cx

Whether you’re developing a website or attempting to strengthen your brand, both CX and UX are important. CX refers to the customer experience, which should be great and consistent if you want your customers to be satisfied with your brand and website. People who get a great customer experience when visiting your website will pay over four times more money than someone who doesn’t have a good experience. If you pay attention to customer experience, you should also be able to expand your operations at a faster rate.

Despite their similarities, CX and UX also differ from one another. The goal of UX design is to create a design that allows the user to browse the website with minimal friction. If a user is able to enter a website with quick load times and navigate to their preferred page without issue, the website’s UX design is effective at what it’s meant to do.

Some developers and website designers mistakenly believe that CX and UX are two terms that can be used interchangeably. In reality, there’s a clear and substantial difference between the two terms that you should be aware of before developing a new website or making improvements to an existing site.

For instance, customer experience involves all interactions that a customer has with your business and brand. User experience is more limited in scope. In this guide, you’ll find out more about the similarities and differences between these two design terms.

ux and sitemap

CX vs. UX

UX and CX have similarities and differences. Before delving further into this subject, you should first know the definitions of customer experience and user experience. Understanding these terms should give you the tools you need to create an effective website design that brings in new customers and appeals to your current ones.

What is CX?

CX stands for customer experience, which involves all of the interactions someone has with your business and brand. It’s a combination of the feelings, beliefs, and perceptions that you’ve been able to create for customers during the buyer’s journey. CX is the overall impression that your brand has had on customers.

As an example, let’s say that one of your customers is having some technical difficulties with making a purchase on your website. If they entered live chat with a customer service representative and spoke with them about their issues, some of the CX questions your customer might think about include:

  • Was this process seamless?
  • Would I recommend this company to a friend or use their website again?
  • Was the representative responsive and friendly?
  • Did the representative solve my issue?

Customer experience focuses on how customers think about your brand based on the overall quality of your website, the products you provide, and the individuals they interact with.

what is cx

What is UX?

User experience centers around all of the interactions the end user has with your website or product. A good UX design will keep customers happy throughout the entirety of their product experience. Some of the metrics that are used to measure UX include error rate, success rate, abandonment rate, clicks to completion, and time to complete task.

When focusing on the same example mentioned previously, your customer could ask themselves certain UX questions when navigating your website, which include:

  • Is the website visually appealing?
  • Am I able to use this website on my smartphone and desktop computer?
  • Is the information easy to navigate?
  • Was I able to quickly find out how to contact a customer service representative?

Certain elements of UX design fit directly into the broader CX picture, the primary of which include minimal product friction and an intuitive design. Even though CX and UX complement one another, they aren’t always used for the same things.

what is ux

Is UX Part of CX?

As mentioned previously, CX and UX have their similarities and overlaps despite also being different from one another. You might perform UX design during a CX program, which could involve collecting customer feedback. In this scenario, UX would be a portion of the broader CX plan.

When looking at these two terms from this perspective, CX goes further than UX. When creating a customer experience plan, it concerns your entire brand as opposed to the customer’s engagement with certain services and products that your brand offers.

Despite the importance that CX has to businesses, UX can also go further in some regards since it doesn’t solely apply to business-customer relationships. UX is commonly used for schools, infrastructure, governments, and organizations to enhance the quality of experiences that patients, students, citizens, and visitors have. The right UX design in a school can make parents more likely to select that school for their children.

5 Core Differences Between UX and CX

There are five core differences between UX and CX that you should be aware of, which include everything from CX designers having a marketing background to CX primarily being used in service-related industries.

differences between ux and cx

1. CX Designers Tend to Come from a Marketing Background

CX designers usually come strictly from a marketing background. In comparison, UX designers tend to come from many different backgrounds, which can include design, psychology, or technical backgrounds.

2. CX Designers Focus Mainly on Boosting Revenue

CX designers mainly spend their time attempting to boost company revenues with advertising, strengthening the brand, and enhancing customer service. While UX designers know how to perform all of the same tasks, they also spend a considerable portion of time on usability.

3. CX Looks at the Whole Experience Including All Brand Channels

CX is aimed at the entire customer experience across all channels that the brand is part of. UX is much more specific and usually focuses on a certain website or app.

4. CX is Used More in Service-related Industries

CX is most often used in service-related industries, the primary of which include retail and hospitality. In these industries, CX design can involve implementing ideas about customer loyalty programs and service mapping. In comparison, UX mainly involves digital products.

5. CX Designers Tend to Survey Large Amounts of People

CX designers typically survey large portions of people to identify what they are currently thinking about a service or product. On the other hand, UX designers want to get to know small groups of people to design a more effective experience for them.

Goals of UX and CX Designers

UX and CX designers both aim to improve customer experiences, which can involve everything from implementing user-focused design methods to improving design strategies. A small portion of the job that UX professionals and CX professionals have is to determine which aspects of the experience are frustrating users and making it more difficult to reach business goals.

Once these designers have looked at the data, they will take time to create solutions that will resolve these problems. At the CX level, this can involve implementing a training program for staff members. At the UX level, the solution can be to improve the checkout process on an eCommerce storefront. However, CX and UX designers have different sets of goals.

ux and cx designer goals

UX Designer Goals

The primary goals that a UX designer has involve:

  • Helping users perform tasks successfully and in a manner that satisfies
  • Making sure that all customer interactions are as accessible and easy as possible

CX Designer Goals

The main goals that a CX designer has involve:

  • Building brand equity
  • Nurturing brand advocacy and customer loyalty
  • Making sure that customers have great experiences when interacting with the brand
  • Providing an experience that’s better than the competition and offers something different that the competition doesn’t have

UX and CX in Practice

The following offers a more granular overview of the various activities and tasks that CX and UX designers perform.

ux and cx in practice

UX Activities Might Include

The primary UX activities include:

  • Creating prototypes and specifications
  • Designing a platform that allows for single interactions, which can be a digital tool, website, or phone service
  • Performing product research and creating user personas
  • Working alongside product managers, visual designers, coders, and product owners to make sure that the end-user is taken into account during all stages of development
  • Testing different design versions and using customer feedback to iterate
  • Using professional experience and best practices to create user experiences that are frictionless

CX Activities Might Include

The primary CX activities include:

  • Using market research as well as the target customer’s voice to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of customer expectations, drivers, aversions, and emotions
  • Creating customer journeys that incorporate many interaction points via an omnichannel approach
  • Working with every facet of the organization to understand customer and business goals
  • Studying customer experience and how the cumulative impact of interactions, impressions, and touchpoints affects it
  • Working to influence culture within the company to implement a customer-first approach among all members of the staff
  • Developing additional elements of customer support, customer service, transparency, and communication to ensure a great customer experience

If you want your brand to garner long-term success, you should think about focusing on CX and UX to create an effective experience for the people who use your products and browse your website. While there are some similarities between these two terms, they are different enough that you should know how to use both of them.


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