While strongly related to each other, CX and UX aren’t interchangeable terms. Here’s the difference:
Customer experience (CX)
CX is the overarching name we give to the experiences a customer has with your brand. This can be both online and offline, from the usage of your website to a conversation with one of your sales representatives in a brick and mortar store. CX directly impacts the way a person feels and acts when interacting with your brand.
User experience (UX)
UX actually is a part of the CX. It’s the experience your customers get when they use your digital channels, like your website. It concerns things like accessibility, ease of use and load speed.
Good UX is more than just having an intuitive website structure or a beautiful website
The impact of the CX and UX should be pretty clear: if a customer feels good with your brand, they are more likely to buy your products or services. If they get frustrated because your website takes ages to load, or a store clerk is very arrogant and demeaning, they will probably be less inclined to stick with you.
As a digital agency, we can’t stress the importance of good UX enough. To help you drive more conversion via your digital channels, we have designed some building blocks you can use to start improving yours today.
What makes a good user experience?
A good UX is more than just having an intuitive website structure or a beautiful website. As you can see from the graph below, there is actually an hierarchy to what people perceive as most important when it comes to user experience.
Let’s summarize what this means: you need to help users get what they want as fast as possible. They should get it with the minimum amount of effort in a pleasant environment.
Those who can read through the lines, have already found our four building blocks: need, speed, ease and design.
Believe it or not, your user would rather be somewhere else than on your website. They are using it for a specific purpose. They have a need and your website holds the solution. By understanding your user’s needs, you’re able to help them get that specific thing as fast and as easily as possible.
Be honest: how often have you clicked away from a web page, simply because it wouldn’t load fast enough? Chances are, you have lost count. You’re not alone. On mobile devices, 53% of a website’s visitors will click away if a page hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds. In other words: make sure your digital channel is well optimized from a technical point of view to reduce load times.
In some instances load times are inevitable, though. To mask this, you can use techniques that offer something we call perceived speed. There are a variety of ways to do this: on Facebook you’ll get to see a skeleton of the page you are loading and in apps like Duolingo you get a loading screen with some interesting factoids. Micro animations can also help create the impression that things are moving along.
This is probably the aspect that most people think of when they talk about UX. It’s the ease with which you can use and navigate your application or website. Remember, your user should get what they want with the least effort as possible.
Picture the user entering your digital platform as a guest visiting a carnival, holding a limited amount of tickets for various rides. Every action they take on your website or in your app costs one ticket. If the user spent all tickets, they will leave, so you want to make sure every ticket goes to something purposeful. To make sure this is the case, you should consider if every drop-down menu is clear, every icon you use is recognizable and obvious and every piece of copy hits the mark.
An attractive design helps people find what they are looking for on your website. If it’s cluttered, your visitor will have to spend a large amount of their mental capacity (carnival tickets) on understanding it.
Your design should give the use of your website or app an intuitive feel. One way of making sure this is the case, is working with images rather than with words. An image gets processed 60 000 times faster than text, freeing up mental space for other actions on your website. Keep the copy you can’t omit short and to the point and make sure your text and images have a strong interconnection.
Another key design point, is that you have to make sure your app or website looks good on a variety of screen sizes. Nowadays, you really should be thinking mobile-first and your design choices should reflect that. Make sure every link and button is clickable on a small screen, all text is clear and readable and no-one should start zooming in on your web page.
If your design is cluttered, your visitor will have to spend a large amount of their mental capacity on understanding it
How to start improving your UX
Understanding the elements that make up good UX is a great starting point, but what if you really want to get hands-on? The hierarchy displayed earlier in this blog post should help you pinpoint the most crucial aspects of your website or applications that need to be optimized.
When working on the UX of your platform, keep in mind the Pareto Principle. This states that 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes, meaning that some things are more worth your time than others. That’s why you should map every action you want to take on an impact versus effort quadrant.
Our UX experts can help you
Our experts have the right experience and tools to help you improve your website or app UX drastically. Feel free to get in touch, we’ll see how we can help you.
Looking for more techniques to improve UX?
This card sorting workshop can help.