Design Published on the 17th April 2023

CX, UX, UI, the ultimate combination for your product design

The foundations of product design: UX, UI, CX. Despite their differences, these three stages of design are closely related.

CX, UX, UI, the ultimate combination for your product design

This article introduces the concepts of customer experience (CX), user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), explaining their importance and difference. Common mistakes to avoid for each of these concepts are also discussed, along with tips for effective design. Ultimately, CX, UX and UI are essential to build customer loyalty and make them want to recommend the product or service.

The definition of customer experience

CX (Customer Experience) covers everything that impacts the interactions and perception that a customer will have with a brand or a product. The UX and UI will therefore play an important role in the customer experience. During the different stages of the customer journey (discovery, purchase or conversion, after-sales, loyalty) emotions will be perceived by the customer, which can be positive or negative. An optimized customer experience is a lever to make customers satisfied, loyal and ready to recommend the service or product.

Customer experience: mistakes not to make

  • Not having a coherent CX strategy, the first and worst mistake to make is not having a clear strategy for your customer experience.
  • Neglecting technical support, not supporting your customers when they encounter difficulties can penalize the overall experience between the user and your product.
  • Forgetting to put people at the heart of the process, if you don't have your target in mind when developing your strategy, the customer experience will not be optimal.
  • Ignoring customer feedback, or worse, not collecting customer feedback.
  • Forgetting to make digital products evolve, any project or product must evolve, change, improve continuously.
  • Using dark patterns, if you put people at the center of your strategy, you have no interest in adopting dark patterns.
  • Sustainability of physical and digital products, not taking into account eco-design recommendations when defining the CX.

Our tips for an effective CX

  • Transparency is an important quality for a company that wants to provide a satisfactory customer experience (CX). This means that the company must be honest and open about its activities, policies and business practices.
  • Communication, a company must be proactive in its communication with customers, providing clear information and responding quickly to their questions and concerns. Customers appreciate companies that listen to them and take action to resolve issues quickly.
  • Getting to the point, to deliver an effective customer experience, it is critical to focus on the core needs of your customers. This means providing products and services that meet customers' needs in a clear and effective manner.

User Experience

The UX (User Experience) refers to the quality of interactions between the user and a product, system or service. It is the process by which design teams create products that provide meaningful experiences for users. The principle of user experience has been spread since the 1990s by Don Norman, a researcher in cognitive science and designer, and is now a key term in the digital world.

Common UX mistakes

  • Prioritizing UI over UX, when a design is made to be pretty before being useful, you feel it quite quickly and there is a big chance that it doesn't fully meet users' expectations.
  • Not taking user feedback into account, you are designing for users, not confirming your ideas by doing user tests is a mistake not to be made.
  • Ignoring common platform patterns, trying to change codes, changing user habits by revolutionizing navigation, which results in disrupting or complicating the navigation or use of your product for users.
  • Use lorem ipsum, for content the use of lorem ipsum does not give context, it is advisable to use consistent content.
  • Ignore what happens before or after the use of the digital product, we must not forget that sometimes the UX is impacted, or impacts, what the user does outside the product.
  • Too much text, too many explanations, when you have to use a lot of text to explain what the user has to do this is often an indicator that some elements are not intuitive.
  • Dark patterns because of the CX, we say it again, but it's important, don't apply dark patterns in the user experience!

Our tips for designing an effective UX

  • Take inspiration from real cases, find inspiration with real cases, Dribbble, Behance etc. will not be the best sources of inspiration. Look for examples that are close to what you want to do, that are real, that real users enjoy and use.
  • Don't overuse the Lorem ipsum just to fill up the content blocks. Now you can even use AI to fill your wireframes and designs with content that will make sense and give context.
  • Analyze the customer journey before, during and after the use of the digital product. Through user testing, user interviews, or by analyzing the data at your disposal, you can bring out insights that will guide your UX strategy.
  • Keep user goals in mind while understanding the business challenges defined by CX.
  • You ≠ User, it is important to be aware that you are not the end user, you are not designing your product for yourself.

The User Interface

The UI (User Interface) is the visual or graphic layer through which a user interacts with a digital product. Since the beginning of computing (1970-80) we have been talking about UI, however this concept has been widely developed since companies such as Apple and Microsoft have adopted it. Now, UI is at the heart of any digital solution and has evolved to include a wide range of devices, such as smartphones, tablets, cars and home appliances.

UI errors that are encountered too often

  • Not taking into account the contrast for the main information that needs to be accessible, which can make reading the information difficult or impossible for some users.
  • Not adapting the size of the actions/buttons for mobiles and other devices. Neglecting responsive will impact the ease of navigation for your users.
  • Use lorem ipsum, again: it is not recommended to use lorem ipsum for your content.

Some tips for a successful UI

  • Use accessibility tools, which will allow you to check contrasts.
  • Take inspiration from real cases, as mentioned above, take real examples to find inspiration.
  • Make sure your design is visually consistent, whether it's the color scheme, buttons or any other element you design.

In short, customer experience, user experience and user interface are key elements for the success of a product or service. Although they are different, they are closely related and all require a clear and consistent strategy to avoid common mistakes. By keeping in mind the tips for effective design, companies can build customer loyalty and encourage them to recommend their product or service.

Written by

Claire Stefan

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