“CX” and “UX” are common buzzwords in the industry. “Customer Experience” (CX) and “User Experience” (UX), they both sound quite similar, but they are not same! Although CX and UX are different, they need to converge and work together for customer success!
WHAT IS USER EXPERIENCE (UX)?
User Experience also known as “UX” is the overall experience of a user using / interacting with company’s product. It’s a human-machine interaction. The focus is to make the product interaction pleasing and positive. It’s all about providing a simple experience to a complex world. The key metrics like: success rate, error rate, overall time and number of clicks to complete a task.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX)?
Customer Experience also known as “CX” is the overall experience of a user using / interacting with company’s brand. The key metrics like: overall experience, problem resolution time, Net promoter score. CX has a broader scope and UX is part of it. CX contains some aspects outside of a product and UX doesn’t deal with that.
The focus of this article is towards UX Transformation/ UX Modernization/ UX Design Process. Although, UI transformation/ UI Design process is a separate activity, typically, it’s coupled with UX transformation.
At high level,
UX DESIGN – deals with what the product is – who it is for, what it’s supposed to do, how it works, why users should repeatedly use it despite the competition.
UI DESIGN – deals with the look and feel of the product – elements such as colors, shapes, layouts, as well as behavior of dynamic elements such as button, boxes, menus etc. You need this to create a “WOW” factor.
WHY USER EXPERIENCE?
Poor user experience leads to significant challenges, primarily leads to customer churn, decline in revenue, and it can even result in doom of the product.
Example of a good user experience:
• While in office the other day my friend called me, I used the cool new iPhone feature that reminds me to call him back after I leave from the office. The moment I come out of my office, iPhone detected location change and reminded me to call my friend back. A positive user experience leads to several recommendations followed by conversions.
• Few e-commerce portals provide amazing user experience through simplicity, personalization, easy navigation. Examples of good UX include – letting you flick between various color options along with showing key relevant information with mouse hover, show lifestyle shots of jewelry through customer can visualize how it looks when worn.
Example of a poor user experience:
• Examples of bad user experience includes showing incorrect pricing, ordering glitches, difficulty in finding information, enforcing registration before check-out, horrible home page with long time to load, Pages being non-mobile friendly (no responsive design) etc.
• Bad UX example – A coffee/ tea vending machine at our office premise doesn’t let you choose beverages without selecting a sugar level prior to that. When I select ‘Cappuccino’, it says, select sugar level before your choice of hot drink.
HOW TO DO UX DESIGN/ TRANSOFRMATION?
• For new products – Define, Design & Develop usability
• For existing products – Re-engineer usability
WHAT IS THE APPROACH TOWARDS UX DESIGN/ TRANSFORMATION?
As the quote goes, UX Transformation is a process.
“You’ve got to start with the user experience and work back towards the technology, not the other way around.” – Steve Jobs
Following section highlights the various activities part of the UX transformation/ UX
Involves several tasks/ activities:
Doing Requirement analysis, conducting peer and competitor reviews, conducting knowledge exchange workshops with project teams, key stakeholders & subject-matter experts, creating brief presentation covering goals with deliverables & timelines. Also, doing user research analysis through user surveys to understand the brand, products and users.
This step also involves the creation of personas, creating customer/ user journeys. It also involves use case exploration, idea generation, opportunity mapping followed by concept development and value propositions. At this phase, a big picture plan towards UX Transformation/ Design is arrived.
Key deliverables in this phase involve –
o Based on in-depth interviews, create personas; personas to focus on the users engaging/ interacting with your product/ application.
o Personas enable us to stop looking at the problems as researchers and get into end- users’ shoes.
- Customer Journey Maps
Using personas, create Customer Journey Maps that illustrate step by step, how a user follows the service. With customer experience in mind, consider the various touch points, channels, emotions, difficulties and chances.
o A step by step illustration of the end-user’s journey through the service.
o Enables planning of functionalities and improves selecting of priorities.
- Empathy Maps
Empathy mapping allows one to read even deeper into users’ emotions and improves personas. This process focuses on what the user says, hears, does, feels, fears etc.
o Improves Personas, focuses on users’ emotions and deepens our understanding of customer experience
This phase involves optimizing user/ customer journeys, creating site structure, presenting sample user journeys using high fidelity wire-frame prototypes, creating interaction diagrams etc.
DESIGN/ CREATING “WOW” FACTOR:
Here you define the first tangible versions of the product/ Minimum viable product (MVP). MVP is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the initial users of the product.
PROTOTYPE – “FAILING EARLY TO SUCCEED SOONER”
Prototyping is an iterative feedback cycle to test, learn and improve until we feel confident in the solution.
This is very essential to validate key hypothesis before taking the concept into development and production.
Here you perform User Testing to discover how the user interacts with the product and get early feedback from real users; Verify user’s expectations; Analysis of user’s interactions with the product.
VISUAL DESIGN/ MOCK-UPS:
Page/screen designs and content are presented through sample content and indicative imagery for selected unique templates. These templates can be replicated for similar sections to build the entire product (site/app). Involves creating assets and style guides for development teams. Typically, 2-3 visual designs are done to pick a final one. Focus on what creates “WOW” factor.
PRODUCT REALIZATION – DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING:
Ensure that the product is realized the way it was designed through ‘Agile sprints’. This phase involves creation of EPICs, Functional Specification, Low Level Designs, User Stories, Technical Stories, Test Case, Quality Assurance plans, Test Execution plan, Product Documentation, Launch plan, Training & Enablement. Ultimately, working towards creating the next version of the existing product or creating a new product.
“Wrapping things up…” Product features are no longer a differentiation, the only way to have an edge over competition and to have success on your product is through a great user experience!