What’s the Difference Between a CX, UX and UI Designer?
Posted May 27, 2019, by Elesha
CX, UX and UI Designers help brands deliver an awesome experience for their customers and these important roles are some of the most in-demand tech roles in 2019 across a host of different industries.
The customer experience of a brand can make or break its reputation and bottom line - it’s no wonder organisations are investing in the designers who can help them research, map and create an incredible customer experience.
What exactly do CX, UX and UI Designers do though, and how are they different from each other? Let’s take a look at these exciting roles in the exploding IT industry.
Customer Experience Designer - CX Designer
The customer experience (CX) is the perception a customer or potential customer has of a brand as they move through the different stages (touchpoints) of interaction with the brand.
This includes everything from first becoming aware of the product/service through to making the purchase and post-sale communication.
The role of a Customer Experience (CX) Designer is to design each step of the journey to deliver a great experience to nurture loyal and satisfied customers.
The Customer Experience Designer deals with all customers that interact with the brand - including potential customers and partners - not only ‘end users’ who actually make a purchase.
They look at the whole spectrum of different touchpoints that make up the customer experience and how to optimise each element. This includes sales, marketing, customer service, learning support and the actual product. They’re responsible for researching customer pain points and working together with teams to find the solution.
This role is unique in the sense that a CX Designer needs to be able to solve many different types of problems, across all business areas.
A Customer Experience Design role includes:
- Research - identifying customer pain points and solutions
- Creating and presenting customer journey maps and visualisations
- Designing wireframes
- Collaborating with UX designers
Customer Experience designers focus on the big picture of a brand’s customer experience - not just the online aspect.
User Experience Designer - UX Designer
A User Experience (UX) Designer’s role is to design a roadmap of how a brand’s digital platform - website or app - should flow for the optimal customer experience.
A UX Designer maps out a user experience for website or app that is as easy and enjoyable as possible based on customer behaviour research.
They use customer psychology to improve business measurables like higher click-through rates, less bounce, etc based on the research and analysis of the motivation, goals, behaviour, and needs of users coming to the site.
A UX Designer’s role includes:
- Research - identifying user experience problem areas and solutions
- Creating user personas and scenarios
- Designing wireframes, storyboards and sitemaps
- Collaborating with UI Designers
- Being involved with product testing
This isn’t a tech-heavy role involving a lot of coding, the design element includes programs like Sketch, InVision, Zeplin and Adobe.
User Interface Designer - UI Designer
The roles of a User Interface (UI) Designer and a UX Designer are often thought of as one and the same. While the roles can overlap quite a lot, they are two distinct job categories and skill sets.
The UX Designer designs the path for the best user experience whereas a UI Designer focuses on how the elements of an app or website - things like menu, screen layout, form placement, sitemap - look and feel to best follow the path the UX Designer mapped out.
A UI Designer focuses on the look and layout. It’s their job to make sure each page of the website or app is optimised for customer ease and is cohesive with brand style.
Customers and users are quick to judge a website or app designs on usability and likeability. A UI Designer focuses on maximising the efficiency, intuitiveness and look of each digital element of a website or app.
This includes elements like - buttons, checkboxes, drop-down lists, tooltips, icons, progress bar, notifications, etc.
A good UI Designer will also have an understanding of front-end development, including basic coding skills.
A UI Designers role includes:
- Create, improve and use wireframes, prototypes, style guides, user flows
- Present UI design progress at various stages of the project
- Collaborate with the engineering team building the platform
It’s easy to see how these two roles become a little blurred and overlap at times and it’s quite common for employers to combine the roles.
The exploding demand for CX, UX and UI Designers
Demand for the professional roles in the customer/user experience space has experienced a massive swell in recent years. Brands and companies of all sizes and industries are focused on the customer experience, especially the digital experience of their apps and websites, more than ever.
Employers recognise the need for creative and technical experts to optimise the experience of their customers and recent research by StartUP AUS revealed roles in this field are among 5 of the most in-demand tech jobs.