The terms UX and CX get thrown around a lot these days. As a curious person, I decided to learn more about what they stand for and what they mean. UX is the “User Experience.” It’s used as a term to describe what happens when a person (user) goes to (experiences) a website, game or app. Is the site easy to use for everyone? For young/old people, folks with good or poor vision, hard of hearing, or perfect pitch, people with brains that process quickly or those who need more time to figure things out?The visitor to the website may not be the millennial white male who designed it. UX professionals are expected to be good listeners, planners, designers, technologists, coders, and researchers.

CX is the customer experience. When CX first started to be tracked, customers were the people who visit retailers, restaurants, airlines, etc. and who dealt with sales people and customer service people within those companies. Now CX is about the customers’ experience with a company whether online, in person, or through resellers. Companies with great customer service can get Temkin Group awards and bragging rights. Customer Service departments talk to folks on the phone, chat online and answer emails. I’ve communicated in all three modes myself. In-store retailers now make experiences for shoppers to attract more foot traffic and to enhance the brand. One of the more impressive experiences I’ve had as a customer has been created by the Mercedes Benz dealer in Burlington, MA. While you wait for sales or service, you can have a coffee or drink at a bar, get your nails done, and more…all for free(plus tips). The excellent experience reflects well on the dealership and on the product they sell. I haven’t been to their websites, but creating that experience is the UX team’s responsibility.

It’s fascinating to think about the UX and CX in our firm. We overhauled our website last year to make it easier to use. It still needs improvement, but it’s miles ahead of our last one. We have been in constant improvement of our customers’ (clients’) experience over the almost 25 years we have been in business,focused in particular on the early part of the process. We have learned how to bring to consensus groups as large as 40 and as small as a couple. But as architects and interior designers in the real world(not digital world), we focus on how people perceive, enjoy and utilize the spaces that we design. One of the tenets of great service in our field of architecture and interiors is the obligation to predict, as much as possible, the outcomes of every design option/decision, as well as to provide a successful process for moving from concept to completion.

Prediction, intuition, and best guesses come easily to those with experience in the real world. We will continue to focus on improving the experience our clients have when working with us (CX) and also on the experience that people have when “using” that spaces that we design (UX). CX + UX = A Better Outcome. Want some help creating a successful outcome for your next project? Please call us!

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