What is experience design?
Experience Design (XD) is an approach that focuses on people’s experiences to guide and drive the design and features of your products, processes, environments, strategies, etc. It draws on the user’s feelings, emotions, needs, contexts, and mindsets and uses them to design experiences that revolve around them.
The experiences could be customer support, transactional purchases, interactive displays at stores, websites, chatbots, new features, even whole new products themselves.
It could even be an internal business experience.
But experience design could also be an immensely powerful business strategy and an effective differentiator in the marketplace.
Brands from Netflix to Airbnb have revolutionized their industries by creating a better, seamless, more convenient customer experience. Experience design can help you be intentional about this and determine what kind of experience you offer to your customers.
It helps you consciously make decisions that drive your customer and user experience.
Why is experience design important?
While making your experience easier and more convenient is important, that’s not the only thing that matters. What if you have a payment process that’s very easy, but it leaves customers feeling unsafe? Just imagine if you were making an online payment with your credit card and you didn’t need an OTP. It would be an easier process because a step would be eliminated, but you wouldn’t feel good about it.
Customer experience design is important because it urges you to focus on your customers’ and users’ experiences, understand them, learn how they feel about different parts of those experiences and then make plans and take actions to improve those parts of the experience and make your customers and users feel better.
It helps you choose which emotion you wish to trigger or elicit at any given touchpoint or interaction during the experience. Now you’re no longer just thinking about the product and it’s functionality, you’re considering the entire experience, acknowledging your users’ and customers’ emotions and making efforts to improve those experiences and cause the right emotions to arise at different touchpoints during the experience.
When you use experience design, you aren’t leaving things to chance. You’re taking action to ensure that the customers and users have the right experience, which could increase their loyalty to you and even generate free marketing for you through word of mouth.
Is experience design the same as UX?
Experience Design (XD) focuses on creating positive human outcomes via levels of engagement and satisfaction that users derive from a product or service that is relevant to their needs and environment.
User experience (UX) involves increasing user satisfaction by virtue of improving the usability, accessibility of the product, as well as the pleasure derived from using and interacting with the product.
The main difference between user experience and experience design is that user experience deals more with technology and human-computer interaction (HCI), while experience design involves technology as well as many other components.
Here’s what Tedde Van Gelderen, President, Akendi, has to say about Experience Design:
“It’s all-encompassing, there’s an emotion to it, it’s not just looking at software and systems. [It considers] tangible and intangible elements.
What is an experience design strategy?
Experience design strategy involves aligning experience design with your business goals. It involves the convergence of these traditionally separate fields. This strategy focuses on delivering great user and customer experiences while simultaneously driving business growth.
You need to learn all about your customers and their needs, as well as the business and it’s objectives and goals.
You need to conduct a competitor analysis, create a set of competitors and rate the experience that they create. Analyze their experiences and emulate the good parts. Don’t be too proud to learn from them.
You also need to create a data-driven experience model, one that evolves constantly based on user and customer input instead of staying stagnant.
You need to take the effort to conduct research, collect both qualitative and quantitative data in the form of analytics, customer support logs, usability testing, surveys, diary studies, customer interviews, etc.
Your objective is to collect data that will help you understand your customers and how they are using your offerings.
The data that you collect will essentially form your customer model.
Next, you need to map your customer experience. It helps you understand what your customers go through on the various interactions and across several touchpoints. It helps you identify gaps, find out what’s missing, and figure out which aspects need improvements.
You need to define the customer segment that you are targeting, determine how your value proposition is different, and create guidelines for experience design.
An experience design strategy will essentially bring things together to align all your teams towards one particular objective.
What is CX design?
CX design (Customer experience design) is the process used to optimize customer experiences across all interactions on all touchpoints throughout the customer journey, all the way from awareness to conversion and beyond to loyalty and advocacy.
It involves making use of customer-centered strategies to elicit positive feelings and emotions in customers at every single step of the conversion journey and to develop and nurture strong relationships between your customers and your brand.
CX design involves getting into your customers’ minds to understand how they feel when they interact with your customers in a wide range of situations and circumstances. Now, you have an opportunity to influence the customer experience and develop a plan and strategy to make your customers feel highly valued.
You need to engage your customers, meet their needs, and even go beyond to exceed their expectations on a consistent basis.
The customer experience that you design should feel tailored towards individual customers. Your customers should feel like they are in control of their relationship with your brand. You should design your CX such that your customers feel like you’re looking to help them succeed, you’re sending them information that would actually help them, instead of simply pitching your offerings all the time. They also want to know that you care about what they care about.