Customer experience design (CXD) In layman’s terms is how you design the systems that govern your customer’s touch points with your brand and organization. However, that’s an oversimplification. Customer experience is an enablement mechanism that supports the user experience and in turn provides feedback for it.

It is not a stand-alone piece to be added to digital applications, websites, or customer service add-on—but an integral part of the experience as a whole.

In contemporary product development the customer needs to be at its center, this human centered design approach ensures that the customer is top of mind throughout all product interactions and in turn his experience with it, should be a positive one.

It’s a part of the end-to-end brand experience, that follows the many pathways of your customer journey starting with discovery, to first use, reengagement, and any other tools that may be used to make sure the customer’s experience with a product is first class.

Ok so CX is how a brand interacts with their customer, and it’s goal is to ensure a positive experience.

Correct, and this experience is composed of distinct elements that need to be designed for individually, they are user experience design, user interaction design in digital, user feedback mechanisms, engagement mechanics, customer service design.

Each requiring individual design, and full integration with the rest.

A Customer Experience Design Anecdote

A customer goes to a website because they received the wrong order. They want to find a way to easily identify where to contact support, then contact them to air their grievance.

Imagine you go the site of the company who sold you the wrong thing. You don’t see support on the main page any where, you click about, and there’s nothing there. You then decide to log in and go to order, to see nothing there as well. Lastly, you decide to check the settings screen. We’ve all been there trying to find something that should have been easy to find.

You then call the number in the setting section and the company puts you on hold. You answer a few questions, they put you on hold again. Then, the next person asks for those same questions. How do you usually feel now?

Now imagine, you instead went to the website, clicked on support at the bottom, answered a few quick questions and got someone to chat with you right away, who credited you an additional couple of bucks for the mistake.

Each of these is a customer experience, yet they drastically differ. One is unintegrated, time consuming and leaves a bad taste in your mouth, the other integrated, and puts you first, we get that. In the next post we’ll look at the touch points that comprised these experiences.

For all things digital (including customer experience design), check out our thoughts here.