How Experience Design Roles Relate to Each Other

My initial post on Experience Design provided a ton of details about each Experience Design role, and received a ton of praise from my followers. But I also received a lot of questions about the similarities as well as the differences between the various experience design roles, like UI vs UX or UX vs CX?

So I’ll explore those topics in this post…


How Do The Experience Design Roles Relate to Each Other?

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I created this nifty diagram below to explain the relationships between the Experience Design roles and how they’re interconnected. I’ve seen other relational diagrams, but all the cool kids like mine better.


img - experience design roles

UI + UX + IxD + IA
From the diagram you can see that these roles are closely connected by collaborating together to design a single product experience.

CX + UX + SD
While Service Design envelops all the Experience Design methodologies in the diagram above, a clearer picture emerges when you show the relationship between CX, UX, and SD, where CX and SD are closely interconnected, with UX being the common glue that binds them together as they seek to create and optimize customer services and experiences.

img - experience design UX-CX-SD



What Are the Major Differences Between the Experience Design Roles?

UI vs UX
UX Designers are focused on developing the layout of information and interactions for the entire digital product, whereas UI Designers create the aesthetic or visual design for digital product. Typically, UX Designers will start the design process of a web or mobile app with user research, and once they complete the UX Research Report and wireframes, they’ll hand those over to the UI Designer to begin the UI design process of applying visual design to the wireframes.

img - ux vs ui

CX vs UX
Generally speaking, UX Designers focus on designing one product interface based on users’ needs, while CX is more focused on researching and updating multiple products in order to create and optimize the holistic customer experience. The customer experience represents every step of the journey from when users are running price comparisons, to when users try the product, to when users may resort to customer service if their needs aren’t met. In essence, UX is part of a broader CX, but CX contains some aspects outside of a product that UX does not.

img - ux-vs-cx

CX vs SD
Service design generally involves designing the complete customer experience while customer experience focuses more on the upkeep of the customer experience. Another element that differentiates SD from CX is the fact that service design is more often associated with businesses that provide commodities.

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