The Top 3 User Experience Terms You Should Know

Simplifying CX YouTube series on the most popular user experience terms.

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Video Transcript

Hey everyone, Sara here from GetFeedback. Welcome to another episode of Simplifying CX.  

If you’re new to our channel, our video series is focused on providing you straightforward answers to the biggest CX challenges. If that sounds relevant to you—don’t forget to subscribe to our channel! 

Today I’m going to go over some of the most common user experience terms that you should know.

Specifically, I’ll go over the terms: user experience, user interface, and then interaction design. 

First, I’ll define each term and how they’re interrelated.

And then I’m going to dive into interaction design because I think it’s an underappreciated piece of your digital experience strategy. 

All right, let’s go over the most well-known term of the three: User Experience. 

User experience, also known as UX, is defined as the totality of the end-users’ perceptions as they interact with a product or service. This can include their experience with an app on their mobile phone, but also covers non-digital experiences, like the experience of the mobile phone itself.

In comparison, the user interface, also known as UI, is a purely digital practice.

 It considers all the visual, interactive elements of a product interface—including buttons, icons, spacing, typography, color schemes, and responsive design. The goal of UI design is to visually guide the user through a product’s interface.  

It’s important to note: User interface and user experience are not interchangeable! UX is the overall perception of the experience, while UI is how the interface looks and functions.

To use an analogy, let’s talk about bungee jumping. UI is the bridge, the bungee cord, and the harness. UX is the feeling you get when you jump.

All right, now let’s dive into today’s shining star--interaction design.

Interaction design, also know as IxD, is the design of interactive products and services where a designer’s focus goes beyond the user interface to include the way users will interact with it.

It’s about making the connection between a device, its interface, and the user; it facilitates the actions we want to take within any given product, website, or app. 

So, what does good interaction design look like in real life?

Popular clothing brand, Madewell, for example, has great interaction design built into their browsing experience.

Their “quick view” function allows me to view essential product details, see different photos of the item, and quickly add an item to my cart without interrupting my browsing experience. The “quick view” option saves me time from having to navigate back and forth between pages and therefore makes the whole experience more enjoyable. 

If we think about our bungee jumping example, where user interface is the bridge, the cord, and the harness, and user experience is the way it feels when you jump, interaction design is the person who leads you to the edge and gives you a little push to jump off. 

The ideal result is that users will delight at the functionality and intuitive nature of the interface, which in turn, forms part of the overall user experience. 

Innovative interfaces and intuitive design have created a new level of user expectation; now, it’s all about how users feel while using technology.

So let’s summarize what we’ve covered. User experience is the totality of a user’s perceptions as they interact with your product or service.

Within UX, you have user interface -  what a user actually sees on the screen. It’s the blueprint of your app or site.

Interaction design helps users accomplish their goal while making the interaction enjoyable and seamless. 

Now that you know what interaction design is, it’s time to put it into practice. How do you use interaction design to create engaging experiences for your customers? 

For a complete guide on how to design great user interactions, click on the link I’ve added to the description section of this video.

Also, if there’s a topic that you’d like us to cover—tell us in the comments section! And make sure to subscribe now to see more videos that simplify CX.  Until next time!  

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