Customer experience design (CXD) is the process by which you create a system that governs your customer’s touchpoints with your brand and organization. In layman’s terms, it’s how you create your customer interactions with your brand, from the moment someone hears about your product, to the login, and post-purchase.

However, as with much in life, that an oversimplification.

I take the position that customer experience is an enablement mechanism that supports the user experience and in turn, provides feedback for it. It provides feedback for marketing, retention activities, and to us — should be considered an integral backbone of your customer journey.

Much literature on CXD implementation has looked at it as a standalone — a mere aspect of product design that the product manager can implement if they so choose.

This stance is wrong.

In contemporary product design, the customer needs to be at its center — the focal point.

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.

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

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 its customer, and its goal is to ensure a positive experience.

Correct, and this experience is composed of distinct components that need to be designed individually — they are user experience design, user interaction design in digital, user feedback mechanisms, engagement mechanics, customer service design — that all then need to integrate fully.

How does this factor into tangibles that can be broken down?

Discover — Start with user journeys
All products have a superuser. Be they bicycles, apps, or gaming consoles. There is always the one person that fits the model of the superuser, that person who will use a product the most, and they have a psychological profile.

Identify this psychological profile and use it as a guide to creating a user journey for this person. What are their needs, hopes, wants, fears, annoyances, how does your product solve for those? How does the marketing play into the experience, and what do post-consumption behaviors look and your product’s response to them

Configure — Define your information architecture
Like your digital product, the customer experience is a living thing, continually adapting to your customer’s requirements. Your CX, along with UX/UI, and indeed your whole product should be defined in a visual information architecture model, that will act as the living blueprint for your product(s).

Restructure — Create, test, validate, update
Think of this as a cycle. Every new product update, feature addition, change to the customer experience should be tested, areas for improvement identified and then subsequently the experience should be improved upon

These three pillars ‘Discover’, ‘Configure’ and ‘Restructure’ serve as the three pillars of CX design, with each stage being as crucial as the last. Knowing the customers, knowing your brand and the intersection between the two is what sets brands apart. The adoption of these methods to enrich customer experience is invaluable for brand growth.