What’s the Difference Between Usability, UX, CX, and Product?

In the world of experience design and research, the lines are easily blurred between usability and user experience as well as user experience and customer experience.

But then where does product fit? And brand?

I’ve seen others describe these relationships in concentric circles or Venn diagrams.

I see them as a hierarchy.

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How Product Management & UX Work Together

Not all business problems are customer problems. (Customers couldn’t care less that you aren’t generating enough sales leads.)

Not all customer problems are business problems. (A tech company probably doesn’t care that their app doesn’t work on a PalmPilot.)

So, how do companies find the right problems to solve? They leverage product management and UX frameworks.

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12 Less Obvious Usability Issues to Look For

I often compare usability testing to juggling in the middle of a 3-ring circus—there’s a lot happening all at once and it’s easy to miss (or misinterpret) what you’re seeing.

During a recent usability study, I noticed that a few participants stopped scrolling about halfway down the page.

At first, I assumed it was because they had either a) found all the information they needed, or b) hit their limit on reading (i.e., reader fatigue).

There seemed to be good information scent—so it wasn’t until a tester mentioned reaching the “bottom of the page” did I look at the screen again with fresh eyes.

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Case Study: UX Research & Strategy Proposal to Drive Revenue Growth

Each year, the QRCA (Qualitative Research Consultants Association) holds a contest for its members to respond to a fictional RFP.

I joined the QRCA in late 2018 and was unaware of the contest until the finalists presented their proposals at the January 2019 QRCA conference (which were all excellent!).

At the conference, I met several market researchers who were curious about the types of research I conduct as a UX researcher (beyond usability testing). To help answer that question, here is how I may have responded to the fictional RFP.

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28 Reasons to Invest in UX Research

A common misconception about UX research is that it only involves usability testing websites and apps.

In reality, testing websites and products to ensure they’re easy to use is a very small part of the user research discipline.

Instead, think of UX researchers as business strategists. They live at the intersection of customer needs and business strategy—driving head-turning results. No joke, customer-obsessed companies outperform the S&P 500 by leaps and bounds.

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