Customer Experience Market Research User Experience

Which X is it? Where CX and UX Intersect

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At MDRG we use customer experience (CX) research to turn your customer base into devoted brand promoters. Our research studies capture the voice of the customer as they journey through touchpoints and dive into the relationships created during each interaction. But what is CX and how is it different from UX? 


Which X is which? There is some confusion in the market as to the difference between Customer Experience (CX) and User Experience (UX), so let us start with the basics. CX focuses on customers of a product or service, whereas UX focuses on users (-who could potentially also be customers-) or someone using the product or service. Still confused? Let us dig into some more details. 


Does CX include UX? Answer is, sometimes. CX looks at all touchpoints of a customer’s journey and even overall experiences with a brand. UX can be used to test various stages of development of a product or service with users, so it can be smart to incorporate it into CX research projects depending on which touchpoint(s) need addressing. For example, if the CX research indicates a small number of customers are completing your brand’s loyalty program, it could be worth testing the user experience of the registration process to look for areas where they struggle or give up and gather ideas to improve the process. 


How do you know which “X” you need? Do you want to know how engaged customers are during every point of the buying journey (marketing, sales, customer service, surveys, billing, and more)? 

If you are looking to: 

  • Pinpoint if advertising is positively reflecting your brand 
  • Find where customers waiver in the purchase process 
  • Determine if customers are making repeat purchases 

Then CX study is for you! CX can be used by both established brands or those new to the market. 


Are you looking to test products or services either during stages of development or at the end stage? 

If you are looking to check on: 

  • User behaviors, needs, and motivations 
  • Ways to inform product and service design decisions 
  • How to overcome user pain points and provide optimized solutions 
  • Testing the reception of new product features or a new website layout  


  • You are confident in the CX of your brand 

Then you want to do UX research!  


How UX methods can be utilized in CX. While there are several different methods that can be used in UX, here are two examples of how they could be applied during CX research. 

  • Usability testing is frequently what first comes to mind when people think about UX research. Usability testing involves users testing either a prototype or current product to find areas of delight and/or dismay. This method is often used prior to investing in website navigation updates to ensure users can find what they need and, in some cases, easily complete the purchase process. 
  • Testing accessibility (whether it be of a store layout, customer survey, or website) is an example of a focused UX method being used on a touchpoint in a CX journey.  


Now that you know a little more about the differences between CX and UX and how they can work together, you still have some questions about which method(s) would work best for your business. Of course, the team at MDRG is here to help! Reach out to discuss how a customized research project can answer your questions, uncover the needs of your customers, and improve the overall user experience of your product or service.  


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