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What Is UX, XD, UXD, UED, UI, CX, IxD, UXE, IA, SD and What’s The Dif?

In the realm of design, there are several acronyms that can be confusing for newcomers and even seasoned professionals. Terms like UX, XD, UXD, UED, UI, CX, IxD, UXE, IA, and SD are commonly used but may leave you scratching your head if you’re not familiar with their meanings. So, let’s break it down and demystify these design-related acronyms:
UX: User Experience
User Experience (UX) is the process of understanding and solving user problems before they even realize them. A well-designed UX allows users to easily find information, complete tasks, and navigate a product interface seamlessly. UX is a science that combines aspects of architecture and psychology, focusing on user research, content strategy, and information architecture to create effective solutions for the majority of users. If the product interface is clear and works smoothly UX designer did a great job. However, there is a situation when the user doesn’t know how to solve his problem within the product interface and this is a straightforward indicator of low UX quality.
UX: User Experience
XD: Experience Design
Experience Design (XD) is a broader term that encompasses the entire process of designing and optimizing user experiences. It includes research, strategy, interaction design, visual design, and usability testing. XD is an umbrella term that incorporates various design disciplines, including UX, UI, and IxD.
UXD or UED or User Experience Design

User Experience Design (UXD or UED) refers to the practice of designing products or systems with a primary focus on enhancing user satisfaction. It involves applying principles of psychology, usability, visual design, and interaction design to create seamless and intuitive experiences.

Some people use term UXD or UED — user experience design instead of UX. You may also meet XD — experience design. Actually, all these abbreviated forms mean the same.

UI: User Interface

Jesse Garrett is one of the co-authors of this term and co-founded Adaptive Path defines this term as an area of interface elements. The interface color codes, buttons, text, fonts are the parts of this area.

The main UI tasks are to make the interface visually attractive, user-friendly and pleasant to use. User interface is something of the kind of mediator between a user and device and is responsible for interactivity too.

As you see UX is more about science while UI is more about art.

User Interface (UI) refers to the visual elements and interactive components of a product or system that users interact with. It includes elements like buttons, menus, forms, and typography. UI design focuses on creating visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces.

UI-designer is responsible for visual product perception. Quality typography, wisely chosen colors, good textures and spaces in the design help user easily reach his final goal.

UI: User Interface
CX: Customer Experience

This is a set of possible points of contact with the client, including the stage of the sales process and future product usage.

This is a general impression the client receives while cooperating with the company. CX consists of a lot of factors starting from the first contact and including the purchase fact, the product using period and up to the end of the cooperation.

CX-design oriented on a number of factors such as user-friendliness, client feedbacks, Net Promoter Score (NPS) etc.

Customer Experience (CX) is closely related to UX but has a broader scope. It encompasses all interactions that a customer has with a company or brand, including marketing, sales, support, and post-purchase experiences. CX design aims to create positive and consistent experiences throughout the customer journey.

CX: Customer Experience
IxD: Interaction Design

Interaction Design (IxD) is concerned with designing interactive experiences and defining how users engage with a product or system. It focuses on designing intuitive and engaging interactions that facilitate effective communication between users and technology.

Usually, this term is applied to software products such as applications or websites. The main aim of IxD is to create an enjoyable product. This product always helps the user to achieve his aim in the easiest and most effective and most inviting way. It may cover the elements like sounds, movements, aesthetics, spaces, and a lot of other things.

Crampton Smith suggested 4 aspects of interaction design:

  • Words,
  • Visual representations,
  • Physical objects or space and Time.
Later Silver strengthened the list with a fifth, and it was behavior.
XD: Experience Design
UXE: User experience ecosystem

Dave Jones defines a UX ecosystem as, «…a set of interdependent relationships between components within an information environment».

Under «components» he means people, their aims, the digital technology they use for information exchanging and in communication purpose, and, of course, the information they are sharing.

UX ecosystems make the designer look at the bigger picture, in other words, how comfortable the product is in the «world» of the product the user is operating.

The UX designer’s goal here is to design a user-centered ecosystem of devices, services, and objects across platforms in an easy and clear way.

UXE: User experience ecosystem
IA: Information Architecture

Information Architecture (IA) deals with organizing and structuring information in a way that is logical and intuitive for users to navigate. It involves creating site maps, taxonomies, and navigation schemes to facilitate easy access to information.

IA covers 2 main components. They are content and functionality identification, and product hierarchy. This hierarchy represents the connection between the product content and functionality.

IA may be as pretty simple so a quite complicated (for large-scale projects).

Information Architecture (IA) is not a part of the user interface or visible screen. IA specifies the look and set of user interface options.

IA: Information Architecture
SD: Service Design

Service Design (SD) focuses on designing holistic experiences that encompass both physical and digital touchpoints. It involves considering the entire service ecosystem and designing processes, interactions, and experiences that meet user needs and business objectives.

SD or service design — the process of building communication, people organizing, planning, and other actions oriented toward improving the product quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers.

The main aim of service design (SD) is company service improvement according to the consumers’ and product users’ expectations. The services should 100% meet the customer’s expectations and be quick, pleasant, and competitive.

SD: Service Design
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While these acronyms may overlap and share some similarities, each term has its own specific focus and expertise. Understanding their distinctions can help you navigate the world of design and effectively communicate with fellow designers and stakeholders. Whether you’re working on UX, XD, UED, UI, CX, IxD, UXE, IA, or SD, having a clear understanding of the principles and goals associated with each can greatly enhance your design process and deliver exceptional user experiences.

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