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Same game... Different name

Source: Phoenix UK, 16 January 2013

When I was first introduced into the ‘Improving customer journeys / digital interfaces’ industry back in 2007 the industry was known as User Experience, in mid 2008 to 2009 this changed to ‘Customer Experience’ with now in late 2012 a new ‘buzz word’ was introduced, ‘Customer Driven Innovation’.   

Even with these different titles the core purpose of this industry is still to improve customer journeys / interfaces by listening to and observing customer interaction. The title change seems to be a way for professionals in the industry to try and emphasize to non-believers the importance of this industry, for example, User Experience was changed to Customer Experience to try and encompass different user types and lean away from a software orientated approach.

Customer Experience has now started to shift towards Customer Driven Innovation to push development and evolution of ideas, concepts and current products through listening to customers; this is all the more relevant in todays current financial climate as companies try to compete and outdo one another.

A good example of Customer Driven Innovation is Samsung who invest heavily in this industry and have slowly closed the competitor gap and in some opinions, exceed their primary rival Apple’s iPhone. Even with these name changes, UX success stories, and all companies trying to get a competitive edge over one another, some businesses still do not buy into the UX industry.

Simple fact of the matter is that companies will only succeed by listening to their customers and also prospective users. It is more cost effective to research at concept phase before developing and launching rather than spending money to create something that looks impressive but is either no use to your customers and / or is too difficult to use.

Once the potential of UX is realised the big question for businesses is, do we create an in-house UX team or outsource? I’d personally say outsource as:

  1. It will give you an unbiased perspective 
  2. The first time will show you how useful UX can be before you commit to building a long term in-house team 
  3. Because I head up the UX team at Phoenix UX, a digital agency which specialises in researching, conceptualising and creating perfect user experiences which will separate you from your competitors

Phoenix UK