In our series of articles entitled “5 questions for…”, we spoke with Artur Richter, Design Director at valantic CEC Deutschland.
Hello Artur, you are Design Director at valantic CEC Deutschland and responsible for the User Experience area – exactly what do you do?
My task is to make customers happy. To do this, first I have to find out what makes them unhappy. That is, I talk to people and try to find out what their problems, their hurdles are. In brief: I see how I can help them and then formulate appropriate solutions. Therefore, my happiness is sooner in seeking and finding the small things. That is, in everyday life with the use of websites, applications, apps, etc..
Who are your customers?
That varies a great deal. They range from people in the B2B area to purchasers and technical types to customers in the B2C environment. Actually everybody who comes into contact with applications, websites, shops, etc. in any form.
Why is it important that your customers are happy?
People have – both at work and in their private lives – things that they want to do every day. Sometimes it’s just entertainment or a specific search for information, for example. However, this can also be performing specific tasks in their professional lives, placing an order, for example. And the easier, quicker, and more efficient this is, the more satisfied the users are, for then they have the feeling that they are able to use the tool or solution. For them, the question is not “Can I do this, do I know how?” Instead, the experience should be “I can just sit down and do it, it works, I understand it.” For the user, this means that he can do things easily, quickly, and expertly. That makes him happy – and results in satisfaction and, in the end, efficiency.
Is there a specialized term for what you do?
Of course, it’s “user experience design, also called “UX design” or just “UX.” We UX designers focus on the user and design products and services that are supposed to make people’s lives easier; we cooperate closely with other disciplines. An example might be the development of websites, mobile apps, and IoT applications. In the end, we want our solutions to be used – and if possible, to make people happy as they work. What we do is frequently not very visible. But in the background, this is the work that creates true added value for the customer. Each touchpoint is thought through in advance, tested, and improved through user research. This is extremely important since a user’s negative experience can create frustration – which is exactly what we don’t want.
What distinguishes user experience from customer experience?
Customer experience goes another level deeper, almost like the layers of an onion. Customer experience examines everything that happens around the purchase process, the entire customer journey: How will I notice the product? What happens after I have purchased the product? What happens if I want to return it? How can I make a complaint, etc.?
The user experience is a level below this. It focuses on how the purchase process flows, for example. How does check-out work? Can I find all the options that I need right away? Is everything comprehensible? Do I have to think about where to click? Or in the optimal case, is everything self-explanatory?
CX includes the big picture of the customer life cycle, while UX sooner focuses on individual activities that happen in an app or on a platform.
Thank you very much for the conversation, Artur!