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Bridging the Gap between UX & CX: Possible?

A few weeks back, I was flying from Kochi to Hyderabad. Since I have been flying frequently these days, I considered the idea of accumulating frequent flyer miles with one of the airlines. On further research, I decided to go with one airline and downloaded their app.

Though I have never used a mobile application for booking air tickets before, I found the application very simple and easy to use. As a UX designer, I enjoyed using the clutter free interface, simple & easy navigations, and great visual aesthetics. I booked the tickets in less than 2 minutes. I had to enter minimal details at the time of registration. Application fetched my email id associated with my phone on its own, after asking my permission. I was guided with meaningful messages especially error messages, which made my experience really smooth. Date selector, one of the key usage patterns in the app, is also very intuitive and easy to use.

As Don Norman points out, Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible.” So true, but in my case, having experienced many applications, I really liked the UX of this app in the first go.

All excited about the experience I had using the application, my expectations from this airline also increased. Although I am a UX designer, I consciously did not differentiate the user experience from the customer experience.

But unfortunately, once I reached the airport it was a different story. The check-in counters were short of staff and the line was very long. I boarded the flight and was welcomed by their charming crew, full of energy. I looked forward to to the rest of the journey. But to my surprise, I had an uncomfortable experience in-flight as well.

Maybe I extrapolated their great app UX into an even greater customer experience which set higher expectations that were unmet?

All in all, in contemplation, I realised following things:

  • I was expecting the same pleasing digital experience of the application in real world.
  • Along with great user experience of the app, customer experience is also equally important, if not more.
  • Being in the same domain, maybe I empathised with the design team and understood the effort that went into crafting the user experience. However, with the rest of my experiences with the airline, I was expecting the same as any other user would.

Being a UX designer with constant desire to make things work better and usable, I asked myself, if there is a way to make the overall experience delightful and bridge the gap between the digital experience & real world experience?

Can I as a UX designer, extend the app’s experience into the real life situations? Are there any areas of Customer Experience that can be brought into the scope of User Experience? Is there any way I could work as a catalyst for the said purpose?


  1. Santhosh

    Yes you can. But coming to bridging the gap between ux and cx. I do feel there is a even bigger missing part. The business part does appear in it. Lets say I am a ux designer. I am creating an app to give the best cx. I have given options to rate the flight and his journey experience in the same ux. The point is no business firm would want their business to be rated utter poor. Even if they do get negative comments. They would ask us to display the positive comments at the start which again impresses the customer. I seriously doubt if any business firm would want to degrade its business and moreover it could be a day off for them. May be the cx would be great other days. Coming to conclusion with just a single journey day would never be advisable. The best we can do is to try to analyse the customer data same way ur mail id is accessed. If he still persists with our service, he is pleased for sure. If not he is not. We musy try to project this as a result. Simple analytics might be the key.

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