I’ll have to admit that I’ve been a little slow on the uptake. I’ve just noticed that many tech companies, web designers, and even social media outlets have stopped using the designation UI (User Interface) and switched to UX (User Experience). While they’re still debating, or defining those terms and how they apply to their specific contexts, I’d thought it would be fun, albeit it a bit geeky, to bring the discussion into the modern church context.
First, let’s consider the difference between the two:
The quality of a user’s experience influences that person’s level of trust and confidence in your church or religious organization and compels them to act (or not act).
The interface, in turn, gives them a means by which to act.
In other words, while the UI is a point of interaction, UX is the interaction itself.
If you’ll allow me a little latitude, I’ll say that the experience of church, as commonly understood, is one that should build trust, give confidence, and compel its congregants to mission.
Interfacing with others gives congregants the means to enact mission.
A few problematic words:
“User,” is replete with assumptions, and probably is not the best word to describe a member of the church. I suspect that many churches see their members as “users” and are always trying to refine their church product to increase UX and UI, but it’s probably a bad idea to think in this way.
“Experience,” is laden with emotion often based on subjective assessment. How one feels about a church service should be secondary to how one lives a member of the church.
“Interface,” is almost too impersonal. It implies easy disconnection or the readily available opportunity to disengage.
So, just one question:
What two letter acronym would you use to describe what the church should strive for? Explain your answer.