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How Many Types of X Acronyms Are There?

One of the problems with coining a term like “user experience” or its acronym counterpart “UX” is that it opens up the floodgates for other trendy experience-related acronyms to enter the web design lexicon.

CX, DX, EX, HX, JX, PX, UX, (U)XD…

Is all of this really necessary though?

While I don’t think you need to go adding EX or JX to your vocabulary anytime soon, it’s still a good idea to educate yourself on what these X acronyms mean and how to use them to your advantage in business.


The X’s of Web Design and Marketing

The two most common experience acronyms in web design and marketing are UX and CX. What you may be surprised to learn, however, is that the “X” in these acronyms doesn’t always stand for “experience” nor does it always pertain to the end customer.

Let’s review what each of the X acronyms means and then we’ll talk about which ones you actually need to worry about and use.

Customer Experience (CX)

CX refers to the quality of interactions a customer has with a brand, from the very first encounter to their very last. As such, customer experience is the most important of all the X’s to monitor, measure, and maintain.

Think about all of the places where the CX could go off the rails:

  • A broken form on the website dissuades them from trying to connect with a brand;
  • A support representative fails to respond in a timely fashion, leaving the user feeling helpless;
  • The customer makes a purchase every month for two years, but has noticed a degradation in quality over time.

This is why it’s so important for businesses to have a game plan from Day 1 — especially one that ensures a consistent delivery of products and services throughout the lifetime of a customer relationship. Any misstep in CX could cost a brand a customer’s business and loyalty.

Digital Transformation (DX)

DX refers to a technological evolution within a company. Although it’s not a term you commonly hear thrown around, it’s happening around us all the time.

If you’ve ever made a digital shift within your own business (say, from one OS to another or from a manual process to one that’s automated), you know what far-reaching effects it can have. Your time, money, and sometimes even your clients can be impacted by the change if you don’t prepare for it in advance.

Imagine what happens when it’s not just a sole business owner or freelancer who’s affected by a digital transformation.

Emotional Experience (EX)

There are two ways in which “EX” may be used in design or marketing. This is one way.

Think of emotional experience as a subset of user experience. Instead of focusing on developing a clear set of steps that take a user through their journey, EX design and marketing focus on the elements that evoke strong emotions: Powerful color palettes; Nostalgic images; Messages of urgency.

Any time you build something with the intent of pulling on someone’s emotions, that’s emotional experience design — and it’s a really common thing we do today, even if we don’t all go referring to it as EX.

Employee Experience (EX)

This is the second use of EX you may encounter, though it’s not very likely unless you’re working in a digital agency environment. Even then, this is the kind of term that only corporate might use.

While it might not be a commonplace phrase, the concept is a good one to flesh out, whether you work in a team atmosphere or you have aspirations of hiring your own team someday. All employee experience really refers to is how team members feel about and respond to a work environment and their organization as a whole.

Essentially, EX is UX for an internal organization. And by researching what employees want, collecting feedback on how they feel, and reviewing data on their productivity and job satisfaction, companies can effectively improve the employee experience — which should have a trickle-down effect to CX.

Human Experience (HX)

I’ve heard it said that HX is all about taking UX and CX to a new level.

Even though they’re both meant to create a more pleasing end user experience, the belief is that there’s still too much focus on the technology instead of the humans we should be serving. That it’s only when we stop focusing on how technology can attract and convert and please more customers that we can fulfill the real purpose of a company.

While honesty, transparency, and ethics are the kind of ideals every brand should strive for, it’s not always realistic to prioritize them what with how difficult it is to convince users to convert. There’s just too much information competing for their attention right now. So, while it’s nice to think about being able to market and sell a company to human beings instead of generalizing them as “users” or “customers”, that’s just not feasible for newer and smaller companies.

That said, I think HX is still a worthwhile concept to keep in mind. While you might not be able to do much with it now, it can certainly be a game-changing differentiator once a brand has long been established.

Job Transformation (JX)

JX and DX go hand-in-hand.

Basically, as companies adopt more and more digital solutions, and those solutions become more complex (thanks in part to AI), jobs are going to change. So, rather than hire IT specialists who can manage on-site hardware and software, businesses will be looking for AI specialists and cloud service providers who can help them make the most of their all-digital operation.

Partner Experience (PX)

PX may refer to one of two things. For this one, the partner in the experience could be a business partner, product supplier, SaaS provider, etc. Basically, any third party who you have a relationship with.

As far as web design and marketing goes, PX can affect you in a number of ways.

For example, if you were to manage web hosting on behalf of your clients. You notice that their site’s gone offline, so you reach out to the customer support representative from the web hosting company, but they’re either non-responsive or have no clue what the heck is going on. Who do you think your client is going to be upset with? No matter how much you try to pass the buck, you’re the one who’s set yourself up as the go-between, so it’s going to fall on you.

Now, let’s say you’re a solo web designer and want to partner with a copywriter since clients keep asking for help in that area. In that case, PX could affect you in a similar fashion. If the writer were to fall short in their duties (or vice versa), not only would your relationship with them be compromised, but the relationship between you and the client would as well.

Bottom line: the relationships you have with partners and suppliers plays a critical role in your success, so you do need to spend time focusing on those experiences.

Public Experience (PX)

PX, in this instance, is more likely to be used by agencies that specialize in branding and market research. That’s because this one has to do with how a brand is perceived by society. And all of the other acronyms contribute to it.

For instance:

  • An employee believes they were unfairly fired and puts the company on blast on Facebook. It gets picked up by a major news source and the story goes viral.
  • A website is hacked the day before Black Friday, leaving thousands of users without a place to buy all of the gifts they were hoping to get on sale that holiday season.
  • A company releases a new app which parents are calling for a ban on because it reinforces unhealthy stereotypes.

From the product itself to how the company engages with the public, there are many ways in which the PX may be affected. While each of the contributors — including you the web designer — have to be cognizant of how their choices and actions may affect the public image of a brand, it’s more likely the branding team will need to worry about PX.

User Experience (UX)

You’re probably already familiar with UX. This is the term we use to describe how a user (visitor) feels as they walk through a website or app. And how each step they take and each interaction they make, adds up to an overall experience.

In order to “create” a user experience, designers, developers, writers, and marketers need to be able to step inside the shoes of their users and build a journey tailor-made for them. I’ll explain in more detail how that happens in the next point.

(User) Experience Design (UXD)

The subject of user experience design is a common one discussed here. Just recently, the following UXD topics have been explored:

UXD is a discipline that requires a lot of research, attention to detail, and testing. And the end result is a website or app that’s highly usable, accessible, and enjoyable. That’s because every element, step, and interaction has been carefully thought through. And not only that, the experience is constantly reevaluated, tested, and updated to continually serve the end user.

As far as you’re concerned, I’d say that UX/UXD is the most important acronym for you to concern yourself with.



The fact of the matter is, there’s a lot of value in accepting the underlying principles of these acronyms. However, I’m not sure we need to make “designer speak” sound any more complicated than it already is.

After all, your clients don’t want to hear you talk about how DX is affecting the way we build the UX of websites. They want real speak. They want to know what exactly you’re going to do for them; not spend extra time asking you to elaborate on what all of that design jargon means.

Plus, if you do get caught up in all of these “experiences”, you might not get anything done. What I’d suggest is to focus on the ones that matter:

UX — even if you’re not an official UX designer by trade — is incredibly important.

CX is another must, though the only CX you can fully control is your own. You’ll have to trust that the clients you work for will deliver the rest on their end.

I also think DX is a good one to keep in the corner of your mind.

Technological advancements aren’t going to stop anytime soon and you’re working in a field where the tools you use and the tech that affects your business are constantly changing. So, while you might not talk about “DX”, you do need to accept that it’s going to have a profound effect on how you work, how you develop processes, and what you’re able to do for clients.

Like I said earlier, the underlying concepts of each of these X acronyms are valid and do hold some value for you as a web designer. As you work on growing your business — by adding more services, hiring employees, upgrading your tech — it would serve you well to keep these in mind to ensure you maintain a positive experience across the board.


Featured image via Unsplash.

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6 Types of Google Search Results You Shouldn’t Trust Blindly

We depend on Google for looking up facts and information on any topic. But since Google doesn’t verify every link, it’s not always wise to trust the data it gives you.

Google’s algorithms like PageRank have got better at assessing expertise and trustworthiness of a website. But the wrong information can sneak in or we as readers can make mistakes in interpreting the search results.

Some topics need expert eyes. And that’s why it is always better to tread with caution while exploring these six sensitive subjects.

1. Medical Information

Why you shouldn't search for medical information on Google

We don’t have to live in a state of uncertainty when we’re not feeling well. Google allows us to instantly diagnose our symptoms. However, there’s a reason behind the “Don’t trust Google” signs at your doctor’s clinic.

Medical sites don’t have access to your records. Therefore, they end up suggesting all the possible causes and treatments for a symptom—not specific to your case.

So while fever is technically one of the symptoms of cancer, it doesn’t mean you have it. You are most likely suffering from just a common cold.

Hence, you should undergo a proper checkup and consult a real doctor before reaching a conclusion.

2. Financial Advice

Taking care of your finances can be a demanding process. But Google is the last place from which you should seek advice.

Google’s treasure trove of data is, at best, a supplementary resource for your financial research. On a search engine, you’ll come across a range of opinions and articles which might mislead or cloud your judgment. A straightforward query on a particular investment will surface a myriad of links and it will be difficult to gauge which one offers sound guidance.

Hence, you should stick to more credible financial research platforms and not a search engine like Google to base your ultimate decisions and understand market trends.

3. Conspiracy Theories

Bigfoot conspiracy theory on google search

Another topic you should stay clear of on Google is conspiracy theories. Controversial arguments tend to drive the most traffic online. Some websites exploit this by talking about theories that would fetch more clicks and stimulate conversations.

Google is home to the internet’s wildest stories which often rank high just because they’re popular. Even for folklore as absurd as the Bigfoot, you will find enough evidence to convince someone (or just yourself). And that’s just within the first few pages… you don’t need to go down the rabbit hole.

For instance, searching for “bigfoot real” on Google will easily lead you to numerous compilations of supposedly real photos of Bigfoot sightings.

4. Breaking News

trusting breaking news on google

Misinformation runs rampant on the web and like other online platforms, Google too has struggled to get a grip on the spread of fake news. The issue’s effects magnify during a breaking news event. In such scenarios, the details are scant, which gives rise to hoaxes and rumors.

While Google has safety measures in place for tackling misinformation, they often don’t kick in immediately. By the time Google takes a false news piece down, there’s a good chance it has been read by millions.

So when you fire up Google right after there’s a breaking news alert, you risk running into speculation-based reporting. A better alternative is to directly browse specific news sites and sources you trust instead of Google

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5. Religious Practices

Google offers an abundance of resources for people looking to be more religiously informed. However, it’s also in a constant battle with racial bias and discrimination. While researching, you will encounter sites that favor certain religions. It’s difficult to judge the veracity of these web pages when you’re new to the subject.

In her book titled “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism”, Safiya Umoja Noble argues that search engines like Google are not “trusted, credible public information portals” and says they’re discriminatory and favor the groups that designed or funded them.

This monopoly of information is a threat to democracy…

Since Google’s algorithms are influenced by what the majority of its users are searching, minorities end up being misrepresented.

6. Chemical-Related Queries

When you’re dealing with chemicals, even a minor error can prove fatal. Therefore, if there’s a chemical-related detail you aren’t sure about, turning to Google’s search engine might not be the best way forward. Google is known to host a range of contradictory data and deciding which one to trust can be a challenge.

Like medical platforms, chemical sites don’t have access to your circumstances and environmental properties like the room’s ambient temperature.

This applies to the use of chemicals in scenarios outside of the lab too. For instance, the debate concerning whether the presence of Chlorine in swimming pools has an adverse on your health has divided the internet for ages.

As an alternative to Google, you can check out the official websites of chemistry boards and associations.

Yes, Don’t Trust Wikipedia Facts Either

edit articles on Wikipedia

One of the biggest misconceptions about the internet is that the information on Wikipedia is always vetted and accurate. That’s far from the truth. Most of Wikipedia’s content is crowd-sourced and can be edited by anyone.

Contrary to popular belief, the site doesn’t have a team of human curators who fact-check everything.

So while Wikipedia is harmless as far as basic facts are concerned, you should verify what you find there with other sites that are more reliable than Wikipedia

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Use Google Filters for Reliable Searches

Google processes thousands of queries each second and is one of the internet’s best inventions. But its search engine algorithms have also allowed misleading websites to flourish. While there are a handful of other topics you shouldn’t depend on Google for, the ones we discussed here top that list.

One of the methods you can use to narrow down to trustworthy sources is the set of Google’s search filters. Here are the best Google tips, operators, and commands you should know

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to find the right information you need.

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CPU Socket Types Explained: Socket 5 to BGA

Your computer processor has a home: the socket. The CPU socket is rarely mentioned because it doesn’t help or hinder performance. Rather, it provides a standardized shape for a specific generation of CPUs.

Why, then, should you care about CPU sockets? Well, if you want to upgrade your CPU, you need to know the socket type. Your motherboard socket type dictates which type of CPU you can use, whether your CPU upgrade is worthwhile, or if you should consider upgrading your entire system.

So, what are CPU sockets, and why are they important?

What Is a CPU Socket?

CPU Socket Types Explained: Socket 5 to BGA computersocket1

Your CPU socket is similar to a light socket. A light socket makes your light bulb part of an electrical network, giving the bulb the power it needs to work. Your CPU socket makes a processor part of your computer, providing power and offering a way for the CPU to communicate with the rest of your system hardware.

Modern computers place the CPU socket on the motherboard. (Here’s a short guide to all the parts on your motherboard

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.) In the past, there were other CPU socket configurations, including slot-mounted processors that you insert like a modern PCI card. Today, however, you place your CPU into the socket, on the motherboard, and secure it using a latch of some sort.

CPU sockets are decades old. Intel’s famous first processor, the Intel 386, used a 132-pin PGA socket (I’ll explain this acronym in a moment). The original Intel Pentium CPU used Socket 4 and later, Socket 5.

CPU sockets are not ubiquitous. There are differences between the CPU sockets developed by Intel and AMD, relating to the differences in CPU pin configurations between the two CPU manufacturing giants.

Why Are There Different CPU Sockets?

Unlike a light socket, CPU socket design does change frequently. Why?

Well, changes to the CPU architecture are the reason. New processor architectures arrive every few years and often come with a new set of requirements, including shape, size, and motherboard compatibility. Plus, there are two major x86 processor manufacturers: AMD and Intel. AMD and Intel CPUs have separate processor architectures, and compatibility between the two is impossible.

That last statement hasn’t always been true, mind. Back in the early days of computing, if you were lucky enough to own a high-end Socket 7 motherboard, you could use an Intel Pentium, an AMD K6, K6-2, or K6-3, a Cyrix 6×86, an IDT Winchip, or a Rise Technology mP6. And while dual-CPU motherboards do exist, there aren’t any that facilitate AMD and Intel concurrently.

What Type of CPU Sockets Exist?

Over the years, many types of CPU sockets have come and gone. Only three are relevant at the current time: LGA, PGA, and BGA.


LGA and PGA can be understood as opposites. “Land grid array” (LGA) consists of a socket with pins that you place the processor on. PGA (“pin grid array”), on the other hand, places the pins on the processor, which you then insert into a socket with appropriately placed holes.

In the modern computing era, Intel CPUs use LGA sockets, while AMD CPUs use PGA. There are notable exceptions to that rule, though. For instance, the monstrous AMD Threadripper uses Socket TR4

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(short for Threadripper 4), which is an LGA socket. TR4 is only AMD’s second LGA socket. Earlier Intel CPUs, such as the Pentium, Pentium 2, and Pentium 3 all used a PGA socket.


There is also a BGA socket, which stands for “ball grid array”. The BGA technique permanently attaches the processor to the motherboard during production, making upgrades impossible. A BGA socket and motherboard can potentially cost less, but there are very few equivalents between consumer BGA products, and LGA and PGA.

Furthermore, BGA technically is not a socket because it is a permanent motherboard feature. (You can easily replace an LGA or PGA CPU.) BGA sockets are still worth mentioning since it serves the same function.

Several years back there was a rumor that Intel was going to sunset the LGA socket. Intel LGA sockets would phase out after the 4th generation Intel Haswell CPUs. It never came to pass, and Intel still develops CPUs for LGA sockets.

That said, with the increase in system-on-a-chip (SoC) hardware, Intel has increased its BGA socket use. Similarly, ARM, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and other SoC manufacturers all rely heavily on BGA.

Does CPU Socket Type Matter?

A processor using a particular socket type will fit into any motherboard with that socket, right? Wrong!

Socket types like LGA are a category, rather than a specific model. There are many socket variations built on the basic specification.

Intel gives its LGA sockets a name based upon the number of pins. LGA1155, for example, has 1,155 individual socket pins. A processor built for that specific socket type will work only with that socket. Sometimes the numbers are incredibly similar, like LGA1155 and LGA1156, but you cannot force one into the opposing socket. A single Intel socket variation can cover multiple CPU generations.

AMD takes a slightly different approach. It labels its sockets with broad names, like AM3 or FM1. Compatibility is still strictly enforced, though AMD occasionally upgrades a socket while retaining compatibility. You can spot an upgraded AMD socket with the “+” symbol, such as AM2+ and AM3+.

Will CPU Sockets Become Extinct?

Computer development continues to feature a socket as a core design feature. Most components, including the processor, are upgradable or serviceable. Home and business users have the opportunity to build a system to whatever specification they desire, knowing that in time, they can make improvements.

The rise of mobile devices has seen a slight paradigm shift. The PC is not going extinct, far from it. But it is changing significantly to cope with the demands of the mobile hyper-networked world. The extinction of sockets could well be part of that change. CPU sockets add bulk and manufacturing complexity to products striving to reduce costs and size.

Predictions of the demise of the CPU socket in the near future are premature. You only have to look at Intel and AMD developing smaller, faster CPU manufacturing processes, as well as the development going into upgrading existing sockets or producing new socket variations.

It makes sense, too. Even though there more mobile devices than ever, enthusiasts and IT specialists will always look to a motherboard with a socket so that upgrading a single part is an option, rather than replacing an entire system, server, or otherwise.

Considering building your own PC, but not sure where to start? Look no further than our guide on how to build your own PC

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. It’ll walk you through, from start to finish.

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How to Make Your Own Events Listing Using Custom Post Types in WordPress

One of the advantages of using WordPress is its sheer flexibility. It’s not just for posts and pages: custom post types can extend the core features to virtually anything.

Let’s take a look today at what you could do with custom post types, as well as a quick practical example of how to create an event listing using a custom post type called Event.

Note: This tutorial should be considered for educational purposes only, so you can learn the code used to create custom post types. If you actually want a great events listing plugin for your WordPress site, try The Events Calendar, which is well developed and free.

What Are Custom Post Types in WordPress?

Typically, a WordPress site consists of two types of content: dated blog posts, and static pages. Most of us who have set up a WordPress blog

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are familiar with the fact that pages should be used for things like “About me” or “Contact information”, while regular posts go to your blog.

But beyond that, what if you want to add another special kind of content that doesn’t really fit into the chronological order of the blog and certainly isn’t static? That’s where custom post types come in.

A fairly common request for club or group sites is to have some kind of events calendar. One solution that could be applied is to create a separate Events category of posts. The problem with this is they’ll be displayed in the main blog timeline, and we really ought to separate the two concepts entirely.

For that purpose, let’s create a new post type called event, which will have its own separate section of the admin interface.

How to Create a Custom Post Type in WordPress

We’ll do this by adjusting your theme files directly. You could achieve the same effect through a plugin, but to demonstrate the concept and practice it’s just easier to write them directly. If you’re not comfortable doing this, consider using the My Custom Functions plugin, which allows you to add code non-destructively.

My Custom Functions

Open up your theme’s functions.php file, stored in the theme folder inside wp-content/themes; or use the My Custom Functions plugin, which you’ll find at Settings > PHP Inserter. At the end of the file, add this code:

add_action('init', 'events_init');

function events_init() {
	$args = array(
		'labels' => array(
			'name' => __('Events'),
			'singular_name' => __('Event'),
		'public' => true,
		'has_archive' => true,
		'rewrite' => array("slug" => "events"), 
		'supports' => array('thumbnail','editor','title','custom-fields')

	register_post_type( 'events' , $args );

Be sure to do this before the closing php (?>) tag, if there is one in your functions.php file.

Take a while to read over the code. It’s declaring some properties (like labels for the interface), and how the URLs (rewrites) should be handled, as well as what features this post-type supports. You can, for instance, add a custom field to your custom post type with the supports property.

In this case, we’ve declared our event type to support thumbnails, a content editor for the event description, an event title, and custom fields. We’ve also added has_archive, so that navigating to the events page will bring up an archive of all events, similar to a blog.

That’s it, now if you save your theme and reload your blog, assuming you don’t have any errors you should now see a new events section on your admin sidebar. Yay!

Notice how my current theme is taking full advantage of custom post types for all manner of extra features in the admin.

Add some example events now.

Two awesome parties have been added to the event list!

Then since this is an event, create a custom field called date to indicate when the event will occur. Use mm/dd/yyyy format.

Creating a custom date field to show when the event will actually occur

Note that we need to use custom fields to specify the actual date of the event rather than the date of the post, because the date of the post represents when the notice is published. Since you’d presumably be adding events that will occur in the future, setting the publishing date to the actual event date would be useless.

If you try to view the event at this point, you may get a 404 error. This is because WordPress needs to regenerate your Permalink URL structure to account for this new post type. Head over to the Settings > Permalinks page, and hit save again.

You should now be able to view the individual event post. Note that the first part of the URL, after your domain name, is /events/. We chose this in this line of code:

'rewrite' => array("slug" => "events"),

Customize the Events Listing Page

Now that you have all these fantastic events in your blog, it would be nice to actually list them somewhere. For that, we will create a special page template, so you can then add that page to your regular menu items alongside About or Contact.

Since we already specified that the Event post type should have an archive, you can go ahead and see what the default is by visiting /events/. On the standard Twenty-Seventeen theme on my test site, I got this:

Archive page showing events

Customizing this output is going to depend on what theme you’re using, and covering the entire WordPress templating system is well out of the scope of this article. However, for the sake of this tutorial, I’ll assume you’re using Twenty-Seventeen.

Start by creating a copy of archive.php, and rename it to archive-events.php. This is a standard naming convention that means WordPress will automatically use this template to display the archive for the events post type.

Upon examining the file, the Twenty-Seventeen authors have provided a post format mechanism, which is too complex for our needs:

* Include the Post-Format-specific template for the content.
* If you want to override this in a child theme, then include a file
* called content-___.php (where ___ is the Post Format name) and that will be used instead.
get_template_part( 'template-parts/post/content', get_post_format() );

Note: A child theme is recommended since any updates to the original theme will overwrite your changes. This WordPress support article describes the process of creating a child theme for Twenty-Seventeen. For brevity, I’m just going to work on the original theme and not care if my work is lost in a later update.

Cut that entire block out, and paste in the following instead. This is just a simplified copy of what’s in those post format templates, for the sake of learning:

<header class="entry-header">
<?php echo '<div class="entry-meta">'.twentyseventeen_time_link().'</div>';
the_title( '<h2 class="entry-title"><a href="' . esc_url( get_permalink() ) . '" rel="bookmark">', '</a></h2>' );?>

<?php if ( '' !== get_the_post_thumbnail() && ! is_single() ) : ?>
<div class="post-thumbnail">
<a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">
<?php the_post_thumbnail( 'twentyseventeen-featured-image' ); ?>
<?php endif; ?>

<div class="entry-content">
<?php the_content(sprintf('Continue reading<span class="screen-reader-text"> "%s"</span>',get_the_title()));?>


If you save and preview the Events page again, you’ll notice it now has dates. But they’re wrong. They’re currently showing the publish date instead of the event date. As a last step, let’s change that to the actual date the event will be held. Find the bit that generates the time, twenty_seventeen_time_link(), and replace it with the following:

date('l jS F Y',strtotime(get_post_meta(get_the_ID(), 'date', true)))

This is getting the date from the post meta field we set, then using the PHP date() function to format it to something more readable.

Archive with dates

Next steps?

If you’re unhappy with your current web host, we highly recommend using a managed WordPress host like WP Engine, which we ourselves use for our sister sites. Otherwise, InMotion Hosting offers affordable plans, which are even cheaper with our special discount when you use this link.

Then, note that when we created the event post type, we coded support for featured thumbnails already. Use our guide to featured images and post thumbnails

The Complete Guide to Featured Thumbnails and Image Sizes in WordPress

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to grab and display a featured image on the events listing archive.

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