The design world is a fast-growing one, with a large number of design roles available to people in the industry. You might have even heard of terms like product design and UX design being thrown around without being overly familiar with them. In fact, people in the industry constantly get together and speculate as to whether they are similar to or different from each other. However, the truth is that while both design roles are not the same, there may be overlapping characteristics that make people feel that they are. It seems like product designers and UX designers have the same job on paper. But before we go further, let’s establish what they are and the similarities and differences in their job roles.
The differences between product design and UX design are pretty subtle. However, they eventually show up when taking different approaches to processes, thinking, and priorities. So, let’s learn what a product designer and UX designer are and go from there.
What is a Product Designer?
The product design process is a consolidated one. It involves market research, determining problems, developing well-informed solutions, and the product, along with other related tasks. Product designers must design user-friendly products well as provide solutions to problems that might occur. It’s their responsibility to think about the essential aspects of the product which would lead to its marketing and design success.
Product designers must essentially be versatile ‘jack of all trades’ designers who do everything, from UX to UI to coding to project management, and finally, (possibly most importantly) solve problems.
It’s a rather extensive role wherein the product designers must form teams to facilitate solutions, create multiple test plans, create a multitude of wireframes, and go through multiple rounds of A/B testing. Product designers also assist the developers during the launch process and also work with the marketing teams to ensure that there aren’t any discrepancies between the brand and the product.
Basically, product designers create solutions to the problems that might arise during the initial product design process. Ultimately, they must ensure that the product is relevant, cost-effective, and functional and that all the stakeholders are happy with it.
That being said, a product designer should have the following qualifications and skills to do their job effortlessly.
- The requisite and relevant undergraduate degree or formal qualification
- 3+ years of professional experience in UX/ UI design
- Experience working with design and prototyping tools such as Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, etc.
- Being skillful at applying design thinking when planning and scoping project work
- Contributing the right knowledge to a design system
- Having a well-applied portfolio of functional designs across desktop and mobile devices
- Having the capability to understand the user’s mindset from the onset of the product design process
- Expertise in wireframing/prototyping
- Have experience in conducting research
- Have practical knowledge on how to partner with engineers to release features, products, and/or services
- Expertise in complex applications
- Having great visual and verbal communication skills
- Being able to communicate and collaborate with others with ease
What is a UX Designer?
A UX designer works on content strategy development, testing and prototyping, implementation, and analysis when it comes to products and services. UX designers do their job keeping user interaction as their main focus, ensuring they’re continually improving the product’s usability and accessibility.
In other words, UX designers are more concerned with designing the product as per the user’s exact needs in order to give them a seamless user experience.
This means that there are a few required skills that UX designers must have and after some research, this is what we’ve found.
- A profound understanding of the UX design process
- Expertise in design and prototyping tools such as Sketch, Adobe XD or Figma, etc.
- Experience in dealing with and conducting user research and competitor analysis
- Experience in interpreting data and comparative feedback
- Experience in creating user stories, personas, and designing storyboards
- Defining information architecture and creating sitemaps
- Proficiency in prototyping and wireframing
- Understanding interaction design principles
- Understanding business standards and being able to translate organizational goals and objectives into digital experiences
What can we take away from this?
In making comparisons between these two job roles, it’s not difficult to see that they are quite similar, save for a few dissimilarities. However, product designers have a few more responsibilities when it comes to thinking of the process as a whole, including the business, process, and branding. While UX designers concentrate more on making the product run efficiently, it’s not to say that their job is any less important. No matter the type of product and the organization, both roles require the same amount of hard work, dedication, and time to ensure that everything works seamlessly. Ultimately, this also makes these roles completely interchangeable.
At Screenroot, an award-winning Goa-based UX design agency, we have a fantastic team of both product designers as well as UX designers that will work with you to create products that not only work well but go a long way in contributing to your organization’s revenue. Check out our portfolio and services on our website and either call 1800 121 5955 or email us at [email protected] to learn more about what we can do for you.