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product design vs. ux design
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There are 14 major benefits LINCOLN ELECTRIC MAGNUM PRO S11306-2 K2330-1 Theater limited merchandise

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ui/ux design 15 september 13 min read
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the fields of responsibility for product and ux designers are not the same. let’s find out the differences between these two design careers and how to define what kind of designer you need for a project.

have you ever wondered why the design roles differ so much? the digital design industry is growing as fast as the digital world itself. as design helps with a variety of business needs, various roles appear to tackle different issues. and the first distinction coming to mind is product designer vs ux designer – these roles look the same but perform separate functions.

from the first glance, all design positions are responsible for the same. indeed, designers generally make something look good. and aesthetics is important for users. according to the latest statistics, 38% of visitors will quit a website if the layout is unattractive

but beautiful design is not about images and layouts. it also contains ux, which means user experience – the way people feel about a website. therefore, the responsibilities of designers with different specializations are various. for example, even when we compare product design vs ux design process, we notice that customer research is obligatory for both of them. 

the matter is that 85% of b2b and 79% of b2c users say their experience with a brand on the website is as important as the quality of product or service. without research, it’s difficult to reach these expectations.

so do all designers do the same? no. even in a product designer definition, we find basic answers to this question. some skills are a must for all designers. still, particular tasks require a specific skill set.

the specialization determines the competencies a certain designer needs to continue the career, let’s say, in ux product design.

so can a product designer become a good ux designer? are these roles interchangeable? is there a substantial difference between ux designer vs product designer? in this article, we will find answers to these questions. you will finally understand the difference between product designer and ux designer.

There are 14 major benefits LINCOLN ELECTRIC MAGNUM PRO S11306-2 K2330-1 Theater limited merchandise

product design by dmitry litvinenko

first and foremost, let’s give a product designer definition to understand the basics of this occupation and field of responsibility.

a product designer is involved in the process of creating a product that solves business needs. here lies the main difference of ui ux designer vs product designer. product design is a solution for a business that helps to sell goods or services and communicate to the customers. 

there is a thought that “while product management is focused on the market and the customers’ business needs and development is focused on the customers’ technology needs, product design is focused on the customers’ end-user needs.” productplan says that “a product designer is responsible for the user experience of a product, usually taking direction on the business goals and objectives from product management.”

all in all, you can look at it as a constant flow, in which a designer pulls together clients’ needs with business goals. 

product design concentrates on overseeing and supervising the lifespan of the product. it imposes certain responsibilities on the designer. they include understanding the business goals and needs, sticking to the budget, recognizing and solving problems with the product. product design covers user experience, marketing, technical design, and other related fields. 

if we compare ux vs product design, we will notice that the design process consists of common steps:
– defying the problem
– brainstorming ideas
– conducting user research and user testing
– creating solution based on the feedback

however, unlike ux design, product design keeps analyzing the results and introducing changes whenever necessary. 

to sum up, product design is mainly concentrated on business requirements. in the design, we cannot concentrate on the behavior of users only. depending on the business needs, goals, and event growth strategy, the design will vary.

There are 14 major benefits LINCOLN ELECTRIC MAGNUM PRO S11306-2 K2330-1 Theater limited merchandise

ux design by ghulam rasool

in product design vs ux design comparison, ux product design is responsible for interaction with users. of course, business goals are also important, but clients’ satisfaction comes first.

the main objective of ux design is to create interfaces that will be convenient and satisfying. thus, ux design always works with real customers.

justin mifsud, founder of usability geek, says about ux design: “user experience design (uxd or ued) is a design process whose sole objective is to design a system that offers a great experience to its users. thus uxd embraces the theories of a number of disciplines such as user interface design, usability,

, accessibility, information architecture, and human-computer interaction.”

if we compare specializations at this point, we will have the following equation: product designer vs ux designer = business-driven design vs customer-driven design.

ux design answers these basic questions

  • why do people use the product, their motivations, values, and views?
  • what can people do with the product? what are the features and functionality?
  • how do people use the product? is it aetheric enough, and is it accessible for everyone?

what is the difference between product design and ux design?

the main difference between product design and ux design is the driver of the results. the first has a more entrepreneurial approach tailored to business goals. for example, if a company needs to increase the conversion, product designers will focus on this objective.

smashing magazine describes product design as “the process of identifying a market opportunity, clearly defining the problem, developing a proper solution for that problem.”

ux design keeps people in mind, making websites convenient for the users. for instance, the website may be overloaded with blocks and information that users do not need. in this case, a ux designer should determine what spoils the customer experience. they will think about how to rearrange the layout and the content to satisfy the clients.

according to scott johnsen, head of design at alto, “ux design is a process of deeply understanding the user’s needs and objectives.”

we can also describe the difference between product design and ux design in the questions that designers ask. for product designers, the question would be, “does this product make sense for business?” meanwhile, a ux designer would wonder, “is this product user-friendly?”

product designer vs. ux designer

despite the differences in ux designer vs product designer specializations, they still have much in common. both apply design thinking, learn the audience, develop strategies based on user and business needs, brainstorm and find solutions, create representations of ideas, and test them.

below, we will describe what’s common and what’s different regarding product designer vs ux designer salary, responsibilities, and qualifications.

qualifications

if comparing product designer vs ui designer qualifications, we won’t find any substantial differences. in fact, they are almost the same:

  • degree in a relevant discipline 
  • professional experience in the related field
  • knowledge of design process (guiding, planning, and execution)

the list of required qualifications for product designer vs ux designer may change from company to company; however, these mentioned above are typical.

skills required

the biggest difference between product design and ux design lies in the skill set. again, the fundamental things will be the same while the specifications will differ. here’s a comparison of the skills required for these specializations:

product designer  ux designer
designing, prototyping, wireframing (sketch, adobe xd, figma) strong ux, interaction, and visual design skills
contributing towards the design system wireframing and prototyping 
creating functional designs for desktop and mobile devices analytical and critical thinking
user-centric mindset knowledge of sketch, invision, or other prototyping tools.
conducting user researches conducting user researches
partnering with engineers partnering with engineers
communication, cross-functional collaboration communication, cross-functional collaboration

additionally, a product designer must be curious. being good at analytical and critical thinking is also important. as a product designer works with planning and strategizing, a strategic mindset is obligatory. and of course, this specialization requires deep knowledge of the product and the market.

for a ux designer, it’s no less crucial to be curious and obtain a high level of empathy. one of the most obligatory things is to have proficiency in researching and synthesizing information. sometimes, ux designers also work with ux copy, so they must be good at writing.

responsibilities

so what is the difference between product designer and ux designer responsibilities? different companies have some specific approaches, but all in all, the list of responsibilities is common.

by analyzing product design vacancies of different companies, we can define the list of common responsibilities. here are the most common points that are met in the description of product design responsibilities: 

  • storytelling implemented by design
  • designing the overall experience of a product
  • focusing on the holistic design
  • creating and executing product design strategy
  • presenting product ideas to team members
  • brainstorming
  • suggesting improvements to design and performance of products
  • employing concepts into prototypes
  • staying up to date on industry trends
  • modifying and revising existing designs to meet business goals

as we have already mentioned, different companies have some specific responsibilities for the designer. we’ve collected some of them to demonstrate that product designers can do various design things for the business.

for frontapp, the product designer’s responsibilities are as below:

    • design product experiences across various platforms including web, desktop, and mobile
    • define project requirements in collaboration with product managers and engineers
    • understand and represent users in product decisions with cross-functional peers during tradeoff, timeline, and experience discussions
    • design and communicate your vision to the team using mock-ups, documentation, and prototypes
    • impact business goals through the effective and efficient development of design solutions
    • participate and shape the design team’s culture

so what about specialization? like product designer, ux designer responsibilities have something in common, but the list may vary according to the companies:

  • storytelling implemented by the interface
  • designing the overall experience of a product
  • focusing on concept models, interaction designs, and information architectures.
  • creating user interfaces with developers & ui designers.
  • conduct testing and researches
  • using recent studies to improve practice
  • building storyboards to conceptualize designs
  • analyzing customer responses and website data to find a place for improvement
  • enhancing user experience by creating a better navigation
  • combining interface design concepts with digital design 

so let’s now check how the responsibilities of ux designers vary across the company.

first, look at the description of ux designer responsibilities for amplify education:

  • design user experiences for new and existing web-based educational applications
  • design clear flows and interactions informed and validated by research and data
  • create high fidelity prototypes
  • participate in design review sessions with product owners and partners
  • prepare and present mockups and wireframes to internal teams and key partners

ux designer for amazon services should do the following:

  • use business requirements, usability findings, and market research to develop scenarios, use cases, and high-level requirements
  • design conceptual wireframes, high-fidelity mockups, information architecture diagrams , interaction specifications, and functional prototypes
  • develop and nurture relationships across teams and disciplines to promote collaboration and efficiency
  • translate abstract concepts into simple and elegant user interfaces
  • present design work to the user experience team and product team for review and feedback
  • quickly iterate on multiple design explorations to arrive at a simple but robust solution accounting for complex requirements
  • proactively manage your own work queue, time, and expectations, meet deadlines and communicate needs and tradeoffs if your schedule is in jeopardy
  • manage ambiguity, work independently and collaboratively within a team, and switch rapidly between different projects in an agile environment
  • understand target users through user research and drive toward more collecting more data when needed.

by analyzing different descriptions, we may conclude that it is important for ux and product designers to guide users through complex actions, combine user goals and business goals in the design, contribute to the ease of use, and find perfect solutions at lower costs.

salary

clearly, product designer vs ux designer salaries will vary depending on the experience, skills, region, and the company itself. still, we’ve conducted basic research of product designer vs ux designer salaries to find out who’s earning more.

indeed states that an average product designer earns $118,654. payscale statistics show that the product designer’s salary is $84,422. 

indeed also provides interesting stats for ux designer salary. a ux designer with less than 2 years of experience earns approximately $84,213 per year, while a professional with 10+ years of experience makes $130,654. according to payscale, ux designer earns about $74,635.

salary stats for designers never stay the same. the matter is that they are in high demand, and this demand is not going to fall. therefore, the salaries of high-level specialists keep rising, while the entry-level designers earn less.

conclusion

the design industry is growing rapidly. new specializations appear all the time. it’s always a choice of the company to work with only one designer or hire a team, where the responsibilities will be divided according to the specializations.

we won’t deny that product and ux design roles can be interchangeable. however, it’s essential to have a proper skill set and understand the difference. we cannot compare the importance of interaction design vs product design when it comes to the overall result, as both are equally vital and solve different business problems.

if you need assistance in product or ux design, you can always count on fireart studio. we will help with analysis and strategy and assist in creating an effective design that will be business and user-experience-driven.


update:

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