Product Designer vs. UX Designer. A comparative Analysis

Product vs UX

Since the evolution of digital products, the trend has been to move away from generalized roles and to more specialized ones where designers intended to communicate the purpose of their role. There were simpler times when there was just a designer and a developer. Then came a time, when the role and responsibility of a digital designer became much more complex. Complexity implies Specialization. As a result, today, we find ourselves among UX researchers, UX designers, strategists, CX designers, UI/ visual experience designers, product designers and even service designers.

These evolutions in the roles of design have caused quite a lot of confusion among the design fraternity itself. One such popular disagreement is – about product design and UX design. A lot of businessmen, decision-makers face a dilemma when it comes to hiring designers for their businesses. ‘One candidate claims he is a UX designer and the other one that, she is a product designer’. Whom should you hire? Not sure who would be a good fit for your requirement, if you just need a website? Who do you think can help you efficiently?

To answer all these questions better, let us take an analytical approach towards understanding these concepts. 

The Design Process

First and foremost, let’s look at the lifecycle of a digital product’s design process.

This is an overview of the design process that is universally applied. It is an iterative process, one that doesn’t necessarily progress in a linear manner. Every step in the process is based on a user-centric approach, cognitive principles, business insights, and a host of other activities that help designers better understand and address – the business needs as well as user needs. Let’s take a look at and understand the roles of a product designer and a UX designer.

Product Designer

Product designer

Role & Responsibility:

  • Storytellers.
  • Designing the overall experience of a product, working through the design process from start to end.
  • Focusing more on the holistic design.
  • Product Strategy and Execution.
  • Rightly, Own the aspect of designing the experience.

 

Priorities:

  • Bring about clarity that guides through complex actions.
  • User goals + Business Goals.
  • Convenience of design. Ease of use.
  • Best possible solution at a lesser cost.

Skills/ Expertise:

  • Curiosity + Empathy
  • Communication
  • Analytical & Critical Thinking
  • Project Management Knowledge
  • Strategic Mindset + Business Acumen
  • Deep product and market knowledge

UX Designer

UX Designer

Role & Responsibility:

  • Storytellers.
  • Designing the overall experience of a product, working through the design process from start to end.
  • The Concept Model, Interaction Design, Information Architecture.
  • User Interface and UX writing, coordinating with developers & UI designers.

Priorities:

  • Bring about clarity that guides through complex actions.
  • User goals + Business Goals.
  • User-friendly design. Ease of use.
  • Consistency of design.

Skills/ Expertise:

  • Curiosity + Empathy
  • Communication
  • Analytical & Critical Thinking
  • Research and Synthesis Skills
  • Interaction Design Skills
  • Visual Design Skills
  • Project Management Knowledge
  • Strategic Mindset + Business Acumen
  • Writing Skills

It is quite clear that these segmentations, evolutions of the roles have come about due to focusing on the problems that they solve rather than the aspect of the work. The ultimate goal of a product designer or a UX designer is to ask, have we crafted an experience that our audience feels connected to? The answers to this question will define the impact of their design efforts. A product designer is an almost predictable evolutionary role of user experience designer. It represents the progression of design scope, away from just user experience design towards an even broader area of design encompassing the entire product. 

The demand for design today is massive, hence the methods to produce designs that serve the purpose well, has grown accordingly. Design is no longer recognized as an afterthought to business, but an essential part of business right from strategy and development. And, thus, the evolution of designers’ roles following the ecosystem. At the end of the day, these roles will change in different workplaces and with different team structures. We believe that design thinking should lead the way for designers aspiring to level up in the hierarchal structures of UX design companies.

by YUJ Designs on 29th January, 2020

YUJ Designs is a top-tier UX design studio in India. YUJ Designs has successfully crafted experiences for more than 100 international clients, many of them Fortune 500 companies.

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