What is the difference between a Product Design and a UX Design?

Design, Product
7 min
Dec 05, 2022

The contrast between product design and UX design is widely debated given the wide variety of design positions that are presently available. One might think that these two terms are similar or even the same, however, each is unique and has a specific role and focus area during the product development process. Keep reading to know more about those design specialties and what it takes to become one of them.

What is UX design and what does a UX designer do?

Any user engagement with a product or service is referred to as user experience, or simply UX design. It takes into account every aspect of the user’s experience, including how it makes them feel and how simple it is for them to do the activities they want to complete.

This might include everything from how a tangible item feels in your hands to how simple the internet checkout procedure is.

Visual designers, interface designers, and information architects are terms frequently used to refer to UI/UX designers. To optimize usability, they are in charge of how a web page or application appears and feels. They seek to produce the best user experience possible, by making a product more approachable, effective, relevant, and generally enjoyable.

UX designers make sure the product meets users’ demands in practice as they prioritize overall users` engagement and enjoyment. The UX designers are in charge of:

  • Using storyboards to convey prospective designs and other concepts to enhance product usability;
  • Combining various design concepts with digital design;
  • Constructing new products prototypes;
  • Executing tests and research;
  • Examining website data and customer reviews to find what can be potentially improved;
  • Making or enhancing navigation to improve user experience.

What is a product design and what does a product designer do?

Product design is an integrated method for creating a product from start to finish. It includes all facets of a product, such as its appearance, tactile quality, utility, etc. A product designer creates patches for any issues that may come up throughout the original development phase. A product designer can perform the following:

  • Come up with product concepts
  • Study industry trends and potential customer behavior;
  • Determine market potential;
  • Make a plan for your product design;
  • Gather and analyze customer feedback to make certain improvements to a product.

UX design vs product design

Product Design VS. UX Design

Despite having many practical similarities (which we will discuss later), UX design and product design are very different, especially in their areas of specialization. In contrast, a product designer usually takes a more broad approach and incorporates more features, while a UX designer concentrates on the particular characteristics of product utilization.

Skills

Talents always matter, especially in the sphere of design, however, both UX design and product design, need employees to have certain skill sets, which of course vary in these specialties. Let`s have a closer look.

Abilities needed for a product designer position:

  • 3+ years of experience in your field design for UX/UI;
  • knowledge of industry-standard design and prototyping software, including Figma, Adobe XD, or Sketch;
  • The ability of design thinking to project planning and scoping;
  • Knowledge of contributing to design systems;
  • Strong prototype and managerial abilities;
  • Verbal and visual communication abilities.

Typical criteria for a UX designer:

  • In-depth knowledge of the user experience design process;
  • Expertise in organizing and carrying out user research and competitive analysis;
  • The capacity to analyze facts and evaluate qualitative comments;
  • Talents in wire-framing and prototyping;
  • Knowing the concepts of interface design.

product designer vs ux designer

Design methods

Both have an overall role of solving problems for customers and creating products that meet a need or provide enjoyment, but product designers might be more focused on certain design methods, such as interface/visual design, whereas UX designers might be focused on other methods like behavioral psychology or customer research and analytics.

Role

While UI/UX designers must blend these elements with site structure and user behavior to make sure that all three are functioning cohesively, product designers are primarily concerned with how something functions and appears.

UI/UX designers are often more analytical, but product designers tend to lean toward being creative problem-solvers that don’t hesitate to use the coding process. The two positions also have different outlooks.

ux designer vs product designer

Salary

User experience designers make different amounts of money based on their location, sector, and years of experience. As a Junior UX Designer in the United States, you could expect to make between $50k and $70k per year, according to Glassdoor’s statistics.

Product Designer salaries in the United States generally range from $50k to $128k, depending on expertise and industry.

Things in common

You could have already seen some clear parallels between the two jobs based on the aforementioned criteria. To begin with, both designers will use the design thinking process and have a human-centered perspective when creating designs. Both have a component of market research in their jobs.

Along with these shared characteristics, it’s usual for UX designers and product designers to work using the same design tools. Both designers frequently employ wireframe software like Balsamiq and Sketch.

What is more important to your business?

Designers of goods and user experiences may make fantastic things. Knowing when to employ one over another is crucial, though. Even if there is some overlap, each function has its distinct duties. Designers who learn both disciplines may provide their clients with greater value and generate better work.

You should think about your emphasis when deciding whether to hire a UX/UI designer or a product designer.

For instance, some users of a certain software just care about its capability, disregarding the design and presentation. On the other side, developers may also prioritize producing an app with an attractive design and distinctive aesthetics.

However, the key thing is that to optimize results, you must constantly update and enhance your offering. We advise setting up your company in the best possible way by hiring individuals who are skilled at using the product and at UI and UX to find areas for improvement and play to your strengths.

FAQ

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