Due to the increasing number of design roles, the debate about the distinction between a UX designer and a product designer has been constantly hashed out. Many people claim that there is no distinction between the two, while others argue that they are totally different professions with distinct priorities.
Although the terms product designer and UX designer are often used interchangeably, they actually have very different roles. For instance, while a product designer is usually focused on developing a product’s overall design, a UX designer is more likely to focus on the user experience.
Depending on the company’s requirements, job roles may vary. For instance, some companies may require product designer for hire to work closely with business processes, while others may expect them to mainly design.
Product Design vs. UX Design
While there are many tasks that separate UX and product designers, they both rely on the same tools and methods to ensure that the end product’s user experience is intuitive and smooth. This means that both of them are knowledgeable about using various UX tools.
There are many similarities between the roles of a UX designer and a designer. Both of them go through a design thinking process that’s focused on human interaction. They also have market research aspects to their work.
There are many similarities between product designers and UX designers, but they have different responsibilities and focus.
- In product design, the main focus of a designer is the overall process, cost, business, and brand.
- In UX design, the main focus is more on usability.
In short, UX design determines the problems, and product design will give solutions.
3. Skills Needed For Product vs. UX Design
Product design and UX design require varying skills. To summarize the points, refer to the following:
Required Skills in UX Design
- A strong understanding of the user experience design process, like proficiency in leading-edge tools such as Adobe Sketch and Figma, as well as in conducting competitive analysis and user research.
- One should be capable of understanding qualitative feedback and data to create storyboards, personas, and information architecture.
- Familiar with creating sitemaps and information architecture, alongside wireframing and prototyping skills
- Understands the interaction design principle and business metric
Required Skills in Product Design
- You should have the necessary skills to work with engineers and use design thinking tools such as Figma, Sketch, and Adobe.
- A strong understanding and application of design thinking are also important when planning and executing projects.
- Knows cross-functional collaboration involving communication and skills
- Partnering with engineers to release services, products, and features
- Familiar with prototyping, wireframing, and conducting research
4. Possible Earnings
Salaries for UX designers vary depending on their location, experience, and industry. According to Glassdoor, a junior UX designer in the US may earn around $50k to $70,000 annually. On the other hand, those with ten years of experience can expect to earn around $185,000 annually.
On the other hand, depending on your industry and experience, a product designer in the US may earn between $50k and $150,000 annually.
To give you an idea of what it would be like to be a product designer in 2020, the average salary for professionals worldwide was computed by PayScale, Indeed, and Glassdoor.
A product designer’s role is typically flexible and can be compared to that of a full-stack designer.
They can work in a variety of positions, such as UX, coding, UI, project management, and problem-solving. These individuals often solve problems that arise in the initial stages of projects.
To solve these issues, product designers will gather teams of developers and create multiple test plans. They will also produce sketches and A/B tests. In addition, a product designer will support the developers during the launch process, and they will work with marketing teams to promote the brand.
A good UX designer is focused on providing the best possible user experience. They do so by ensuring that the product fulfills their users’ needs and wants. They also work to improve the accessibility and usability of the product.
Besides, the designer is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the design process, from the initial research to the development of the product. They are also accountable for making sure that the product is built to meet the users’ needs.
Product design and UX design can be different in terms of their overall process, but they have one thing in common—they both focus on the design thinking process. Despite their differences, product and UX design works with one another, as the latter determines the problem along the process while the former proposes solutions for a successful product and/or service.