The Difference Between UX Design And Product Design




The digital design industry has been witnessing rampant growth since the early 2000s. The field is widening the spectrum of job titles from interaction designer to business or product analyst. Here, the confusion between lookalike roles, i.e., product and UX designers, is not at all surprising.


Indeed, the two roles are identical, mainly because all people involved in design have a common aim: make digital screens efficient and pretty! So, the differences between the product designers and UX designers are tiny but noteworthy. You can understand it this way, when you open an app and find it terribly easy to use, that’s the work of UX designers you appreciate. Whereas, when you come across a cheaply built but efficient product, that’s an example of an excellent product design.


Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are striking distinctions in the basic skill set of product designers and UX designers. Nevertheless, both are correspondingly significant for digital product development. As the stats speak, 85% of B2B and 79% of B2C users associate themselves with the brand or website’s name much like they regard the quality of the product.


Consequently, variant specializations contribute to offering that wholesome experience. These specializations are responsible for determining the specific role of designers. However, the possibilities of a UX designer becoming a product designer or one person playing two roles are always there. That said, let’s now learn the distinctions between the two look-alike digital design positions!



Product design vs. UX design


Though both product designers and UX designers have to stick to design thinking, brainstorming ideas, research, and quantification of data to win a worthwhile end-user experience, the teeny tiny differences still exist.


If we point it straight, the difference between product design and UX design is that product design is slightly more inclined towards the entrepreneurial approach of designing. In contrast, UX design strictly focuses on the convenience of the users. That’s why product designers shed their sweat even after the product goes live, whereas UX designers get done and dusted till then. UX designers strive to create easy-to-use interfaces by understanding real-time user requirements through research and analysis. Though product designers do not lose their hold on the elemental user-friendly approach, they also ensure that the client’s demands are fulfilled.



Skills


While most skills for both UX designers and product designers overlap each other, there are a few tasks that mark the boundaries for the two roles. Though most of the below-mentioned skills are required for product designers and UX designers, they may vary from company to company.


Skills of Product designer-


  • Designing

  • Wireframing (Adobe XD, ketch, Figma) prototyping

  • Decide and follow up the design process

  • Create functional and practical designs for desktop and mobile devices

  • Develop a user-centric mindset by conducting user researches

  • Cooperating with engineers

  • Communication and cross-functional collaboration with the design team

  • Strategizing product approach through market research and analysis



Skills of UX designer-


  • Building strong but easy user experience

  • Interaction and visual design

  • Prototyping and wireframing

  • Critical thinking and analytical design approach

  • Knowledge of tools such as Sketch, InVision, or other prototyping tools

  • Conducting resourceful user researches

  • Cooperating with engineers

  • Communication and cross-functional collaboration with the design team

  • Regarding user empathy through proficient user research

  • Copywriting



Responsibilities


After glancing at the skills of product designers and UX designers, you can understand that product designers have a bit broader and general role in comparison to UX designers. It’s more or less the same scenario when it comes to the responsibilities of the two job roles. Again, the job responsibilities may vary among different corporations as per their demand.



Job Responsibilities of Product designers-


  • Consider client and business requirements.

  • Pitch ideas for new products or for new features in the existing products

  • Gaining proper knowledge of various design software in order to create up-to-date products.

  • Decide and finalize the design process.

  • Manage the entire design team, communicate the project’s goals and needs, and assign deadlines.

  • Ensure product’s successful launch and track it right from then.

  • Gather user feedback and requirements.

  • Update the digital product as and when needed.


Job Responsibilities of UX designer-


  • Prototyping for digital products and their features.

  • Test live products, gather feedback and provide insights on the user experience condition.

  • Make effective use of storyboards to ideate designs and communicate them to enhance product usability.

  • Conduct user surveys and review their feedback to boost user experience.

  • Communicate the appropriate user experience changes to the stakeholders of the project.

  • Prepare valuable quantitative product usage reports.




Salary


The salaries of product designers and UX designers vary depending upon their experience, location, skillset, industry/ sector, and company. However, according to studies, the average salary of product designers ranges somewhere around INR 6.13 lakh per annum, and that of UX designers is nearly INR 5 lakh per annum.



The Bottom Line


With eruptions of new design roles each passing day, it largely depends on corporations to hire a single designer or a team of designers with typical specializations. Indeed the roles of product designer and UX designer can be interchangeable, but establishing one over the other can never be savvy. Though both the design positions follow the product design process and creative thinking path, they have a special skill set that is crucial for the final product and its business. While comparing, one may conclude that product designers have slightly more responsibilities than UX designers. But, that certainly does not denote UX designers work less hard. So, when you draw parallels between the two design roles, understand that they both try to save the design, meet business requirements, and ace an aesthetically high-quality product at the end of the day.


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