I Don’t Know the Difference Between a Product Designer and a UX/UI Designer
When I tell people I’m a Product Designer I’m often met with confused faces. People either think the term refers solely to someone who designs physical products, or they think it’s just a fancy term for a UX/UI Designer.
In those situations I struggle to explain exactly what it is that differentiates a Product Designer from a UX/UI Design. So I’ve put together a little overview to explain what I understand the difference to be.
What is a product Designer?
A Product Designer is similar to a Product Manager. However, they focus more on the user’s needs as well as the value and experience that the user gets from the product. They understand the objectives and constraints of the business and design around them.
What do our users want to solve and how can we help them solve it?
- Discover and define our user’s problems
- Come up with solutions
- Oversee the design of the entire product
- Know where they want the product to be in 6 months
- Demonstrate UX values visually
What is a UX Designer?
A UX Designer is responsible for improving the usability and accessibility of a product to create an enjoyable experience for the user. They conduct user research and user tests in order to highlight and solve problems that the user may face when interacting with the product.
What problems might the user face when trying to solve their problem using our solution?
- Concerned with the feel of the product
- Highlight and solve potential user problems
- Validating hypotheses through testing
- User research
- Scenarios & Storyboards
- User Testing
What is a UI Designer?
A UI Designer thinks about the elements that make up the graphical interface (buttons, typography, navigation, icons etc.) and how the user interacts with them. Making the interface as intuitive, efficient and easy to use as possible.
How can we make our solution easy and enjoyable to use?
- Concerned with the look of the product
- Represent the UXer’s finding in their designs
- Ensure the user can see what they need to
- Design elements such as buttons etc.
- Maintain high discoverability
- Layout and Hierarchy
- Minimise actions
- Grouping relevant information and controls
- System feedback loading etc.
- Reducing cognitive load (field masks)
- Consistent and reusable patterns/behaviour
- Brand consistency
This is of course a very simplified way of looking at it. There will always be overlap between to three roles and different companies will have different ideas and expectations of what each role should do.
This was put together to help me explain the difference to friends and colleagues and is my opinion and understanding of the topic.
Thanks for reading,