Who am I?— A Designer’s guide
For brand new designers and aspiring ones the whole terminology around different types of designers may get confusing. Product, UI, UX, interface, interaction, motion, graphic, print, front-end and visual designers e.t.c (I could keep this list going). In this post, I’ll present 6 different types of designers which in my opinion cover all you’ll typically encounter in a startup or a small business.
One more thing: Many of the designers jobs overlap depending on each person’s interests and training.
User Experience (UX) Designer
A UX designer makes sure your product actually solves a problem and that it’s easy to use. The job of a UX designers is more strategic compared to UI designers who are more hands-on in their approach.
Your job is not to apply nice drop shadows or find a good color swatch.
UX designer’s tasks include usability testing, creating user flows, validating business ideas, creating prototypes, and so on. This article says a lot about what UX designers do.
A UX designer doesn't necessarily have to posses the skills to make an interface pretty.
The term is sometimes used interchangeable with usability expert, UX researcher, usability analysts.
User Interface (UI) Designer
User interface: the means by which the user and a computer system interact, in particular the use of input devices and software.
UI designers’ job is to create pretty and usable interface. They work closely with the UX designers and build on top of their deliverables. They dive deeper on how an interface behaves on a micro-level; they’ll pay attention to how the interface is laid out, create feedback animations and keeping the styles consistent.
The jobs of UX and UI designers overlap a lot and are sometimes combined in the same person.
Front-end designer is a variation of UI designer who can also code. In some regards, front-end designers can produce better and more streamlined deliverables because they understand the process better.
Graphic designers probably have one of the best-known job titles in the world of design and tech. But can you define what they actually do on a day-to-day basis?
Graphic designers often work more with print designs and deliverables, like posters, brochures, invitations, and business cards, among other things. They also occasionally create UI design assets for web, like logos and icons.
Graphic designers have to know the fundamentals of design: things like color theory and typography. They also need to know how to build brand assets and make sure they’re consistent across all the designs for a brand.
If you are developing a physical product, you’ll need someone who specialises in the area of industry design.
Industrial designer’s job description will include sketching, 3D modeling, prototyping, work with 3D printer and communication with manufacturer.
Visual designers are the problem solvers of the design world. Rather than just bringing brands to life, they play a key role in defining what goes into a brand’s unique style and voice. In addition to creating beautiful designs, they know how to explain design concepts and the decisions behind their work.
Visual designers do a ton of different things in their day-to-day work. It’s a bit of a hybrid between what graphic designers and UI designers do, but with a bunch of other skills thrown into the mix. They have to understand user experience, user interface, and web design. Although, it’s a bonus to have basic coding skills.
Visual designers rarely work on print products, but they do need a strong understanding of graphic design, identity design, and branding. They need to have exceptional visual messaging and communications skills too.
They work primarily with web layouts and deliverables, including things like icons, info-graphics, logos, and presentations. They also have to be familiar with industry-standard software (Adobe and Sketch, primarily), plus they need wire-framing skills like a UI designer.
Finally, visual designers need to be aware of how front-end developers work, and the languages they use. While a visual designer doesn't need to know how to code, they at least need to know how to communicate with those who do and how to create designs that take into account what is possible in the code.
In all this, find your area of competence and Excel✌️✌️