Roles

I’m using the word roles rather than jobs because the division of work changes per project. On small projects all the design work might be done by one person playing multiple roles. On large projects the design work might be done by several people playing each role.

Here are some common roles:

User Research investigates customers’ behavior and preferences.

Interaction design (IxD) or user experience design (UX) or product design creates the user interface.

Service design is similar to interaction design but also designs for non-digital interactions such as in-store shopping.

Visual design specializes in how the final product will look: the colors, layout, fonts, animation, etc.

Information architecture is similar to interaction design but also uses methods for organizing information, such as categories on an e-commerce website.

Content strategy organizes and creates content including text, images, video, and sound. A content strategist might be the primary writer, or they might design how a chat bot works.

A Design Lead is the manager of the design work. She facilitates the process, provides creative direction, and makes final decisions.

Because software design is a rapidly evolving field these roles have different titles at different companies.

Naive hiring managers sometimes try to find one person who has all these design skills, writes code, and manages the project. This exceedingly rare combination is jokingly referred to as a unicorn.

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