Breaking Down the Roles: Product Designer vs. UX Designer and Their Unique Contributions
What is product design, and why is it crucial for businesses to find a skilled product designer? To avoid ambiguity, in this article, we outline the definition and role of product design in creating a successful business.
Product designer: definition, the scope of responsibilities, and main objectives
Some people say that product design is a new term, but we prefer to say that it is an old concept with a new interpretation.
Previously, people were engaged mainly in developing objects of the material world, but the digital technology era has broadened the term product design. For that reason, the profession of web product designer and its primary responsibilities are frequently misinterpreted.
A product designer is a person who serves as a mediator between a business and its target audience. This specialist has to develop a successful project, taking into account numerous factors, including:
- Business requests;
- Peculiarities of the niche;
- Marketing strategy;
- Behavior patterns of the customers;
- Technological feasibility;
- Aesthetics and branding;
- Accessibility and inclusivity;
- Competition analysis;
- Iterative design process;
- Current industry trends.
In general, the product designer is responsible for all project development processes. This specialist monitors whether the end product is cost-effective and functional; ensures the stakeholders are satisfied with the project result.
Product design vs. UX design
Many people mistakenly confuse product designers with UX specialists, seeing no difference between these positions. But it is not true.
Well, both these specialists apply similar client-oriented approaches, programming, and analytical tools. But the difference isn’t what they do, but when they do it.
Product design is a broad term that includes all processes needed to develop a successful business project. At the same time, UX design is focused on solving a particular problem that clients may have while interacting with the product. UX designers mainly work on web product design development, focusing on the interface of the app or a website.
At the same time, product designers’ work goes far beyond UX design. The representatives of this profession deal not only with the interface, but with all product development processes that usually include:
- Discovery and research;
- Ideation and concept development;
- User Experience (UX) Design;
- User Interface (UI) Design;
- Prototyping and testing;
- Collaboration and iteration;
- Deployment and implementation;
- Evaluation and continuous improvement.
Product designers are usually people who have previously been engaged with UX design and acquired the needed experience, knowledge, and skills to be responsible for the whole project. In other words, not all UX specialists are product designers, but almost all product designers are UX specialists.
Skills and Expertise: the portrait of a successful product design specialist
A professional product design specialist can help you detect, investigate, and validate current business problems and find the best way to eliminate them to increase conversion rates.
Dealing with a non-professional product designer may result in wasted time, money, and effort since expectations and reality are not likely to match in the result. If the end product doesn’t meet business and customers' demands, you failed.
The main objective of such a specialist is to create a product focused on a combination of business and user needs. And to reach this aim, product designers must have a range of specific skills and knowledge — some of which we will consider below.
Soft skills as a must-have
This position requires advanced soft skills, since a product designer usually works in close cooperation with other people.
And product designers not only have to communicate with various teams and stakeholders, but also be able to present their ideas clearly at every stage of the work process.
Specific knowledge required
A good product designer has basic animations, prototypes, code, business UI and UX design knowledge. This person knows when to use sophisticated animations and when a prototype is enough.
Technical knowledge and creativity
Product designers must find a balance between technical knowledge and creativity. This profession combines a sense of style and spatial imagination with an understanding of the project's commercial component. A product designer needs to know how to create a product, both visually and technically advanced.
Programs and tools
To bring ideas to life, product designers apply a range of programs and tools such as Adobe Illustrator, Sketch, Adobe XD, and Figma. They must also develop journey maps, conduct user research, and draw wireframes. Basic knowledge of programming languages is also required.
Deep analysis and constant improvement
Among other things, product designers will provide you with a clear A/B testing strategy and a product release plan. This specialist will keep in touch with the developers and marketing department throughout the entire process.
What's more, product designers will take care of the product even after its release to check how it works and detect possible issues, improving the project until it satisfies the business requirements and customer needs.
Drawing the line
A professional product design team can help you create a powerful basis for a successful business.
As mentioned, a product designer should not only develop an interface design but go a long path from the business concept to a successful product, including the next steps:
- Brainstorming a product concept;
- Business analysis;
- UX design;
With more than 14 years of experience, Turum-burum has gone far beyond UX/UI design. During this period, we worked with different niches, investigated their peculiarities, conducted deep business analyses, and gained the needed skills and knowledge for developing successful product designs that meet business and customers’ expectations.
The Turum-burum team provides expert advice on a range of product-related issues. Since we have worked with a variety of technologies, we understand their capabilities, and most importantly, we understand their limitations.
It allows us to use your budget efficiently, and ensure the chosen solutions are technically feasible and don’t exceed the development team's capabilities. Our web product design strategy lies in close cooperation with developers, marketing teams, and contractors throughout the entire design process.
Turum-burum combines UX/UI expertise with industry knowledge from different areas to make your product as user-friendly as possible.
“We believe that the word “Product” in product design is more important than “Design”. This means that our focus is always on your success, not just on adding another shiny case study to our portfolio”, – Dmytro Kukuruza, CEO at Turum-burum.