Product designers and user experience (UX) designers share a lot of similarities—so much so that often the titles and job descriptions are used interchangeably. But it does not imply that they both are same. Generally speaking, product designers are more calculated, meaning their involvement encompasses the entire design process of a product, while UX designer are more strategic, i.e., their overall focus is on creating user-friendly, satisfactory products for better user experience. This means both are expected to know and work smoothly with tools like Sketch, Lucid Chart, Figma, and Balsamiq.
As far as similarities are concerned, both product designers and UX design services are heavily dependent on UX tools and methods to create easy-to-use products for smooth and intuitive end-user experience. It is important as reports show that close to 40% of visitors choose to immediately leave a website if its layout is not appealing. To sum it up, moving from a UX designer to a product designer is generally the way to go as you gain more experience along the way and become more capable of handling responsibilities.
Few important ways in which product designers and UX designers differ
Product designers think about the overall business— Product designers are more business-oriented. It means they are more concerned about the business priorities. Product designers as such are expected to be more closely inclined with business or product teams, ensuring that the finished product is closely aligned with the overall objective and customer need of the product.
Product designers tend to lead from the front— Product designers are often entrusted with the task of conceptualizing the entire design process of a product. They often establish communication with UX and visual designers, researchers, and business teams to ensure that all of them are on the same platform so that the finished product meets all the design criteria.
UX designers lay more emphasis on design—UX designers are often concerned more with the aesthetic design, and interactive elements of a product. A UX designer is more concerned about how a product feels.
What is the Difference Between Product Design and UX Design?
The primary difference between these two design job roles is in their aspects. In the following paragraphs, we shall look at how do they differ with their respect to jobs and responsibilities.
As mentioned earlier, the product and UX designers differ in how they work. The key obligation of UX designers is to describe how a product feels. For this, they create a prototype interaction patterns, and write product usage scenarios, as well as keep track of various user activities employing testing tactics like email surveys and A/B testing.
And as far as product designers are concerned, they are more concerned with the entire design and feel of a product. They find out the market scope of the product, and come up with solutions to develop customized products to meet market needs.
Primary targets and responsibilities
Product designer and a UX designer also has different targets, responsibilities and scope of work. The main focus of a product designer is meeting the business needs through the product, while a UX designer is more concerned with mapping user journeys or user flows. For example, a product designer’s primary focus would be to ensure that the product designing is compatible with other business specifications.
In contrast, a UX designer is more concerned with the actual designing of visual and interactive elements of a product. We can say that the overall responsibility of a product designer is more than that of a UX designer.
The tools both designers use is also a point of differentiation between a product designer and a UX designer. Generally, both of them depend on the same design software, like Balsamiq, Sketch, Lucid Chart, or design tools like Figma. However, product designers use sketch and mind mapping tools, whereas UX designers primarily employ interactive and wireframe design tools. In the end, both are there to help you remain competitive in the marketplace.
Salary is one area where there’s little to differentiate between UX designers and product designers. If we talk about annual average salary in the US, both can earn an average total compensation of a little over $100,000 in the US, while entry-level positions can expect to get anywhere between $50-60,000. However, some other sources show that product designers on average generally earn anywhere between 15 to 20% more than UX designers.
Conclusion It is often seen that product designers start their careers as a UX or UI designer, and generally progress with the passage of time to become product designers. A good product development company is likely to have excellent UX and product designers, and can help your organization design products that offer users the best possible experience.
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