How are digital goods designed and made? The application that you use every day to learn the language or listen to the podcast, what steps did it take to become an application that is a part of your life? What about websites? How are they designed and built? How many people do you think must have worked on a site to become a website like Amazon?

Both digital and non-digital products are the product of coordinated and coherent work of different teams and people. Each team has specific tasks. The product design team is one of the most important teams that coordinate the rest. Another team whose presence is essential, especially in the design and production of digital products, is the user experience design team or UX.

Product Manager and Product Designer become the core of the product design team. UX designers also form the user experience design team. These two teams have continuous interaction with each other and with other teams. The work that product and ux designers do is very similar to each other, so much so that sometimes and in some companies, the two titles are used interchangeably.

But is it really so? Because both of these people’s work is Design, does that mean they are doing the same thing? So why are there two different job titles? What exactly does a product designer do? What are the duties and responsibilities of the user experience designer? What is the difference between product designer and ux designer? What are the similarities?

In this article, I want to introduce you to two designers who have a very central role in product production, especially digital products; I will introduce you completely. Tell about their differences and similarities and answer the above questions.

The difference between product designer and ux designer

Before I go into the differences, it should be clear first what is product design and user experience design? Next, I have to provide a definition of the job of product designer, ux designer and product manager so that everything is clear when discussing the differences and similarities. Of course, the following definitions are very summarized and practical. (Resources are cited for further reading on each.)

  1. Product Design: The process of designing a new product or redesigning a product for a business to be offered to the market and customers. If you want to read more about product design and its history, what is product design? (Definition, History and Tools).
  2. UX Design: the process of designing all the interactions and experiences that the user has with the product (goods or services). (For further reading: What is User Experience Design or UX?)
  3. Product designer:

A product designer is responsible for the user experience of a product, usually taking direction on the business goals and objectives from product management. Although typically associated with the visual/tactile aspects of a product, product designers can sometimes also play a role in the information architecture and system design of a product as well.

  1. UX Designer: Someone who designs the user experience with the aim of satisfying the user and meeting his needs.
  2. Product Manager: The coordinator of all teams involved in the design of a product. Someone who, with a detailed and deep knowledge of the market, the needs of customers and business, determines what the final product should be and makes sure that the product is designed in the best way.

The first difference: goals

Product designer and ux designer have different goals. It is important for a product designer to design a product that sells well, a product with specific features for a specific business. So the goal of the product designer is that both the business and the customer are satisfied with the product. The product designer must consider macroeconomic and management policies as well as the needs of the business for which he designs the product.

But the ux designer has only one goal: to satisfy the customer. He needs to make sure that when the user/consumer interacts with his product, everything goes well and there are no problems for the user. ux designer has nothing to do with product sales and business policies. He should only consider the needs of the customer/user and the usability of the product.

A UX designer’s primary responsibility is giving the customer a great product experience so they will continue to come back.

The second difference: duties

When the goals are different, naturally the tasks are also different. Among the product designer and ux designer, the one who has more general duties and can even supervise another work is the product designer. Product user experience is part of the final product. Therefore, one of the tasks of the product designer is to supervise the work of the ux designer. Because ensuring the excellent performance and efficiency of the product is, in general, the duty of the product designer.

In addition, the product designer is obliged to supply the best sample and version of the product to the market at a reasonable and competitive price in a specific time. The product designer is responsible for identifying problems in the overall process of product design, looking for a solution with the cooperation of others, examining different solutions to find the best solution.

The task of the ux designer is to know the behavior and needs of the user/consumer of the product, to identify and solve the problems that he may have in using the product, and to make sure that he is happy to interact and work with the product. His only task is to design a satisfactory user experience for the user.

The third difference: skills

A product designer needs a set of skills. His work goes beyond mere design. Some of the skills and characteristics that he should have include:

  • Deep understanding and knowledge of the design process and having design thinking
  • Mastery of user experience and other visual design skills
  • Very good familiarity with user interface (UI) design.
  • Very high skill in radiotyping
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Proficiency in using programs such as Sketch and InVision
  • Skill in research and cooperation with other teams in conducting relevant research
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of the market and product consumers

The UX designer needs skills that are all related to the expertise of user experience design and its stages and components, including:

  • Complete mastery of designing and working with related software and radiotyping tools
  • Curiosity to know the user and skill to interact with the user
  • Ability to solve problems and have vision and design thinking
  • Ability to work as a team and collaborate with product design team and product manager
  • Very high skill on all phases of user experience design, from quantitative and qualitative research in UX to conducting all kinds of tests in ux
  • Skill in ux writing
  • Familiarity with UI

The fourth difference: salary

It is not surprising that the wages of the two are different. Of course, this is not always the case. But usually the salary of a product designer is higher than that of an ux designer. Of course, you should pay attention to several points when checking salaries. Because different factors may affect the salary: First, how many years of experience does the designer have and what companies and collections has he worked with? Second, what does the product or user experience designer do? Soma, what country or city does he work in? Fourth, what product is the designer and in what field does he work?

For example, in America, the average annual income of ux designer and product designer is the same, and both of them earn something close to 105 thousand dollars a year.

Similarity of product designer and ux designer

There are many similarities. Both the product designer and the ux designer must have a deep understanding of user experience and design. In addition, both should have problem-solving skills, teamwork, creativity and cooperation. Another common skill is that both should be able to research and test well.

The work of both these designers is by trial and error. That is, they come across a problem, look for a solution, do research, and try solutions to finally find the best solution. The final design (user experience of the final product) should also be tested. Usually, product and user experience designers use common tools and software.

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