Product and user experience (UX) design are two fields often associated with each other, but they are not the same. Although different, you can get both services from a major UI/UX design agency. Both product design and UX design are essential disciplines that contribute to developing new products, but they focus on different aspects of the process. In this blog post, we’ll explore what product designer is, what they do, and how they differ from UX designers.
What is a Product Designer, And How Does It Differ From UX Design?
A product designer in a design agency is a professional who creates and develops new products. He comes up with the initial concept of the finished product. They are responsible for designing, prototyping, and testing products to meet the needs of the target users and are functional, visually appealing, and cost-effective.
A product designer’s work typically begins with research and analysis of the target market and users to understand the people using the product’s needs, pain points, and preferences. They then use this information to create concepts and sketches of potential designs, which are then developed into detailed technical drawings, mock-ups, and prototypes.
Throughout the design process, product designers work closely with engineers, manufacturers, and other product development team members to ensure that the product is technically feasible and can be produced efficiently and cost-effectively.
On the other hand, UX design is a field that focuses on the user’s experience with a product or service. UX designers work to ensure that the product is easy to use, intuitive, and meets the needs of the target users. They do this by conducting user research, creating wireframes and user flows, and testing for ease of navigation and use.
Roles of a Product Designer
Product design is a multidisciplinary field involving digital product design, development, and creation. Here are some of the major functions of a product designer:
Research and Analysis
Product designers begin the design process by researching the target market and users. This includes conducting user research, analyzing industry trends, and studying the competitive landscape. This research is used to understand the target users’ needs, pain points, and preferences, which inform the product’s design.
Conceptualization and Sketching
Based on their research, UI/UX design agency product designers create initial concepts and sketches of potential designs. They explore different design directions and iterate on their ideas to create a design that meets the users’ needs and aligns with the product’s goals.
Once the conceptual design is finalized, product designers create detailed technical drawings, mock-ups, and prototypes. These detailed designs ensure that the product can be manufactured efficiently and cost-effectively. Product designers work closely with engineers and manufacturers to ensure that the product is technically feasible and can be produced to the correct specifications.
Product designers oversee the final product’s production, ensuring that it is manufactured to the correct specifications and is of the highest quality. This may include working with the manufacturer to ensure that the product is being produced correctly and working with quality control teams to ensure that the product meets the required standards.
Roles of a UX Designer
A UX Designer plays a crucial role in creating a product that is intuitive and easy to use. Here are what is expected of a UX designer:
User Experience Design
UX designers create wireframes, mock-ups, and user flows to define the overall structure and layout of the product. They also design the interactions, animations, and other elements that contribute to the user experience.
The design process is not just creating something, but testing, evaluating, and improving it. UX designers often iterate on their designs based on feedback and testing results, updating the design until it meets the needs of the users and the business’s goals.
UX designers conduct user testing to evaluate the design and make necessary adjustments. This includes testing the product with real users to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments to the design.
UX designers often work in cross-functional teams and collaborate with product managers, engineers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the product meets the users’ needs and aligns with the overall business goals.
What Skills Does A Product Designer Need?
Most user experience design firms require product designers to have a combination of design skills, technical skills, and business acumen. Here are some key skills that are commonly required of a product designer:
Product designers must understand design thinking well, a problem-solving approach emphasizing empathy for the user, an iterative design process, and rapid prototyping. Design thinking allows product designers to create designs based on a deep understanding of the users’ needs.
Creativity, Innovation, and User Research
Product designers must be able to generate new and innovative ideas for products and can think outside the box. Product designers must understand user research methods, such as interviews, surveys, and usability testing. They use this research to understand the target users and their needs, which inform the product’s design.
3D modeling and rendering
Product designers should be able to use 3D modeling and rendering software to create a realistic visual representation of their designs and communicate with the engineers and manufacturers.
Product designers must be able to communicate their ideas and designs to various stakeholders, including engineers, manufacturers, and other product development team members.
What Skills Does A UX Designer Need?
Just as with product designers, many design agency mandates that UX designers have a combination of technical skills, design skills, and research skills:
Wireframing and prototyping
UX designers must create wireframes, mock-ups, and interactive prototypes. These visual representations of the product are used to communicate the design to the development team and to test the design with users.
UX designers need to have a good understanding of interaction design principles. This is the design of interactions between a user and a product. They should know how to create intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces and be able to design user flows and navigation.
Information Architecture and Visual Design
UX designers should know how to organize and structure information on the product, making it easy for the users to find what they need. While visual design is not the primary focus of UX design, a good UX designer should have some knowledge of visual design principles and be able to create visually appealing designs that are consistent with the brand and easy to use.
Product design and UX design are two distinct fields that play essential roles in developing new products. Product design focuses on the design, development, and creation of physical products, while UX design focuses on the user’s experience with a product or service. For many UI/UX design agencies, having separate individuals fill each of these positions ensures they create better designs in no time.