Product Design Vs UX Design: What is the Difference?

 |  Samuel Dan

Key Differences Between Product Design and UX Design

product design vs UX design

Product Design and Prototyping. Image source: istockphoto.com

Product design is the process of blending the user’s needs with organizational goals. UX design is used to create products with relevant experiences for the user. Confused? This article details the disparity between Product Design and UX Design regarding their operations, requirements, and responsibilities. Let’s get down to it.

Product design enables designers to make products that address specific needs in the market. It’s about understanding the end-user, the person for whom the product gets created.

 UX designers ensure that consumers have a smooth experience with a product. They conduct research and examine the consumer’s pain points, and build solutions.

 The difference between UX design and product design is that the former ensures a smooth user experience with an app or website. Product design focuses more on the physical aspects of the product. How it should look and work.

 In UX designing, Adobe XD is the best platform to use. This platform is part of the Adobe creative cloud offering. It enables designers to create interactive prototypes and wireframes. It’s the best platform for designing applications, software, and websites.

 Adobe XD also offers students and teachers a 65% discount. This enables them to make use of the different apps in the Adobe creative cloud package. To benefit from the deal, teachers or students need to provide proof of employment or education.

 The differences between product design and UX design are elusive but specific. Product designers are more focused on the goals and outcomes, so they shape the future of the product. UX designers are more focused on the user’s point of view, so they shape the user’s experience.

 To achieve organizational goals, product designers take up the role of project managers. UX design is only about the design of the experience. 

Difference Between Product Design and UX Design

Organizations constantly strive to find the best match when developing a product. So you might ask, what’s the difference between UX design and product design? Several things make the difference between these two disciplines. Let’s go over some of them.

product design vs UX design

Brainstorming about mobile app interface. Image source: Istockphoto.com

  1. Differences in Operations

Product designers are problem solvers. They’re well-informed in many areas of design and oversee the complete lifespan of a product. They do this by understanding the organization’s objectives and the set budget. They also put into consideration the likely problems with the product.

 Product designers focus on user experience, the marketing aspect, and technical design. They do all these while keeping in mind a strict time frame. A UX designer’s primary goal is to ensure a good user experience when interacting with the product. They ensure that the designs are user-friendly.

What UX designers do is look at the target market to understand consumer needs and behavior. They then brainstorm and end up with a design to meet those needs. Whereas UX designers focus on satisfying users, product designers focus on the needs of the organization.

  1. Role Requirements

These two disciplines overlap in role requirements. In job openings, organizations want product designers with the following criteria:

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant field
  • An understanding of design processes, plan, and scope of project work
  • Strong prototyping skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Previous experience working with engineers to release services or products, including features
  • Experience working on complex applications
  • At least  3 years of professional experience  in a related field

 When it comes to UX designers,  a university degree is not a must-have requirement. But you must be good at time management, be curious, passionate, and empathetic. Other standard requirements include:

  • A good understanding of UX processes
  • At least 3 yrs experience working in the UX design industry.
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Experience in using design and prototyping tools like Adobe creative suite
  • Have the the ability to talk about work with passion and data
  • Skills in creating process flows, sitemaps, prototypes
  • Close partnership with developers, QA, and product managers to iterate on designs
  • The ability to produce precise, user-centric design across web, desktop, and hardware endpoints.
  • Curiosity about technology, design, and people
  1. Difference in Responsibilities

Just like there’s an overlap in role requirements, there’s an overlap in responsibilities. Many postings for product designers need some degree of experience within the user experience. So what do product designers do?

  • They work with product managers and lead developers to bring ideas to life.
  • They carry out user experience research.
  • They create wireframes, sketches, prototypes, and more digital tools. The tools help in improving product experiences.
  • They use mixed usability testing methods to get quantitative and qualitative data. They then translate the data into new products.
  • They are tasked with staying on top of emerging trends in the industry.

When it comes to UX design jobs, their responsibilities are divided into three. There’s the research part, the design process, and finally, testing. Based on organizational operations, this position could heavily lean in one direction. It could also involve all three categories.

  1. Salary Differences

There is a slight difference in how much experts in these two disciplines earn. Product designers earn more compared to UX designers. This is because product designers are expected to have skills in UX design. However, how much you make depends on your location. It’s also determined by demand and experience.

A career in UX design pays well too, though slightly lower as compared to that in product design in most cases. Some will pay less in cases where they’re overwhelmed by the availability of UX designers. In other markets where they’re desperate to attract experts, employers can pay more.

Conclusion

Opportunities in product design and UX design are expected to grow the more the digital economy grows. These disciplines are expected to intertwine more in augmented and virtual reality. As a result, UX designers will be playing the roles of both UI designers and product designers.

Currently, UX designers are more popular compared to product designers. The reason for this could be because product design is an emerging line of work. Individuals who begin their careers as UX designers grow to take up product design roles.

In short, the starting point for product design is UX design. Individuals with experience in UX design easily transition into becoming product designers.

Hope this article has helped to gain favorable information about product design and UX design. Drop us a line if you need any clarifications; we’ll get back to you in no time.


Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.

Need to learn 3D modeling? Get started with interactive tutorials.

Was this blog post interesting or helpful?

SelfCAD is an online CAD and 3D design software

It uses the latest JavaScript features. Please pick a newer browser. Examples are listen below.