Product Designer vs UX Designer, What’s the Big Difference

Peter Martinez updated on 2024-06-06 13:47:25

Scores of people find it incredibly difficult to differentiate between a product designer and a UX designer. Yes, considering how much their roles overlap, droves struggle to get a clear picture regarding their differences. In fact, there are plenty of veterans in the design industry who still find themselves stuck in this confusion.

However, this should not imply that you are miles away from driving this concept home. The two terms, although interchangeably used in different companies, have significant differences. So, if you are interested in knowing how these two terms differ, then this article is here for you. We shall take you through a detailed guide on the difference between product designer and UX designer.

Differences between Product Designer and UX Designer

As aforementioned, we are laying the differences between a product designer and a UX designer may prove an uphill task. However, if we dissect the differences into individual points of discrepancies, it becomes easier to broadcast the differences. With that said, let's dig into some of the avenues where these two personnel differ.

Functions of UX designers and Product Designers

Asking ourselves what the product designer and UX designer do is the basis for lighting up their differences.

A product designer is considered as a problem solver. They have greater insights into an assortment of design areas and will typically oversee the project from start to finish. He needs to balance design metrics like objectives, budget, and market, among others. They are akin to the company agents who ensure that the customer is satisfied while the company is not emancipated.

In reality, product designers have existed for long, and their role is quite flexible. To achieve this, a product designer will often assemble different teams to brainstorm on solutions, test products, and help developers in launching the product. Effectively, the product designer is all-round personnel whose concern is in the process, cost, business, and brand.

On the other hand, a UX designer is more concerned with the customer. Their primary concern is the user experience that makes the customer happy. That is the customer's needs are addressed as much as possible by the product in question. This means their fundamental role is to fine-tune the usability and accessibility of the product to the customer. The UX designer will take part in the product design process from research to ideation but will be inclined towards the customer. A good understanding of the target market is of great essence to the UX designer because it is the genesis of factoring in customer preferences/tests.

From this script, you can see that while customer needs are one of the crucial components of the product designer, it is the primary focus for the UX designer.

Skills needed for between UX designers and Product Designers

Even from the roles of the two personnel, it is easy to deduce the magnitude of skills expected from each of them. While the product designer's role is broader than the UX designer, the same goes for the skill requirement. Generally, most companies, whether startups or established demand more set of skills from a product designer compared to the UX designer.

Responsibilities come with more skills and thus is not uncommon to demand more skills from the product designers. Balancing the product design process, cost, business, and brand call for more skills compared to usability. Let's take an example of the Glassdoor skill requirement for the UX designer and a product designer.

UX Designer skills

  • Thorough understanding of the industry-standard design and prototyping tools.
  • Good knowledge of the UX design process.
  • Prototyping and wireframing skills.
  • Good understanding of business dynamics and the ability to convert the company's goals and objectives into a functional digital experience.
  • Good knowledge of design interaction and principles.
  • Experience in planning, research, and analysis.
  • Experience in data interpretation and feedbacks.

Product Designer Skills

  • Formal qualification or an undergraduate degree in the relevant field.
  • More than three years of experience in UX/UI design.
  • Competency in industry-standard design and prototyping tools.
  • Experience with complex application designs.
  • Good collaboration and communication skills.
  • Experienced researcher and partnering with engineers in the product release.
  • Good in wireframing and prototyping.
  • An experienced planner and thinker.

Differences between Product Designer and UX Designer

Although it seems like quite a great deal of roles of the UX designer and a product designer overlap, there are notable differences between them. You will hear a UX designer asking questions like whether the product is easy to use, how they can make product design user-friendly, or what are some of the aspects the customer will not like with the design.

On the other hand, a product designer will ask whether the product has a place in the current economic environment, how to make the design cost-effective, or what are some of the things about the design that can backfire in the market.

From the set of questions above, you can see that the two differ in terms of priorities. While the UX designer is thinking about usability, the product designer is more concerned with the design process, business, brand, and cost. This is the fundamental difference between the two.

Similarities between UX designers and product designers

Right from the definition, it is easy to draw similarities between UX designers and product designers as expounded below.

  • From the beginning, the two will go through a similar design thinking process. Their design is human-centred.
  • They both conduct market research. Although the UX designer is majorly concerned with the user experience, it is significant market research as well.
  • They both use similar tools at some point. Whether it is wireframing, prototyping, or mapping software, it is not uncommon for them to use these tools.

Salaries for between UX designers and product designers

Salaries of UX designers and product designers vary based on an array of factors. Some of the common metrics determining the salary are the location, years of experience, and the type of industry, among others. Nevertheless, according to several credible sources, product designers tend to enjoy higher salaries than UX designers counterparts in several countries. This is majorly attributed to their broader roles that are somewhat more demanding.

According to Glassdoor data, an experienced UX designer in NYC pockets an average of $93, 000 annually. On the other hand, an experienced product designer in NYC takes home a rough figure of $102, 000 per year.

The Best Tool for Product Designer and UX Designer

Wondershare Mockitt is an indisputable tool for product designers and UX designers. The reason? This tool is equipped with lots of features that make wireframing, prototyping, and collaboration much easier and exciting. The intuitive and total no-brainer interface is also an ingredient for amazing user experience. There plenty of inbuilt widgets and icons that allow users to designs beautiful interfaces in a few minutes.

Users can edit and save these widgets and icons to reuse them the next time they need it. Also, there are several templates suitable for different types of industries. Pick a suitable template and customize it to meet your design. This way, you will avoid the need to start your design from scratch. Effortlessly collaborate and co-edit your project with team members. With the cloud feature, all your projects are synced. You don't have to download or save them. You can access them without time and space limitations by logging in to the tool .

Features of Wondershare Mockitt

  • Users can perform real-time collaboration and co-editing.
  • The program has several built-in widgets and icons that make it easier to create stunning interfaces.
  • The cloud feature syncs user projects and can be accessed across diverse devices.
  • It has good handoff features that make it easy to hand off projects to developers.
  • Users can preview their designs across their PC, mobile devices, and offline.
  • There are plenty of templates suitable for different industries.
  • It supports animations of prototypes.
  • Users can turn their static screens into interactive ones.