Product design vs. UX design: differences and similarities

Catherine Burkovich

Content writer

 


Design is a critical aspect of product development. Businesses invest in design as part of their marketing strategy. Whether it is a website, application, or product, it should appeal to the intended audience.

Technology plays a vital role in the development process. Besides, design is evolving to accommodate new trends and consumer expectations.

That is why it is crucial for an organization to hire the best UX experts. They have the right skills to develop excellent product designs.

Today, businesses require both product design and UX design. These are significant for a successful marketing strategy. Though they have similar technicalities, they also have clear-cut differences. Most people often confuse the two concepts.

This article focuses on comparing and contrasting these two design concepts.

Let us define the terms to help you have an in-depth understanding of product and UX design concepts.

UX design

Product design vs. UX design: differences and similarities. Source: pexels.com

Product design

The design concept integrates several processes like research and problem identification. It entails the development of a product from the start to the end.

The experts conduct extensive research about the market and customer expectations. It helps them to know what the consumers want.

Product designers create seamless products for the targeted market. They are problem solvers and critical thinkers in the organization. Thus, product design meets the business goals with successful products that meet consumer needs.

UX design

It is a term that describes the user experience. The process aims to develop products that add value to the consumer while offering a seamless experience. The UX process makes the product functions more appealing to the user. For instance, it covers the branding and usability of a website or application.

UX designers often engage the customers about a specific product. They gather insights and inquire further to know why users adopt particular products. This helps them to develop practical designs that meet the users’ expectations.

Similarities

One major similarity that stands about is that both concepts comprise the design thinking process. The product and UX team designers aim to engage the users to understand their challenges. It is an approach that focuses on the users to develop effective solutions through products.

Design thinking is a continuous process. So, the designers work on developing functional products for the consumers.

Both concepts rely heavily on market research to come up with seamless functionalities. But, UI designers are more extensive because of user testing.

Moreover, it is common to find both designers using similar design tools. For instance, the prototyping tools are the same for the product and UX design process.

Impressive design skills are required for both product and UX design jobs. The design team should have experts who are effective communicators with problem-solving skills.

Data management is another similarity that entails data calculations and analysis. It helps businesses to achieve effective product development.

Differences

Most organizations demand different obligations from their product and UX designers. It might be challenging to differentiate their roles and responsibilities. Product designers have a more general work sphere, while the UX team concentrates on a particular product section.

Regardless of the similar functions, product and UX design have differences in various aspects. Let us explore the differences.

  • Responsibilities

One significant difference is the responsibilities and focus of the designers. The product design team usually thinks about the business objectives first. Will the product be good for the business? Will the design generate more revenue?

In contrast, the UX designers put the interests of the user first. They focus on providing an exceptional customer experience.

For instance, product designers ensure the design process aligns with the business goals in all aspects. While the UX team centers on the usability challenges and finding solutions.

Thus, each team has different responsibilities that make up the design thinking process and how to execute the work.

  • Design methods

Apart from focus, product and UX design have different execution methods. The designers have varied working principles during product development.

Product designers are concerned about the outlook of the product function. It should operate without complications. The experts use practical methods to develop each part of the product. They identify a market gap and plan on implementing appropriate solutions through the products they develop.

On the other hand, UX designers make the product more usable. How will the consumers feel when using the product or application? Thus, they concentrate on the perspective of users. First, they develop prototypes for product testing to check the reception from the users. The UX design method is majorly customer-oriented, unlike the product design.

  • Design skills

The skillset for each design team varies because of the different roles and responsibilities.

Product designers usually make general product decisions, unlike the UX team. So, the product experts need to have design skills that cover visuals, research, and UI design.

In contrast, UX professionals have more specific roles in the design thinking process. The skills required are gathering user feedback data, process flows, maps, and workflow diagrams. UX designers should also have skills in using prototyping design tools.

  • Tools

Product designers and UX designers often use the same software. But, there are differences in the tools they use.

The tools used for product design include a sketch and mind mapping tools. In contrast, the UX experts use wireframes and engaging tools to make their work more appealing.

There are many design tools for each team to create excellent work. You can research online to gain more insights about suitable design tools.

The intricate link between product design and UX

It is vital for business owners and company managers to understand the design thinking process. Knowing its ins and outs will help them delegate specific responsibilities to the experts and set particular goals and expectations in the process.

Both product and UX designers play crucial roles in successful product development. The experts assist in gaining loyal consumers since the products focus on improving the current challenges. So, ensure you know the essentials of product and UX design to help your business grow to new levels.

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