product design vs ux design

We finally set out to settle the most popular questions we get at UX Academy; What is the difference between UX Design and Product Design. Which one should an individual pursue? To answer this question, you really have to think carefully about interests and skill sets. There are a number of overlaps when stacking UX Design and Product Design side by side, a classic example is persona development.

Whatever area of the UX Universe you intend to work in or study, there is always a combination of design, research and strategy; UX Designers typically focuses more on design and research than strategy, and Product designers focuses more on Design and Strategy, then research. However, this balance can vary depending on the type of business you work at or represent. For instance, the Product Designer job title can be interpreted or defined differently in different sizes of businesses and companies, depending on the needs of the business. At one organisation, a product designer may be referred to as an Interaction Designer. At another, it may be an Information Architect, or even a Customer Experience Architect.

What do product designers do?

A product designer focuses on the entire customer user experience of a digital product, whilst taking into account the business needs of an organisation (e.g. Airbnb, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat). They focus on the full product cycle, taking a product right from ideation to launch, and even get involved in the product life cycle post-launch (pushing product updates).

How is Product Design different

Product Designers get involved with UX, UI, Research and Strategy in a digital product.

What do UX Designers do?

They identify user needs, whilst understanding the context and behaviours of the users through research. Based on these outcomes, they design a solution applying behaviour and interaction design principles, ensuring that the solution fits the user needs. 

How is UX Design different?

UX Designers get involved with mainly just UX Design. Depending on the breadth and depth of the role, this may also include some UI Design and Research. Adobe XD is a great cloud-based UX / UI design and collaboration tool for designers who want to focus on UX Design and UI Design, as well as prototyping, responsive web design, app design and more, enabling you to do all of your design work under one roof.

Side-by-Side Comparison: Product Design vs UX Design

Roles / Responsibilities Product DesignUX Design
Business & Value Proposition
Data analysis and Problem Identification
Persona Development
Design systems  
UI and Interaction Design
Developer Handover 
UX copywriting 
Metrics and measuring your solution 


Product Design and UX Design certainly have their similarities and differences. When compared side by side, there are always overlaps. With Product Design, there is an emphasis on business strategy, seeing to the success of the digital product. On the other hand, with UX Design, there is an emphasis of having the end-user in mind when creating designs, or carrying out research or iterations, in order to achieve even better online experiences for products and services. 

Which one do you resonate more with? Is it Product design or UX Design? Get started with one of our upcoming courses by clicking here.

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