What Does Product Design Do?

What Does Product Design Do?

Over the last 20 years, the designer’s job has evolved dramatically. What used to be a profession mainly concerned with organising colours, typefaces, and pictures has evolved into a number of specialties, the majority of which are concerned with interactive design.
However, although you may have a general notion of what a web designer or graphic designer works, there is one kind of designer that often leaves people perplexed. The Product Designer.
This ambiguity is exacerbated by the fact that ‘product designer’ used to imply something different 10 years ago. Now, no one can seem to agree on an official job title. They may refer to themselves as Information Architects (IA), User Experience (UX) designers, or User Interface (UI) designers, among other titles.

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As if that was not complicated enough, each of them is a discipline in and of itself. As part of their work, the product designer may have to collaborate with any or all of these designers. Confused? Let us take a closer look at what a product designer really performs.

What is the difference between product design and user experience design?

Both jobs follow the 5-stage design thinking process, however while UX designers work on goods before launch, product designers work on them after.
Once a product is out, product designers usually continue to work on it, adding features and updates and conducting testing. Their desire for perfection is never-ending.
Meanwhile, UX designers are constrained by time. In other words, they must make the website or app as excellent as possible before the launch date. After that, they will pass it over to the product designer and go on to something else.

What Does Product Design Do
What Does Product Design Do

So, what does a product designer do on a daily basis?

You might be excused for believing a product designer was someone who created tangible objects since, up until roughly 10 years ago, that is basically what they did. Product designers nowadays are more akin to digital problem solvers. They take customer issues and utilise their design talents to create applications and websites that address them.
What exactly do we mean when we say “problem”? Assume it is chilly outside. The user’s issue is that they are cold. They want to purchase some new winter clothing, so they will go online to stock up.
This is when the product designer really shines. It is their responsibility to ensure that the visitor can easily utilise that app or website to supplement their winter clothing. But ensuring that occurs is not as simple as making things bug-free and beautiful. It is a lot more detailed than that.
The first thing a product designer does is ensure that the solution is distinct and useful enough to stand out among thousands of competing websites. One aspect of this is evaluating the competition. In this case, your competition might be a rival site, a shopping centre, central heating, a hot bath, cuddling the dog, or anything else. The product designer strives to make the site better, more convenient, and more fun than all of the other choices. Of course, other variables have a role, but the ultimate objective is to meet the requirements of the user.

A day in the life of a product designer

Each job is unique, but in general, product designers face the following challenges:

1. They do extensive research

You can not fix an issue until you understand your user’s requirements, which is why product designers must be top specialists in this area. They must comprehend their users’ desires, requirements, objectives, and concerns… frequently utilising a psychological approach to better grasp their thought process as they traverse the site. As you would expect, this is a massive task, therefore product designers often collaborate with UX researchers, stakeholders, and product managers.

2. They create designs

The answer is in the job title: product designers are designers at heart. Once they have identified the issue, they begin brainstorming solutions, typically with an ideation session. Then they begin producing first-draft designs, which may comprise wireframes, drawings, mock-ups, and prototypes.

3. They test again and over.

Testing is a significant and crucial stage. It is the moment when you will find out whether your designs work as they should. A/B testing, tree testing, various internal tests, user tests, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and live betas are examples of tests. In many instances, it is a multi-stage procedure that includes all of the above.
The more you test, the better your product will be by the time you give it on to the client. Obviously, time and money are limitations here, so the product designer will often confer with the UX researcher to decide which mix of experiments would be most successful (and feasible).
When the results are in, the designer takes this input and creates another iteration of the design that is even more polished and more suited to the user’s requirements than the one before it.
During the launch phase, the development team collaborates closely with the product designers in sprints to get the product ready. Additional tests are performed at this step to ensure that the product is fully bug-free.
The testing process does not stop after the product goes online, at least not for the product designers. Working closely with the UX researcher, they define certain key performance indicators (KPIs) that serve as success indicators. The team then gathers performance data, comments, and evaluations to determine if further changes are required in the next iteration, and the next, and so on.


The responsibilities of a UX designer and a product designer are almost identical. They both utilise the same diagramming tools and follow the same step design process. They also both create with the user’s requirements in mind. The main distinction between the two is their objectives. UX designers are innovators, providing a variety of choices with the user’s requirements in mind. Product designers are editors, always modifying designs to make the next one better than the previous. As with anything in the design industry, there is some overlap, and the positions will very likely change again over the next 10 years — but for now, this should make things a little clearer.