Post by
Nasir Uddin
September 27, 2023
Post by
Read time
5 min

Do you know 90% of a product designer’s work is not design? The visual layout made is the outcome of the whole work they do. Then what do they do? They assess real people with real problems and use an iterative human-centered design process to generate and verify solutions to those challenges while addressing business goals. They conduct user research, communicate with users, analyze, plan, build prototypes, and user-testing. 

In short, a product designer determines how a product should work based on business goals and user needs. It does sound like a UX designer, doesn't it? Well, these two are interchangeable sometimes, as they have very similar job descriptions, but there are differences, which will be discussed in this blog. 

In this article, we have covered every spectrum of a product designer's roles and responsibilities and how it differs from other designers. So that after you finish reading this, you won't have any confusion. 

Product Designer vs. UX Designer 

UX designers address usability issues and guarantee products have a logical flow. They are heavily involved in early user and market research to identify and comprehend user issues and develop design solutions to address them.

A UX designer is responsible for transforming a concept into a functional prototype, including designing UI elements and components for new products and features.

Product designers, on the other hand, perform many of the same tasks as UX designers but concentrate more on developing a product. They may work on existing and new products and design new features, and maintain them. 

Product designers collaborate with sales and marketing teams to identify business value opportunities through competitor, market, and user research. They play a crucial role in ensuring a digital product remains relevant and competitive by adapting to market trends and consumer needs.

Product Designer vs. Product Manager 

Both designer and manager must align and stay on the same team to build a successful product. Close collaboration between product management and design teams means the customer experience will be fully integrated into the product roadmap and backlog, ensuring a customer-centric approach to prioritization.

A product manager is in charge of the whole lifecycle of a product, from making a roadmap to developing and launching it. He needs to focus on product experience (PX) and user experience (UX) to align with the business's goals and objectives as a whole. 

In a similar manner, product designers need to know about both PX and UX, but they usually focus more on the design and user interface (UI) to make sure the product meets the goals of the customer experience (CX).

For example, if a product manager notices an increase in customer churn, he would investigate product issues that directly lead individuals to unsubscribe to ensure the organization reaches annual revenue targets.  However, if product designers notice consumers heading back and forth between product pages without taking action. They'll investigate user navigation and accessibility concerns and propose product modifications to boost CX.

Why Must You Hire A Product Designer for Your Business to Grow?  

If you own a business, you must build a team of talented people in different roles to make your business grow.  How many people you need to hire depends on the size of your business and your business needs, but I am sure the need for a product designer will always be there. 

The following points explain why product design is so important:

  • It is an integral part of an organization's success because it determines the features, functions, and performance of the service or goods that customers want.
  • It is a key part of lowering the cost of production to gain a competitive edge.
  • Designers make you ready for future opportunities. Because no one understands the potential of a product more than the designs. The designer will also have a vision for the product, foreseeing potential future updates and enhancements.
  • It can also be a fundamental way for key people in the supply chain to coordinate what they are doing.
  • Product design is essential for companies that want to compete in a global market.
  • The designers can help you evaluate your business models and improve the scalability of your business. 
  • A designer can spot problems caused by "too many cooks." They address difficulties by identifying common patterns and providing solutions.

Should You Hire In-house Designers or Agencies or Studios? - Find The Reasons!

Both offer advantages and disadvantages; you must choose based on your organization's needs. The following considerations will help your decision:

  • Depending on your design requirements, engaging an internal designer incurs a consistent annual cost. If you do not have enough work for an internal designer, it is likely more cost-effective to hire freelancers or a ui design agency, which will cost you less on an annual basis.
  • A designer cannot do everything. You'll need to assemble a team of designers if you want to satisfy all of the design requirements that most businesses have (brand, digital, performance, email, etc.) This is when it's better to consult with agencies because they have the right people for the right jobs.
  • If you have a business like eCommerce or any sort of business that constantly needs changes for seasonal or festivals, you should hire in-house designers. They will always be present to fulfill the requirements, and on top of that, they are well-aligned with companies objectives and values.
  • When it comes to reliability, agencies are better than freelancers. Because doesn't matter how professional a freelancer is; if unavoidable circumstances like sickness or emergencies, your project will be delayed. Where agencies have a team, others can back them up if something occurs.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, being a product designer entails more than just design. To discover a competent specialist, you must first establish your requirements and select a platform that can provide you with what you require. 

Whether you choose an agency or in-house, first look up their portfolio; their work will help you decide whether they are fit for your organization or not.  For varieties of work, you can look in Behance and dribble as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What benefits of hiring a product designer for startups or small businesses?

Hiring a product designer for a startup or small business offers several advantages. They can create a user-centered design, enhancing the user experience and engagement, leading to a loyal customer base and revenue growth. Additionally, they can differentiate your product through unique and memorable designs while also preventing costly design mistakes, saving time and money.

What is the product designer's role in differentiating our product from competitors?

A product designer differentiates your product through user research, creating unique designs, and ensuring consistent branding, leading to a strong brand identity and increased recognition.

Challenges in hiring a product designer for startups/small businesses and overcoming them?

Challenges when hiring a product designer for startups/small businesses: finding skilled designers, budget constraints, and cultural fit. Solutions: consider freelancers/agencies, conduct thorough evaluations, and communicate expectations effectively.

Key skills and experience to seek when hiring a product designer for your business?

When hiring a product designer, prioritize skills such as a robust portfolio, expertise in user research and design thinking, proficiency in design software, excellent communication and collaboration skills, and relevant industry experience.

Collaborating effectively with a product designer to realize your vision in the final product?

To collaborate effectively with a product designer, establish clear communication, set milestones and deadlines, involve stakeholders, provide feedback, and maintain involvement throughout the design process to achieve your vision in the final product.

Product designer's role in improving user experience of digital products and metrics for measuring success?

Product designers enhance user experience through user research, intuitive design, and iterative improvements. Success can be measured using metrics like user engagement, retention, and conversion rates, enabling further optimization.

What are some of the benefits of hiring a product designer for a startup or small business?

Product designers bring significant benefits to startups and small businesses. They create user-centered designs, enhancing user experience and engagement, leading to a loyal customer base and revenue growth. Additionally, they differentiate your product with unique and memorable designs. Moreover, they prevent costly design mistakes, saving time and money in the long run.

How can a product designer help to differentiate our product from competitors?

A product designer differentiates your product through user research, creating unique and memorable designs, and ensuring consistent branding, strengthening your brand identity and increasing recognition.

Key skills and experience to seek when hiring a product designer for your business?

When hiring a product designer for your business, it's important to look for specific skills and experience that are relevant to your company's needs. Some key skills and experience to consider include a strong portfolio of previous work, experience with user research and design thinking, proficiency in design software, and strong communication and collaboration skills. Additionally, it can be helpful to look for a designer who has experience working in your industry or with similar products or services.

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Nasir Uddin
CEO at Musemind
Nasir Uddin, Co-Founder and CEO at Musemind, brings over a decade of experience in dynamic UX design. With a background at prestigious companies like Panther, On Deck, Microsoft, and Motley Fool. His leadership has transformed Musemind into a trusted destination for comprehensive product design solutions.
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