May 29, 2017
What should be my design title? This is a different approach from our usual inspirational features, hope you will follow along. This question was brought up by a good buddy of mine on what should be his design title? It wasn’t a question of “Fake it till you make it” but mostly what are the industry standards nowadays in terms of what is my title and what are my roles? For this article, let’s go deeper for the case of what are the differences between a UI/UX Designer, an Interaction Designer, and a Product Designer. Shall we?
I took this comparison's case because it has been brought up many times during the course of my career and the last few years with the popularity rising of the UX. Whatever if you are a beginner, professional and even if you’re a freelancer. Let’s be honestly, most of us who comes from a background of graphic design and we aren’t being called graphic designers anymore. I know some people who still hasn’t done this switch in their careers and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. As long as you love what you do, nothing else matters.
One thing to remember though is there is no ultimate goal in our field, everything depends on what do you wanna do with your career.
What is UI and UX?
Here we go! In the simplest explanation, UI is about what you see and UX is all about what you feel as a user and user experience. This role means that you’re juggling between both what’s visual and the overall experience. It’s one big giant role to be in and some companies do in fact mixed it all up (between UI and UX) which is not always right. From creating your visual path for each screen, page or elements and by the same time following what has been done on the UX side of things. On top of that, you’ll be working at creating style guides and ensuring a design language across the board.
What is an interaction?
In my opinion, during the course of a project; this is usually worked near the end from the design process. It’s basically animating all the static design into a fluid transition across the product. Sometimes it can be done for a certain element in particular but overall it’s always been figured it out as we go along. For example, what happens the interface does after a user clicks on this button. How the content appears? What transition effects to use? Motion becomes the main part of the interface by providing visual guesses as to how to use the product.
We often say that UI/UX designers do become Product Designers and why is that? In my opinion, it’s an all-inclusive term of being a designer who is involved in every step of the process including what you see and feels but also conducting user research, design UI interfaces and create UI assets. Their understanding of the user and the product itself goes beyond since they have the capabilities to select the problem and address it with either prototyping and even front-end coding. Their role involves also testing in generating solutions to problems. This is the role that we keep hearing about since companies tend to hire designers that understand the user experience, research and visual elements.
Voilà! This is what these roles meant to our industry, hope these were helpful during the course of your research or growth perspective. One thing to remember though is there is no ultimate goal in our field, everything depends on what do you wanna do with your career. If your goal is to be that catch-all designer, then you have to step it out so you can understand every single compartment of a product or keep crafting your skills in your desired role. We are lucky to be in our growing community that is not shy to share knowledge or even skills. Hope you have enjoyed this read.