What is
Product design —

Product designers from Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Adobe, Dropbox and other companies explained.

Product design is a relatively new term, especially compared to UX design. We decide to ask Product designers "What is product design and how different from UX design?"

André Givenchy

André Givenchy

Product Strategist and Designer — 10+ Startups, $60M Invested

One of the most significant differences between user experience and product design is the range of scope. Traditional UX is seen as a specialization in which a designer's primary focus is to optimize the design and usability of the product whereas Product Design is more or less an accumulative knowledge of multiple disciplines. Now, this doesn't mean that the product designer lacks specialization. Instead, it symbolizes a broader mandate of design for an entire product.


What does this mean? In essence, product design represents the next expansion of designers roll within a product's lifecycle and business as a whole, away from just user experience design or specializations in general. This moves designers towards disciplines such as functional ergonomics, technical design, marketing, and more.

Gülay Birand

Gülay Birand

UX Lead and Product Design Manager at Facebook, formerly Google

Both Product and UX design strive to create excellent experiences that meet users needs and goals. Perhaps the biggest nuance is that Product Design is less specialized and more holistically focused on the end to end product development lifecycle.


Product Designers traditionally focus on creating experiences at the cross-section of business requirements and user goals using data, research and analytics to discover latent needs, pain points, and/or identify new product opportunities with consideration for the different touch-points users will encounter along their journeys.


ROI of the experience, metrics by which the experience will be measured, all facets of Design and overall strategy for the product offering are top of mind throughout the process.

Andi Galpern

Andi Galpern

Strategic Development Manager at Adobe XD

I refer to product design as a subset of the entire user experience. It’s the process of designing digital software from start to finish.


Product Design includes user research, mapping out touchpoints, wireframing, prototyping, testing, designing brand elements, building a design system, collaborating with a developer, and publishing to the marketplace. Product designers create the software that the end user interacts with. While experience design encompasses how customers engage with your brand.


User Experience incorporates everything from the design of a digital product, to customer success, understanding your market, and guiding customers to accomplish a task from start to finish. Experience design is the whole shabang.

Debashish Paul

Debashish Paul

Product Design Lead at Facebook

Everything that is man-made around you is designed by someone including the software you use on your phones, watches, computers, TVs and cars.


Regardless of what you make, the process largely remains the same, and that is the beauty of product design.


Product Design is the Choirmaster of a well orchestrated symphony of efficiency. One hand of the Choirmaster is Interaction, Graphic, Visual and Motion design, and the other is User Research, Content Strategy, Data Science and Business Science. Prototypes are the wand of the Choirmaster.


The best Choirmasters help in producing memorable and seamless user experiences that make us feel delighted and stick with us forever.

Anthony Neil Dart

Anthony Neil Dart

Snr Product Designer — Microsoft

For me they are indistinguishable from each other - one can not separate limbs from the body and expect good results, as in architecture one must think holistically and coherently - it must function as lesser parts of a whole - the aesthetics of space and the practicality of engineering use and safety etc this is how I think of product design and UX at the atomic level one can not rightly exist without the other.

Michelle Olaya-Marquez

Michelle Olaya-Marquez

Product Design at Google

Product design is an all encompassing term for any designer that creates end-to-end design solutions. Traditionally, UX designers may consider user research, strategy, information architecture, usability heuristics, content, and more. Product designers do all of this while also considering visual design, motion, branding, and hand-off processes with engineers. Both UX Designers and Product Designers are capable of using research, strategy, and business insights to create product concepts as well, often collaborating with engineering and product management to do so.

Robert Hyman

Robert Hyman

Product Designer at Microsoft

Great Product Design starts at the very beginning of a project. A challenge is identified and a spark of inspiration is needed. Product Design asks “What If?” It develops an insight, vision, and plan before the first wireframe has been started. The process can take a designer through drafting, info architecture, UX, UI, motion design, Production, and QA. Or it can be a bolt of inspiration and 30 minutes in the designer’s chair. Product Design is a fluid process for solving concrete challenges.

Paolo Ertreo

Paolo Ertreo

Product Designer at Dropbox

I believe product design is a more holistic discipline where designers are embedded in the whole product development process from the onset of a project. They possess strong product thinking and business acumen, they seek out, understand and are informed by qual. and quant. data in addition to possessing strong craft skills like interaction, visual design and prototyping.

Ali Kamran

Ali Kamran

UX Evangelist | Product Designer | Cognitive Designer

Product design is one of the latest trending buzzword that has been added to the designer bucket list and it’s confusing because the product designers have been around for a long time, they are the industrial designers that actually design physical products.


And since we perfectly blurred the line between reality and virtual world, we are taking advantage of this title in the digital.


Following is just my personal interpretation of product designer and UX designer:


UX Designer has to think about the experience as a whole, including the visual aspect, information architecture, create user flows, interview users and review the analytics find the pain points and features that could be improved. strong advocate for the user.


Product Designer expands the scope beyond the product and help set the goals for the product, determine the product strategy and prioritize features to achieve it. Is not only advocating for the users, also an advocate for the company and organization.

Vivian Chang

Vivian Chang

Product Designer II at Microsoft

In my opinion, I would first like to say that I believe there is a lot of cross over between product design and UX. Both of these involve design thinking and have the goal of improving an overall experience for the end-user. I think the primary difference is that product designers may focus more on keeping the business requirements in mind, whereas a UX designer will primarily advocate for the optimal user experience. As a product designer, I also consider my responsibilities to include providing a direction for the look and feel of the user interface and working within implementation requirements while keeping the user experience in mind.

Tregg Frank

Tregg Frank

Product designer. Creator of Degreeless.design

Product Design is way more holistic than UX. In my opinion, the titling is largely in response to the way organizations often pigeonhole designers into one output (UX deliverables, visual design, prototypes, etc) rather than an outcome. Product Designers are intentionally aligning to the outcome. True product design is designing a product that aligns business needs to real human needs. You’ll also have your hands on most, if not all, steps of the process. It might sound like a jack of all trades thing, but it really is about being an expert in merging the product world with the customer’s reality and seeing how that impacts all the steps of the design process.

Ginny Keegan

Ginny Keegan

Product Designer, Agile SDLC

Product Design is an art of equally balancing a clear understanding of the end users needs and expectations of a smooth journey with your product, with that of the business . Product Design must incorporate every single users journey that interacts with the product or software as well and then design a solution to fit. It’s the ability to look at the entire solution holistically in the early stages of discovery through to delivery.


The art of being a brilliant Product Designer is the ability to take all this knowledge and information, then build a product solution that fulfills the needs of both.

Austin Rucker

Austin Rucker

Product Designer / Amazon Alexa (new initiatives)

My point of view is that Product Design is focused on building a holistic concept for a good or service, while UX Design is focused on creating intuitive pathways that lead users quickly and efficiently to their desired destinations.


Good Product and UX Design both validate assumptions through testing and respond to customer insights. However, the Product Designer is more likely to test a concept as a whole (purchase likeliness, preference, usefulness, appearance) while the UX Designer is likely to evaluate the steps customers use to complete key tasks when using the product.


Ultimately a Product Designer and UX Designer must collaborate closely to ensure the success of a product to make sure the right features are implemented to generate the most usefulness for customer.


The Product Designer thinks about crossing the river, the UX Designer thinks about each stone that lines the way.

JP Holdsworth

JP Holdsworth

Product Designer at NCR Corporation

Unlike a UX Designer, a Product Designer is tasked with making sure the needs of all stakeholders of the product are met. For many software products, this can include goals of the company building the product and goals of the companies buying the product in addition to the end users. How can features meet multiple needs all at the same time? And when they can't, how do you prioritize which goals are more important? It's a Product Designers job to work cross-functionally and answer all these questions.

Raphael Bouchard

Raphael Bouchard

Product Designer at Docker

In short, I think UX Design is one facet of Product Design. To me, UX design is prescribing a solution where the output will likely be something consumed via a phone or computer. Product Design I think is much broader and less prescriptive. The outcome could be a message, or a brand or a service that isn't tied to traditional webpage or app.

Hiroo Aoyama

Hiroo Aoyama

Incoming Product Design Intern at Facebook

The word product design is constantly evolving and expanding. In my opinion, product design is now beyond UX -- it includes the entire product cycle from problem identification to execution and iteration. It's almost like a bridge that connects from users to business. We product designers have to constantly think about both ends and be the voice of the users and the product.

Aidan Toole

Aidan Toole

Junior Designer & Incoming Product Design Intern at Facebook

To me, product design is the all encompassing process of design, from research to developer handoff. It's like thinking a bit broader. UX to me is a specific step and part of the process.