September 28, 2023
UI/UX Design

Explaining Different Design Roles

UX Designer, UI Designer, Graphic Designer, Product Designer or IxD? These design roles might seem the same, but they all focus on different aspects.
Cristi Fonea
September 28, 2023
What are Different Design Roles?

A UX Designer, a UI Designer, a Graphic Designer, a Product Designer, and an Interaction Designer all walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Is this some kind of a design meetup?” They all reply, “No, we’re just testing the bar's user experience!”

Jokes aside, yes, all these digital design roles achieve the same goal – to help us in the app design process, website creation, or any other design-related project. But think of it this way! 

Imagine you're building a house. The interaction designer plans the structure and its architecture, thinking about how you’ll move through the house and interact with the furniture. The UX designer is in charge of the plumbing, electricity, and other wiring needed to make sure that the house works perfectly. The UI Designer chooses the furniture and where to put it to make it look homey and that the arrangements make sense. The graphic designer chooses its style and its theme – whether it’s minimalist, vintage, mid-century modern, and so on – this represents our branding. The product designer is the one in charge of making sure that the entire construction meets the residents’ needs. 

Now, think about this in the context of app design or any other UI UX design. All of these roles combined take part in the design process to create the perfect product. But how exactly does it translate into the UI UX design world? What are the differences between these design roles?

What is a UI designer?

A UI designer focuses on how a design looks – whether it is a mobile app, a website, or even a software platform – aka the user interface. In other words, a UI designer will take care of creating a pretty and interactive platform while also making sure that the product is as intuitive and visually appealing as possible. 

It is the art of choosing the perfect placement of elements, the cool animations, and the aesthetically pleasing images. Not only will a UI designer think about how every button and every icon fits together, but he will also think about how everything fits with our brand and our industry. 

A UI design is what we see and interact with when using a digital product. It’s the touchscreen of your phone or computer. Or even your car’s touchpad to adjust the temperature or change the song on shuffle. A UI designer is the one responsible for how these look and feel. 

What is a UX designer?

A UX designer is the one that helps the design come together. In fact, a user experience designer is the one creating an enjoyable experience for our users. Its purpose in the design process lies in the development of creating easy, efficient, fun, and logical flows in order for our users to complete the entire customer purchasing cycle. 

In other words, a UX designer is like a storyteller. It creates the skeleton that holds together all the elements and makes sure that the users can interact and understand the design, bringing the answers before they are asked. 

But what exactly does a UX designer do? Well, a lot. It includes strategy, creating a customer persona, creating a story for our product, testing, prototyping, and especially – implementing.  The bottom line: A user experience designer is a part-time designer and part-time marketer. They don’t focus on making the product look pretty – they focus on the interaction of our customers with the product. 

What is a Graphic Designer?

A graphic designer is a visual storyteller. He takes care of choosing the right color palette and fonts that will define our brand, creating the perfect icons that will fit our UI UX design, and even designing the logo that will make us stand out. In other words, a graphic designer is the one in charge of the visual communication. 

But while UI UX designers focus on building digital platforms, graphic designers focus on other aspects as well. They design logos, brochures, posters, advertisements, and any other visual assets that our business needs. However, the roles of UI designers and graphic designers might overlap in the website or app design process. How exactly? Well, they will work together in creating custom illustrations, background images, and so on to create an aesthetically pleasing interface that will resonate with the audience. 

What is a Product Designer?

A product designer is the person who oversees the whole design process from scratch to finish. It’s the person who needs to make sure that everything is going as planned, and if they see the opportunity to bring improvements to the design process, they are the ones who can help.

Product design can also be interpreted as a holistic concept that focuses on the bigger picture when it comes to design. They work with a roadmap and analyze the project making sure that everything is on track and see the differences between the investment and the return generated. So if you are passionate about design this can be the one for you.

What is an Interaction Designer?

An interaction designer is also encountered as IxD and has the purpose of creating meaningful and simple interactions for the users. An IxD changes the way machines and technology are seen, making it more personal and subjective, helping us see and understand better how digital products work. 

Interaction designers create the link and the communication between users and computers, making sure that the dialog goes as smoothly as possible. They think and predict what your possible next steps will look like and see how they can make the process as smooth as possible. The differences between an interaction designer and a UX designer are that the UX designer focuses on the bigger pictures, but when it comes to the interaction designer they focus on the smaller details on creating an immersive environment for the users. 

Each digital role has the purpose of creating a space where users feel safe and immersed in the design. And for a design to be great, we need to focus on each small detail and see how to improve it. And sometimes a design system can help us with that. 

So, a Design system might be what we need to deliver the right user experience and accessibility. When we think about a design system, we need to see more than a library of elements. A design system is all you need when designing; it has guidelines and style guides and is even like a Figma Library that you can use whenever you want. One of the most significant advantages when using a design system is the ability to customize everything you need in order to make it unique.

uinkits – Our Figma UI Kit 

We at uinkits understand the importance of great user experiences in creating amazing UI designs. That’s why we’ve developed a Figma UI Kit with design components that include the essential UI elements that enable you to design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly.  

“You press the button, we do the rest,” – Kodak.

Inspired by this iconic tagline from Kodak, we believe in simplifying the design process for you. Our Figma UI Kit, uinkits, is a complete design system with UI components that allows you, as a UI UX designer, to create your products as quickly as pressing a button. 

Our design system components include variables, cards, buttons, and everything you need for your design process. All you have to do is take your UI design component needed, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

Cristi Fonea
September 28, 2023

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