Product design and UI UX design: Are they same?

Product design and UI UX design: Are they same?

Reading Time: 5 minutesWe received so many questions from you all in the past few weeks to describe how UI/UX and product designs differ. Well, now that we have established ourselves as a product design agency, we can help you identify the differences between the two.

Honestly, there are no substantial differences between product design and UI/UX design. Both these designs are more like a symphony of an impactful product! The only difference you can make is the difference of mindset here.

Who does what?

As product design consultants, we have served in both industries – communicative as well as industrial and to be precise, industrial design is one of the most versatile.

With our experience, we can state that a UI/UX designer and a product designer may share the same design processes. However, there may be variations in their nature of work. Read below to understand who does what.

UI/UX designer:

Your team’s UI/UX designer will concentrate on user satisfaction and ensure that the product meets users’ needs.

His central focus will be on user interaction while improving usability and accessibility.

What do UI/UX Designers do?

Your UX designer will work on the entire design thinking process, from research to ideation, and always keep the user in mind. They would work around the following aspects:

  • Getting into the users’ headspace
  • User testing / Usability testing
  • Prototyping

In other words, they’re in charge of making sure the product is as user-friendly as possible.

Now, let’s understand what does a product designer do.

Product designer:

The majority of the time, your product designers deal with designing digital products like ERP, SaaS, portals and platforms.

What do Product Designers do?

They do a lot of the same things as your UX designers, but they’re more focused on:

  • Building solutions
  • Product adoption
  • Product usability & experience
  • Product’s commercial aspects

Through competition, market and user research, your product designers collaborate closely with your following teams to identify business value opportunities:

  • Technology
  • Customer Service
  • Sales
  • Marketing

They ensure that your digital product remains relevant and competitive as market trends & client needs change.

A product, what is it?

In layman’s language, a product is nothing but a solution that helps people overcome a problem.

However, with the changing human perceptions, products have now started offering values and experiences along with solutions.

What is a Product?

With cloud technologies coming up, SaaS and PaaS products are changing the dynamics of the digital ecosystem. These digital products are built to solve issues for a versatile clientele making product design and user experience more crucial.

Such products are updated regularly as the company adds new features and adapts to market forces and consumer needs.

Google, for example, hires product designers to test new features and improve the overall experience, even though its users do not pay for the service.

To help you understand further, consider that you recently switched to Slack! You must be wondering what does this imply, right?

Well, it is one of the most successful SaaS products that we could come up with. Slack is a tool used for your internal communication with the team and your clients.

Let’s understand what makes it a one-of-a-kind digital product.

Firstly, it is a perfect solution that resolves the core problem of communication.

Unlike traditional emailing methods, Slack offers itself as a natural, real-time conversation tool.

Lastly, it is the perfect example of an inward product that brings all other tools together and makes it easy for the users to navigate.

So what’s the confusion?

What is the confusion between a UI/UX and a Product Design?

Your product designer would ask you questions like – “Does this product make sense in the current economy?” Or “How do I make my design cost-effective?”

Your product designer will:

  • Manage your product’s overall appearance and feel
  • Make your product future-proof
  • Utilise drawing, wireframing and other design tools to develop concepts that make your product or enhance the existing one
  • Analyse productivity
  • Manage the onboarding and adoption of your product
  • Ensure task completion
  • Employ agile methodologies
  • Track KPIs to ensure that the product is becoming what it should be
  • Work towards your product’s commercialisation

Any UI/UX designer would ask you questions like – “Is this product simple to use?” Or “How do I make my design user-friendly?”

Thus, your UI/UX designers will:

  • Manage your product’s ease of use & enjoyment while ensuring a pleasant visual storytelling
  • Make everything simple, intuitive, and straightforward so that no one gets lost or confused
  • Utilise techniques such as usability testing, interviews, diary studies, field experiments, and more
  • Employ human-computer interaction principles like cognitive load theory to make sure your products don’t overwhelm users

We hope this helps you assess what each role would look like in your organisation. You can tell that the two designers have distinct priorities based on the differences in these questions.

The focus of UX is usability.

Process, solution, business, cost, and brand are crucial factors in product design.

This is where product design and UI/UX design form a synchronisation.

We have worked as UI/UX designers for almost five years now, and we are focusing on the strategic ends of product design.

What makes us focus on product designs?

As a product designing agency for SaaS & enterprise products, our mindset and team capabilities are to:

  • Work in versatile areas
  • Offer solution innovation
  • Create user interface design
  • Formulate business strategy
  • Enhance technology

What makes Octet focus on Product Designs?

At Octet, we bring together cross-functional teams from business, design and technology backgrounds to produce meaningful products.

Like every other product designer, we, too, are a special breed of people. We build the organisation’s culture via our impressionable engineering attitudes and extraordinary empathy.


Product design is primarily concerned with issue resolution, but it also assists in balancing function and form on a daily basis. Even when you think you’ve had your fill for the day, there’s always something fresh on the horizon – thus, we keep growing and solving challenges!

This marks the conclusion that UI/UX designers and product designers work hand-in-hand with your organisation. In a nutshell, a product’s design is created by product designers. UX designers use data and research to make educated conclusions about what is ideal for their users’ experience with a product.

There may not be concrete points of difference between them. But indeed, a list of things that may be done differently. Hoping to see you around with more such insightful articles on product design.

Octet Design Studio takes pride in informing you that we are now a product design agency that helps mission-driven organisations to augment their SaaS and enterprise products with rational UI UX designs. Get in touch with us for more information.

Creative Director and Founder of Octet Design Studio- Aakash Jethwani
Aakash Jethwani

With an experience of 12+ years and serving more than 300+ projects, he is now leading a team of 25+ designers and developers and handling responsibility as founder and creative director at Octet Design Studio.

A design leader, known for creating and offering pixel-perfect design by striking a balance between design and technology to his clients while also managing his team and business.

His vision is to help companies disrupt market through designs and becoming a go-to partner for innovation. With a commitment to deep implementation of design strategies, he envisions pioneering innovative solutions to not only transforms businesses but also make it an essential requirement for the clients seeking unparalleled excellence.

His ultimate goal is to offer ‘experiences as a differentiator’ to clients seeking sustainable growth in the competitive digital landscape.

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