When we hear the word product, the first thing that comes to our mind is products arranged on the shelves. But nowadays, it is much more than a commercial product. The term product relates to many digital products such as applications, or websites. Their importance has increased even more than the products on shelves. Your more minor to more significant issues are solved with a click using mobile applications. They are more convenient to use than the traditional ways. That said, whether you will use a mobile application or not depends upon several factors.
We, humans, are in search of easy ways to get our work done effortlessly. In such a case. Will you use an application or a product that has a difficult user interface? What is the point of the application if you have to spend hours to understand how it works? This is why UI and UX Designers are essential to provide a user-centric experience. The user interface of any product decides the success and popularity among the crowd. Before we head into understanding the role of UI & UX designers in product designing, let us understand the difference between product designers and UX/UX designers.
Key Difference Between UX, UI, and Product Designers?
The terms UX and UI designers and product designers are used interchangeably. If you check the portfolio of UX designers and product designers, you will find that they perform pretty similar roles. Nevertheless, few functions help to distinguish between them. The initial stages of product development involve UX and UI designers. Once the user-centric design is developed, the later stages are handled by product developers.
UX Designers: They are concerned with creating an experience that provides the best output to users.
UI Designers: They mainly look into the appearance of the product, and the elements which users interact directly with.
Product Designers: They are committed to providing the best to both users and the brand. Therefore, they need to possess skills of both UX and UI designers.
Role of UX And UI Designers In Product Design
If you are still confused about the functions of each designer, there is no need to be disappointed. We have tried to elaborate on the role of UX and UI designers in product designing. Please continue reading to find out how they contribute to the process.
1. User Research
Suppose you are designing a product for a client. But without knowing the requirements of the user, will the product be successful? The user will not use the product if it does not meet his expectations. To design the best product, it is crucial to find out the needs to be met. This is possible with the help of user research. You can reach a step closer to a successful design by understanding the problem. Find out the problem which your product will solve. You will get a clear vision of the product design by figuring out the problem and the user’s needs.
2. Product Usability
You can easily spot the term product usability in a UX designer’s portfolio. The UX designer should be skilled enough to create user-friendly products. If an application is complicated to use, the user will give up on it within minutes. Therefore, it is essential for the designer to evaluate the usability of an application. It is also a measure to determine the quality of design. Usability can be equated with the satisfaction of the user. To test the usability of a product, users are invited to discuss the draft of the design created.
3. Wireframing and Prototyping
These terms can sound confusing to a layperson. Sometimes even designers use them interchangeably. But they are not the same. The wireframe is the blueprint of the user interface of the product. A simple wireframe is considered the best. At the same time, a prototype is the skeleton or model of the product that will be designed. It helps the user to get an idea of the output. The more detailed the prototype is, the easier will be the later stages of product development. Wireframing and prototypes are helpful to both the user and designer. It contributes to a great customer experience.
4. Creating Style Guide
It is the function of a UI designer to create a style guide to transform the visions of a UX designer. The style guide is more or less like a set of guidelines. It describes in detail the various elements of a design. There are basically two variants of style guides. The static and living style guides. The static guidelines are difficult to adapt to changing needs, while the living one is where changes can be easily made. For the same reason, designers opt for living style guides.
Therefore UX/UI designers play a vital role in the initial stages. However, it is time that they evolve into product designers. If they have the skills of a product designer, it would be the best of both worlds. If a UX/UI designer is also a product designer, it will save much of the time required for coordinating with each other. The holistic approach will soon find a place in the coming years.