Very often we think of a designer as a "beautician" for websites, applications, and other digital products. In fact, creating an appealing user interface is only one point from a product designer job description.
The main task of a product designer is to take into account both users' needs and business objectives and find a creative solution to bring value to the customer and company. In order to complete this task, a designer should be able to take on many roles like an entrepreneur, data analyst, user researcher, psychologist, prototyper, interaction designer, visual designer, and more.
As a design agency that provides product design services, we know perfectly well what is required of a good product designer and what skills they should possess to do their job effectively.
In this blog post, you will find a template and ideal examples of job descriptions and relevant information that will give you a deep understanding of the essence of the product designer's job to help you find a perfect candidate.
First of all, before we get to examples, we should identify who the product designer is and what differs them from the UI/UX designer.
What does a product designer do?
A product designer is responsible for exploring product problems, developing design solutions that solve these problems and implementing changes based on the users' feedback and the product's business strategy.
From the definition above, we may understand that creating a beautiful interface is only one part of the overall challenge. To build a product that is valuable for the customer and all stakeholders, apart from considering the beauty aspect, a product designer has to define the process of interaction with users and provide full support of the project along its entire path: from the idea and its implementation to development and receiving user feedback.
Let's take a closer look at what the product designers do during the product design process:
- The designer defines a product problem and a supposed solution.
- Analyze the problem.
- Since there can be several solutions, analyze all possible variants, and create concepts of those solutions.
- Build prototypes.
- Select the best solution by conducting analysis and testing.
It is also important to consider that a product designer always works in a team. Therefore, they must possess cross-functional collaboration and communication skills to be able to explain their decisions to all team members and listen to the opinions of their colleagues.
A good product designer is a versatile specialist. They may perform roles of:
- Entrepreneur - identify market needs and find ways to satisfy them
- Product manager - know the product area perfectly well and coordinate the team
- Researcher and data analyst - conduct market and user research, define the target audience and main competitors, analyze the collected information
- Visual designer - think over a way of visual communication with the audience to create an appealing interface that can solve business problems
- Interaction designer - develop user interaction and create a product interface taking into account the interests of users
To be able to take on so many roles, a product designer needs a variety of skills and knowledge. It is necessary to understand the business processes, know the basics of psychology and user behavior. It is also important to have skills in graphic and visual design.
In general, a product design skillset overlaps with the skillset of a UI/UX designer a lot. Moreover, very often UI/UX designers grow into product designers. That's the reason people tend to confuse these two professions. Let's figure out the difference between them.
What is the difference between UI/UX designer and product designer?
First of all, before talking about differences, it is important to mention that both of these professions have similar responsibilities.
The main goal of a product designer and a UI/UX designer is to define a product problem and then find a design solution for it.
To achieve this goal both designers go through the same product design process. They research the market and the audience, conduct user interviews, analyze the received information, create concepts, build prototypes, and initiate testing to develop a simple and usable product.
As well, UI/UX and product designers use the same tools to build a product: Adobe XD, Invision or Framer for building prototypes, MIRO for creating user-flows and brainstorming, Sketch or Figma for drawing, etc.
Now, let's move to things that differentiate the two professions.
A product designer and a UI/UX designer have different priorities.
The first one is a design businessman. Such a specialist is better versed in business processes. Their involvement in processes from both sides (company and customer) allows for better communication when working with a customer, reducing costs, and increasing income. They make the design speak the same language as a business.
A UI/UX designer has more specific design responsibilities. They pay attention to the way users interact with a product and how satisfied they are with the experience they receive. The designer of user interface and experience strives to create a simple and usable product that satisfies client's needs.
In general, both product and UI/UX designers have much in common. Still, UI/UX designer focuses on two main aspects: creating a user-friendly design and making sure the product is easy to use. While product designers also care about how to bring value to the company and how to make the product convenient and safe with less spending.
That's the difference!
Read more about these two positions in Product Designer vs UX Designer: Who to Hire?
What is required of a product designer?
As we wrote at the beginning of this article, a product designer is a versatile specialist who has expertise in a whole set of related areas of the IT industry. Considering this, this specialist should possess the following set of professional qualities:
Basic design required skills:
- Conduct quantitative and qualitative user research
- Test existing hypotheses
- Create customer journey maps, user flows, and wireframes
- Develop a product prototype in accordance with a created concept
- Design and create mobile and web interfaces
- Use design and engineering tools like Adobe XD, Sketch, InVision, Balsamiq, MIRO, Figma, etc.
Of course, to combine such a number of professional skills, a product designer needs to possess a certain set of personal traits as well.
- Conceptual and system thinking
- Creative design thinking
- Being proactive
- Customer focus
- Attention to detail
- Decision making
- Building relationships
- Strategic planning
To sum up, despite the long list of professional qualities and skills required for product design the main task of this kind of designer is to solve the problem.
Job description template
Here you will find a template of a job description to help you create a job post for a product designer position.
About the company
(Write information about your organization here. Include those aspects you think may sound beneficial for your potential employee and keep it short. Make sure to mention the company culture, working hours, availability of medical insurance, ability to work remotely, and other perks.)
We are seeking an experienced product designer to work cross-functionally across the product, engineering, and marketing teams to deliver design value throughout the product life cycle. Your number one job is to tackle user problems and contribute to the overall product strategy.
- Take new ideas from concepts to implementation
- Cooperate with engineers and product managers to understand engineering complexity, define
- MVPs, and ensure product excellence through launch and iteration
- Identify future opportunities, working as a thought partner to the product
- Participate in design reviews and share your work regularly with company leadership
- Ship, measure and improve designs based on quantitative and qualitative feedback.
- Portfolio link with examples of previous works
- 3+ year of relevant design experience
- Experience working in a fast-paced environment to iterate and ship work that balances user and business needs
- Knowledge and interest in product strategy and vision
- Fluency in modern design tools and processes with skills in facilitation, research, interaction design, and visual design
- Strong understanding of user-centered design principles
- Leadership skills and ability to achieve results through influence and persuasion
Use this template as a basis and modify it according to the needs of your company.
Finally, let's take a look at five real examples of job posts we've found on Linkedin to see what other employers expect to find when they seek a candidate for a product designer position.
Realtor.com is searching for a specialist who will assist the team on each step of the product development process to build a high-quality product and improve on it in future iterations.
In this job post, the employer pays much attention to the fact that a specialist they are searching for will have to cooperate much with other departments.
This example shows that a product designer has to be a Jack of all trades. DiversyFund is looking for a candidate that will take part in brainstorming, will make improvements right before the product launch, and have skills in interaction and visual design.
DefinedTalent hires a candidate who can help the customer to get rid of "inefficiency, volatility and economic waste annually". It means they are looking not only for someone who can design an appealing and usable interface but also for someone with strong business skills to meet the company's objectives.
TDA Creative is looking for a specialist who will "define the user experience through user research and a solid understanding of the business goals". It once again proves the importance of a business mindset for a product designer.
We can see that all the companies looking at product design resumes want the professionals to be team players and closely cooperate with other departments, have business sharpness and strong decision-making skills. As well, it is important for all employers to find a specialist with a minimum of 2-year product design work experience and a strong portfolio that proves this experience.
The examples above will help you to understand what to expect from a product designer and how to create the correct job vacancy.
To sum up
In general, it is difficult to clearly state every aspect of a product designer job. One thing that you can be sure of is that a product designer is solving problems. If we were asked to present a formula for a professional product designer it would be the following:
If you need to structure a chaotic set of tasks and find the best solutions for your product then complete a job description, and post a vacancy!
If you are in search of a perfect candidate that will not only make your product usable and appealing but also understands the product strategy and take into account both customers' and the company's needs read more about Eleken.