A quick guide: designer roles in the tech industry.

Have you ever felt confused about all the designer titles in the tech industry? I have and I still get surprised time to time. A while ago I got an email about a freelance request, they were looking for a Production Artist. I had never heard about that title before but I read the qualifications and there were words like create final art, UI screens, mockups, sketch, visual design and for me that sounds like a UI designer.

I started thinking about design titles and how many there are and how confusing it is. Therefor I’ve written this article to list the different roles and add some clarification of what’s going on. I’ve divided the roles into three sections; the experience designer, the look and feel designer and the all-in-one designer.

 

ux-app-flow

A sketch and flow of an app done by the experience designer

 

The experience designer

The roles in this section is about the experience of a digital product.

UX designer

UX or user experience designer is a trending role, everyone wants a UX. A UX designer decides what the digital product should contain and how it should act. The work include for instance user research, test functions and features, create wireframes and flows, build prototypes and do user tests.

UX can be divided into the two sections research and design. The first is about understanding the user and the market, find problem and potential solutions. The design section is about designing wireframes and prototypes to test the potential solutions that was found in the research.

Interaction designer (IxD)

This role is similar to UX designer but an Interaction designer can be more specified on the interaction between a human and a computer. They can be more concerned about the interaction elements.

Interactive designer

Similar to Interaction and UX designer.

IX designer

Similar to Interaction and UX designer.

Service designer

A service designer is a person that see the whole picture of an experience not only the digital product. They want to build a great customer experience (CX) by looking at the customers needs and their relationship to the company.

 

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ui design colors

Colours and shapes

 

The look and feel designer

The roles within the look and feel of a digital product is listed below.

UI designer

A UI designer (User Interface designer) sets the final design of apps, website or other digital products. It’s all about pixel perfection, choosing colours and typography, design icons and build balance in the layout.

Visual designer

Similar to UI designer but it can also include design for marketing and branding material, like banners and logos. In some cases work with photos and create visual/brand guidelines.

Digital Graphic Designer

Similar to Visual designer.

Digital designer

Similar to Visual designer.

AD (Art director)

Decides the look and feel of the product. Give the guidelines to a designer that translate it to mockups. This role can also be represented by the designers above.

Graphic designer

Depending on field the task for this role can vary. A graphic designer is pro on typography, composition, imagery, branding, doing logos and packaging design. Making graphic illustrations, campaign material and print — but that’s dying right?

 

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A all-in-one designer can do a bit of everything

 

All-in-one designer

Product designer

This role is a bit of everything when it comes to the design of a product and can differs from one company to another. But often it’s about UX, branding, marketing and aligning it with the business needs. In some cases UI design and front-end development.

Motion (graphic) designer

A motion designer is a person with a broad skill set. This person creates graphic design, illustration, animations, 3D art and films.

Fullstack designer

As the title says fullstack is about everything; UX, UI and front end development.

Web designer

This role is similar to the Fullstack designer but focus only on the web.

Designer

This vague definition open ups possibilities to add all the skills that are required. It could be qualifications that covers all the roles in this article, a super-designer.

 

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Conclusion

This list counts 16 different design titles and a lot of them are similar to each other. There are a lot of roles out there and misinterpreted occurs. I think that in a lot of cases the company doesn’t really know what they are looking for and that they rather are following a trend when defining the title.

I’ve stopped looking at the title, I’m reading what the description says. So don’t care to much about the title more about the requirements and qualifications.

I may have missed out roles in this article, in that case just write a comment and I will add it!

 

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Thanks for reading!

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