What is a Product Designer in 2023?

Get the scoop on what a modern product designer should know and be prepared for. Uncover the perks of being a product designer, the necessary tools, and how to turn ideas into reality faster than ever!

What is a Product Designer in 2023?
Photo by Balázs Kétyi / Unsplash

Product Designers in 2023 are a vital part of any successful business. They are responsible for creating innovative products that meet customer needs and solve problems. Product designers must understand what customers want, what technology is available, and what the competition is doing to create effective solutions. They must combine design principles with engineering concepts to develop products that stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression on consumers. With so much technology at their fingertips, product designers can turn ideas into reality more quickly than ever before – making them indispensable members of any team looking to stay ahead of the curve.

Introduction to Product Designers

What’s product design?

Product design is a critical and valuable practice, allowing for the production of digital products, such as software or apps, and physical goods, like furniture and electronics. While product design typically starts with research to determine user needs and experiences, this field has notably become associated more with that digital product creation in recent years. Nevertheless, industrial designing — creating manufactured items — is highly sought-after in this field.

What’s product design?
Source: Thanzi Thanzeer on Unsplash

Product Designers are creative professionals who specialize in creating products that meet customer needs and solve problems. They combine design principles with engineering concepts to develop products that stand out from the competition. Product designers must understand what customers want, what technology is available, and what the competition is doing to create effective solutions. With technological advancements, and visual design tools, product designers can bring their ideas to life more quickly than ever – making them invaluable members of any team looking to succeed. In 2023, product designers will be vital to any successful business as they strive for innovation and excellence.

What Does a Product Designer Do?

A Product Designer's job is to create innovative products that meet customer needs and solve problems. They are responsible for conceiving, designing, and executing product ideas. This involves understanding what customers want, what technology is available, what rivals are doing, and what features should be included in the design. Product Designers must analyze customer feedback, research, and utilize data analysis to ensure their designs are up-to-date and effective.

Product Designers also need to have a deep knowledge of various software development tools, such as Adobe Photoshop and Sketch. This will enable them to prototype quickly and efficiently without hindering the creative process of a visual designer. Additionally, they must understand user experience (UX) principles to ensure their product concepts are always intuitively designed with the end user in mind.

What's a product designer?
Source: Budka Damdinsuren on Unsplash

Other duties include staying on top of industry trends, collaborating with various stakeholders, including engineers, marketers, UX researchers, etc., participating in user testing sessions to get user feedback on their designs, creating product specifications, and ensuring deadlines are met. Product Designers typically work within an agile environment that focuses on delivering high-quality products that meet customer expectations within tight deadlines.

Product designer vs. UX designer

Product Designers and UX Designers are two distinct roles that share many commonalities but also have distinguishing qualities. Product Designers focus on a product's planning, research, and development from inception to completion. They take a product from concept to reality by understanding what customers need and what technology is available. Then, they combine design principles with engineering concepts to create a product that stands out from the competition. Product Designers must also stay up-to-date with industry trends to deliver the best possible product solution.

On the other hand, UX designers focus more on how users interact with the product once it has been created. Through user testing sessions and data analysis, UX designers can identify what works well within an existing product design and what needs improvement. They must understand user experience (UX) principles to ensure their intuitive designs meet customer expectations.

Product designer vs. UX designer
Source: Milad Fakurian on Unsplash

Both roles combine technical skills and creative thinking to craft successful products that solve problems for customers. However, what sets them apart is their specific areas of focus: Product Designers handle developing a new product. At the same time, UX Designers refine existing products based on customer feedback and data analysis. Teams must understand this distinction to better utilize both roles according to their needs.

What Are The Most Common Product Design Roles?

In the product design world, there are many different titles that one can take on.

  1. Interaction. Designers focus on improving a product's functionality to provide optimal user experience when interacting with its interface.
  2. Experience. Architect concentrates on mapping user stories and journeys through a product's info architecture and UI to boost users' emotional responses.
  3. Information. Architects are the masterminds behind a digital product organization. They aim to assist users in easily obtaining and categorizing the information they need so that navigation feels intuitive.
  4. Industrial. Designers specialize in refining physical products such as electronics, furniture, and more - merging form with function for an optimal user experience.
What Are The Most Common Product Design Roles?
Source: Faizur Rehman on Unsplash

Qualifications for a Product Designer

Qualifications for a Product Designer include strong critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaborative skills. They should understand user experience (UX) principles and be up-to-date with industry trends. Additionally, proficiency in various software development tools such as Adobe Photoshop or Sketch is essential to effectively bring product ideas to life. Finally, knowledge of the technical aspects of product design and relevant skills such as coding languages and web standards is important for a successful Product Designer.

What Skills do Product Designers Need?

Product designers are tasked with creating and improving new products, requiring them to possess a blend of technical, creative, and problem-solving capabilities. Such proficiencies include:

Hard skills

  • User research and testing
  • Interaction and user interface (UI) design
  • Visual design
  • User experience (UX) design, including wireframing and prototyping
  • Project management
What Skills does a Product Designer Need?
Source: MING Labs on Unsplash

Soft skills

  • Creativity
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Decision-making and accountability

Product Designer Salary

Product Designers are in high demand and have the potential to make big money. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Product Designer is more than $90k per year, with salaries ranging from $65k to more than $120k.

Product Designers also have the potential for career advancement and bonuses depending on their experience level and performance. Those with a few years of experience can expect salaries closer to $100k or higher, while senior designers may make up to $125k or more. Some employers may also offer bonuses of up to 25% of an individual's base salary.

Product Designers can expect to see a bump in salary depending on what industry they work in and what city they are located in. Companies in major tech hubs such as San Francisco and New York City generally offer higher salaries than elsewhere due to the local competition for their skillset. Additionally, Product Designers who specialize in mobile design tend to earn more than those who focus on web design, especially if they have experience working on innovative products that are widely used.

Product Designer Salary
Source: Milad Fakurian on Unsplash

Overall, there is significant earning potential for experienced Product Designers with strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills and knowledge of software development tools and user experience principles. It could be a lucrative financial and professional move for those pursuing a career in this field.

What Does a Product Designer Do Daily?

The duties of a product designer vary by industry, but specific general tasks must be performed daily. One should consider these typical responsibilities when pondering what a product designer does. These include:

  • Gathering user feedback through surveys and usability testing to accurately identify the needs of target users.
  • Coordinating with fellow team members to guarantee that the product meets all necessary conditions.
  • Enhancing designs in response to customer input for an optimal experience.
  • Crafting operational prototypes of the product for testing.
  • Exploring cutting-edge design trends and technologies to create pioneering products.
  • Managing the entire design process from start to finish while ensuring it is completed on schedule and within budget limits.
  • Continually monitoring the product's performance to guarantee customer satisfaction and make revisions if necessary.
What Does a Product Designer Do Daily?
Source: Tool., Inc on Unsplash

The Future of Product Designers

The future of product designers looks bright. With the ever-growing demand for new, innovative products and services, product designers will play an even more critical role in developing successful products. As technology evolves rapidly and customer expectations rise, product designers must stay on top of industry trends and use their creativity to develop solutions that meet these needs.

As automated technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) continue to be incorporated into product design, product designers must become familiar with this technology to stay ahead of competitors. AI enables the automation of tasks such as data analysis and user testing for system design, making it easier for product designers to focus on what they do best – creating user-friendly designs that customers love. Additionally, AI can help them identify potential problems before they arise, allowing them to adjust their designs quickly.

Product design teams are also becoming increasingly collaborative in nature. Companies recognize the benefits of utilizing multiple disciplines within the design process. This includes bringing together UX researchers, visual designers, marketers, engineers, and other stakeholders to create more holistic products that address customer needs from all angles. As teams become more diverse and interdisciplinary, product designers must develop strong communication skills and learn to collaborate effectively with others outside their expertise.

Finally, with a stronger emphasis on sustainability and ethical practices in business today, companies are looking for ways to make the industrial design of their products greener and more sustainable over time. Product designers will play an integral role in this transition by incorporating eco-friendly materials whenever possible and ensuring their creations adhere to ethical standards throughout production.

The Future of Product Designers
Source: Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash

In short, the future of product design is exciting for those willing to think creatively and challenge existing norms to create unique solutions that users love. Product Designers have what it takes – creativity, technical knowledge, and an understanding of what customers want – to stay ahead in this ever-evolving industry!


Product designers are the key to creating innovative, user-friendly products that customers love. With technology constantly evolving and customer expectations rising, product designers must stay ahead of industry trends and be familiar with automated technologies such as AI to create successful designs. Additionally, they should develop strong communication skills and work collaboratively within diverse teams to ensure their creations meet all customer needs. Finally, product designers will be essential in transitioning companies towards more sustainable practices by incorporating eco-friendly materials into their designs wherever possible. Ultimately, what makes a great Product Designer is creativity combined with technical knowledge. So if you have what it takes to become a product designer, now’s the time to start!