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I do understand this issue but its framed a bit... strangely. I don't think it's accurate to call yourself "Product Designer", when in actuality you design web based user interfaces. I find it even more wrong if people who use that term to describe themselves practice gate keeping to people do describe themselves as web designers or frontend designers.
The term is important, it usually discerns what you do. Those terms for jobs have emerged because they people wo use them to describe themselves have a different constructed reality around their work. What that means is that they are not thinking any more about their work as "making websites" anymore, instead they are thinking about it as "making a product". So a web designer becomes a product designer.
The term doesn't say much about the people, it's says much about the industry we are working in. It shows that today, digital experiences are very often primarily thought of as marketable products first. This frame of thinking comes with its own terms for observed differences (= constructed reality; constructivism in a system). That is where this term is coming from. People don't think about websites anymore, they also don't think about experiences anymore, they think about products.
I don't think it's accurate to call yourself "Product Designer", when in actuality you design web based user interfaces.
This is the worst comment on designernews
didn't realise how much that throwaway comment would upset you, i'm sorry
Devil's advocate here (even though I don't have a horse in the ring), traditionally a "product designer" is someone who designs physical products, and was a distinctive field aside from graphic design.
Obviously the boundaries are different now.
Yeah, exactly. I remember it. The definition of product in this context has changed, expanded. Or, the way organisations think about designing a product has expanded to include digital experiences in that term.
I think this is my experience as well. Though I actually do believe experience design when enabled by data and strategic thinking is what makes great brands. Add good economics and it’s a great business too.
Good products and web interfaces are pretty similar now. AirBnB is a website? Facebook? They are products too so differentiating between web design and product design needs more clarity.
I think you have some very interesting points here.
I used to run a fast-growth startup. I was the hiring manager for several designer roles. It was indeed painfully frustrating when people used buzzwords to describe their job titles when in fact they weren't a fit skill wise (ex: "full-stack product designer" that could only do a part of the UI, never really did user research nor iterative design). A waste of time for everyone I would say, even during pre-screening calls.
And I 100% agree that a Product Designer should be able to do a lot more than design web based user interfaces.
So yes, words are important indeed.
The irony is that ideally, they shouldn't matter. The expectations should be super clear for everyone and self-awareness should be higher in the industry overall in my opinion. But that's another story
The irony is that ideally, they shouldn't matter. The expectations should be super clear for everyone and self-awareness should be higher in the industry overall in my opinion. But that's another story.
I totally agree!
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