UI Designer (aka. User Interface Designer)
Well, the title literally says it all, this person designs user interface including any kind of visual layer that stands between the user and a product (mostly digital products). The required fundamental knowledge for this position involves understanding of how human use and communicate with (digital) products to create functional and easy to use interfaces combined with a sense of aesthetic.
UX Designer (aka. User Experience Designer)
Perhaps this is the most tricky one which makes it often hard to explain to a layman. A User Experience Designer is the one whose responsibility is to make sure that the overall experiences of the target users while and after using the product is positive and fit close to the target’s demands. UX designers create mind maps, user journeys and real world usage scenarios to stimulate how would the target users use the product to create a solution which helps the users to accomplish their goals in the best possible way. Thus, their job is to make a lot of studied assumptions for which they design the solution to test and validate.
One of the most important step of the user experience design process is to study the users whose experiences they’re trying to design for. In order to do that, UX designers try to collect as information as possible about the target audiences by conducting interviews, making surveys, quantitative analysis etc. Collecting users data is an on-going process that never ends. UX designers collect and analyze the data constantly to create insights which will be the guideline for everyone else in not just the product team to make design and strategic product decision.
User Experience Designer doesn’t necessarily possess visual or graphic design skill set, however, an understanding of psychology and systematic design is a must.
This is basically graphic design or anything that needs a sense of aesthetic. Visual Designer’s main job is to make thing look pretty and stylish. Most of the time, this position involves working with things that need to be printed out such as book covers, branding packages, billboards, etc. However, it’s not just limited to print material, Visual Designer also creates beautiful digital websites, banners, infographics, etc. At the core, they’re best at beautifying stuffs.
I think this one is closely related to UI Designer except for the part that Interaction Designer is more about understanding human behaviors. Since the job is all about the layer that contains what happen between the users and the product, Interaction Designer should know how to design the interactions on a product to be easy to understand and meaningful. The product could be anything ranges from digital products such as websites and apps to a washing machine or a pen. Interaction Designer’s job is to create not just useful and functional interactions, but the interactions should be engaging as well to retain users attention and focus.
Product Designer is the person in charge of everything related to the concept and process of creating a product which satisfies the business’s needs as well as the customers’ needs. I think this title is a very likely to be confused with UX Designer since their jobs share a lot of mutual aspects. However, the difference of the Product Designer role is that this one’s responsibility is a little bit wider than UX Designer since it involves more than just user experiences. Product designing is consisted of many disciplines and aspects such as visual, user experience, functional, interaction and packaging design.
And for the bonus…
This is the most confusing title ever and yet every company and everyone is using it so wildly. For this title, it could be interpreted as a person who does a little bit of this and a little bit of that or both. Or it could be put in short as a UX Designer who also knows visual design.
However, in reality, most UX/UI designers actually spend most of their time doing UI works with a little bit of users study, which makes it a total UI design job. While, in most of those companies that employ this title, a part of the UX job is actually done by marketing and sale team.