The term designer is bandied around, but is an umbrella phrase that has so many possibilities as to what specific design role is being referred to. From print and digital to furniture and signs, the scope of design is wide and varied and our digital world had added lots of new titles to the mix. This great article https://www.fastcodesign.com/3032719/ui-ux-who-does-what-a-designers-guide-to-the-tech-industry inspired us to write and share this post.
Let’s break down and outline what digital design role does what – love a little glossary!
Graphic / visual designer
These guys have an eye for detail, paying attention to even the teeniest tiniest of dots in an image. Creating logos, icons, image layout and or manipulation, typography etc is what they are all about. They do not need to worry about with page linkage or clicks – what you see is their main concern – creating beautiful and engaging imagery and visuals.
UX (user experience) designer
Product feel is the name of the game for this lot – an engaging and logical flow to the customer journey on a PC / mobile / tablet on whichever site or app is what they are responsible for. User experience in this day and age is key, with customers abandoning sites if they are not logical and, engaging and easy to use. (No pressure)
UI (user interface) designer
Product layout is what these guys are responsible for – ensuring that the UI visually portrays the UX designer’s path, with each screen or page having all of its bits and parts in the right places. They are often also responsible for creating the style guide, ensuring consistent design is applied across the board for a product. It is not uncommon for companies to combine the UI & UX roles into one.
Motion designers are responsible for non-static animations within apps, websites and software. They utilise graphic design principles combining pictures, words, sound and video, in a film production context through the use of various animation techniques. When done well, motion guides consumers clearly, providing visual clues as to using the product.
These guys are responsible for the look and feel of a product; from the initial concept to the complete finished article. This role differs hugely from one company to the next, with some also responsible for research and front-end coding, on top of prototyping and the designing of interfaces and visual assets.
UX (user) researcher
This role champions the needs of users, testing and researching which designs best answer the product user’s needs. In a nutshell they need to answer ‘who are our users’ and ‘what do our users want’, and they do this by speaking with users, researching market data, gathering data and outlining required / suggested changes as a result. UX designers occasionally carry out this role within theirs.
Front-end (UI) developer
UI developers create a functional implementation of a product’s interface. They are responsible with turning a UI designer’s static mock-up into a fully functioning and interactive experience – bringing the product to life as such. Front-end developers are also responsible for coding any visuals the motion designer may come up with.
Please do let us know if you feel we have missed anything out or perhaps not gotten things quite right for these roles – everyday is a school day and we want to know!