The fluidity of job titles in design

Searching for a new job is always a daunting task but the ever-shifting titles associated with design only makes finding the right opportunity more challenging.

Updated April 15, 2019

Go search for design jobs in your area on any of the major job sites, and you’re likely to find Product Design and UX Design dominate the listings. At first glance, these roles appear to be similar — to the point that the terms seem interchangeable. Upon closer inspection, notable differences become apparent, and it is possible to position yourself for success if you choose the right program.

Product Designers are often tasked with the job of weighing user needs against business concerns and technical realities. They collaborate with multiple teams, and because of that they possess a wide variety of skills but are rarely experts in any single area.

Conversely, UX Designers tend to focus their attention on user concerns and dive deeply into research to ensure they clearly grasp the problem before pushing a team toward any particular solution. UX Designers are often specialists, but many listings tack on additional requirements that move some of these job postings closer to their Product Design peers. This is where you might see UX/UI listings appear — which is the specific listing that Product Design positions have gravitated to in recent years.

Many other design specialist roles likely appeared in your job search. A sampling of those are included below:

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