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ID designer vs UX/user experience designer.

Postby scrubbydew » August 10th, 2009, 7:54 pm


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Hi, I posted the same questions up in the "general discussion board". Just found this "interaction" section and realized this might be the appropriate place to post my topic.

This might be a naive question for me to ask, but I was wondering what the difference is between an "Industrial Designer" and an "Ux/User Experience Designer." Or is a UX designer just a sub catergory under Industrial Design? How does one become a "User Experience Designer"?
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While some interaction (UX, User experience) designers went to school for industrial design, I would not say that Interaction design is a sub category of ID. Each discipline requires different skill sets.

In a nutshell:

• Industrial designers- design products (cars, electronics, furniture, etc)

• Interaction designers- design interfaces(Web, Mobile, Application, etc)--Although they also design the interaction between the user, the product and the interface. I.e. Bank patron-ATM-Interface.


To become an Interaction designer you can either go to school for it, or self teach and get an internship. Some of the programs for Interaction design can be called HCI (human computer interaction) or UX, etc. I believe there is a list of schools in this forum that offer programs. If not check out http://www.ixda.org/ for additional resources.

Also, check out some books:
http://www.designinginteractions.com/
http://www.amazon.com/About-Face-Essentials-Interaction-Design/dp/0470084111

Also check out:
http://www.cooper.com/insights/concept_projects/

Re: ID designer vs UX/user experience designer.

Postby cg » August 11th, 2009, 5:14 pm

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There are two common definitions for User Experience Design (UXD, XD):

1) It's is a new multi-disciplinary field that aims to design the total user experience with a brand, from print media, to packaging, to industrial design, to interface design. Think: Apple, Disney. Some have argued that there are no such thing as Experience Designers, only Experience Design managers who coordinate departments of a variety of specialties. A good example of this is Motorola Consumer Experience Design. No one has the title 'experience designer' there, instead there are Industrial Designers working alongside Interaction Designers, HFE's, CMF designers etc. I call myself an Experience Designer only because I am such a manager, and I am multidisciplinary.

2) Lately a lot of web designers have started calling themselves UX Designers. They're not multi-disciplinary, but they argue they are crafting the total experience a user has on their site. I can't argue with that, but it's definitely cannibalizing definition #1, which is the one I relate to. And unfortunately there are a million web designers for every multi-disciplinary UX designer, so they are destined to win this title. I guess I'll have to find a new title. Maybe "designer."

Few would consider Interaction Design (IxD) a sub-specialty of Industrial Design (ID), although historically this is accurate. Most Interaction Designers do nothing other than design software user interfaces, particularly on the web these days. They tend to come from the graphic design, HCI or Tech-Pubs and e-Learning world. Although IDEO co-founder Bill Moggridge coined the term in the 1980's, Alan Cooper clearly defined it in his book The Inmates are Running the Asylum.

Re: ID designer vs UX/user experience designer.

Postby yo » June 24th, 2015, 11:16 pm

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Although the clear fishing post bumped this topic up, it is a good bump.

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In the same train of thought, I've wondered why ID doesn't have some sort of formal certification as other design fields do. UXDesigners / IDers / Graphic designers... it seems these titles don't have much weight to them at all.
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rsuzuki wrote:In the same train of thought, I've wondered why ID doesn't have some sort of formal certification as other design fields do. UXDesigners / IDers / Graphic designers... it seems these titles don't have much weight to them at all.


I think having an ID cert would probably be hard to do, and maybe also be counter productive. The field is so wide.. I've always thought the flexibility of ID is it's biggest strength. Standardizing skills for certification purposes would take some of that away, and potentially skew the perception of the field/people.

At least the title still mostly fits though. In the world of UX the name game is getting silly. I'm finding that a lot of the work is now being called UX/UI, and is really just UI styling. UX is (at least from it's origins) supposed to be more of the research and information architecture side, but it seems like that's harder to sell to clients and C suite than some pretty brochure-ware. ..still, the name UX is popular. :/

Re: ID designer vs UX/user experience designer.

Postby yo » August 3rd, 2015, 12:29 pm

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I think that part of UX is now more actively called IxD.

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Fresh out of a UX talk I got to meet about 20 or so UX folks working for different startups and established companies around town, most of them do wireframes and analyze heat maps, work with product managers, designers, customer support and ultimately developers/engineers that code the interface, so while there might be an ID guy, engineer or manager calling the overall design and function, the detail of the interaction is handled by UX.

Most companies were doing non trivial cloud stuff, so in this case it entailed designing in photoshop the control panels with state transitions (the old way). but it seems the role is getting more into programming by making functioning mockups with Angular or other Javascript libraries that shorten the development time.

I've also done UX work for a few companies and my role is usually to design and implement in Javascript or html a wireframe to the point that the developer can connect the whole thing to the database and logic layers, but sometimes just handing over the design is enough. I think that to be effective at UX, you need to have a solid grasp of what the technology can and can't do in your product, but also an aesthetic sense and a desire to help the user succesfully navigate your product.
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As someone who changed their title to UX designer (And gave up CAD for the 2D kind of wireframe) there are a lot of naming confusions involved.

Ultimately you can call yourself whatever you want, UX tends to be the broadest, higher level version of the term. There is a great lack of consistency across the industry since it's still a young-ish and constantly evolving field.

You have Interaction Designers (typically focused on specific digital interactions and user interface design), Visual designers (who may be doing interaction, may be doing UX, but have the specific skillsets in making pixels look great), User Experience designers (who may do both of the above, but will also have a higher view of looking at every part of the customer journey, from digital aspects but also including things like physical hardware interaction, packaging, etc).

If you look at job descriptions the two are often used interchangeably, because it's hard to point to certain examples and say "this is UI" and "This is UX".

My favorite example is the cereal metaphor that was passed around years ago. http://edlea.com/blog/product-ux-ui-cereal/

The User Interface is ultimately the way a customer accesses your product. User Experience is someone who considers every part of the customer experience including the information architecture, product features, to what makes them buy it in the first place. A bowl of cereal can have a delicious cereal and fancy spoon, but if the milk is sour the whole thing tastes like sh*t. That is the importance of UX over UI.

Re: ID designer vs UX/user experience designer.

Postby yo » August 3rd, 2015, 5:54 pm

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Jut be a designer and you can do everything. :-)

Maybe the D should be capitalized?

Re: ID designer vs UX/user experience designer.

Postby Patrick46 » September 1st, 2016, 4:45 am


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To be a good UX designer, I suppose you need to know fundamentals of it. I reccomend to start from basic Ux Design Techniques.
There are a lot of good materials about this topic. You can start by reading this short article - https://www.cleveroad.com/blog/6-quick-ux-design-techniques-that-really-work
Good luck!


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UX is dedicated to a logic of how user interacts with application (yeah it's about web or app design). Imagine a carcass of a car without a car body,
it's UX, when you put a body on it, create a passenger compartment, brush it and etc etc etc - you're doing a UI.
It was a rough definition. If you want to pling into the world of web design, you should overhelm lots of techniques.
I've found a good article, a lot related to the above one https://thunderrise.com/blog/9-best-mob ... principles
My best wishes


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