At this moment in time, there’s some chaos out in the ‘Design’ industry about titles, who does what.
As I’ve continued to learn, my thinking around what certain titles and scopes should be has changed a lot, and I think the industry is slowly moving towards settlings some of these and not being so chaotic. So here’s my perspective on types of design and how it shakes out in real life.
Types of Design
- Strategy Design– Chipotle has defined what it wants to do and why. It has chosen the direction of offering build-your-own bowls of tex-mex in in-person restaurants and ordering online. Catering. It does not try to do other things, such as also make donuts — that would be against its strategy. That’s not to say offering donuts would be bad, there are strategies where perhaps a fusion donut & tex-mex shop could work, but it doesn’t do that and focuses in on what it does.
- Service Design — Ok, now execute that strategy direction of offering build your own tex-mex bowls. There is an overall service/process such as: customer receives email to promotion, goes to app to order, chef receives the order, cooks the order, marks it as complete, cashier bagging the order, customer going to store and picking up the order. The key is that this design encompasses both what happens with the company, their systems, the employees and the user.
- User Experience Design — everything that the customer sees: the portion of receiving email, using the app to order, going to the store and picking up is the actual user’s experience. Sometimes this is also bucketed in Service Design, but sometimes it’s helpful to split out just the customer’s portion. This may or may not be a job — it’s everyone’s job to take their piece and place it in.
- Product Design — how does the customer use the app to make an order. Many UX jobs are actually for this portion, but I’ve noticed the industry shifting to call these digital product designers’ and that UX designers (mostly because they need some sort of career progression) move up into the level I described above, and then further up.
- Creative Design — the brand feeling, tone & voice, visual motifs that are peppered throughout everything — the email the customer received, the website they visited, the app they downloaded.
Wait what about UX Design as a job title?
Can one person do the above? Yes-ish. I’m working for an entrepreneur and am fulfilling most of the above. I’ve also been studying pretty intensely for almost 10 years. Despite everything the UX Bootcamps tell you — it’s not an entry level job, and it’s not just about websites and apps.
It honestly depends on the size of the organization
You can’t have these as different job titles if you don’t actually have bodies to fill them out. That’s what UX Design has been in the past, an immense job that goes deep into a huge number of disciplines to create a service or product that is centered on the user. But, as an organization grows larger, service or products grow larger, it’s too complex for one person.
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Ashley Crutcher is the Director of Experience Strategy at InterVarsity located in Madison, WI. She tweets at @ashleyspixels and enjoys cuddling with her furkiddos, crocheting/knitting, ringing handbells, and thinking too much about everything.