Why do we need so many terms for designers in IT?

Design is awesome. The goal of a designer is to make things simple, easy and beautiful, but then why make it so complex by having so many types of designers. You have User Experience Designer, Interaction Designer, Visual Designer, UI Designer, Experience Designer. Why do we need all of them?

If you are one of the folks who is confused by this, then this post is for you!


I chose design as a career option back in 2005. Studied design for three years and have been helping in designing applications, websites, brands since. Back then, the importance of design wasn’t understood as much as it is today. It was much simpler. Companies hired a designer. They will call him/her a creative designer or a graphic designer and expect them to make things look pretty. Later things changed, like everything else, the design also evolved. Companies started looking out for talents who are focused on the different domains in design.

What are these domains?

There are many now, to name a few UX — User Experience, IxD — Interaction Design, VD — Visual Design, UI — User Interface, XD — Experience Design etc. The list goes on.

What are all these?

I get this question all the time. Trust me, it sometimes confuses designers as well.

IxD — Interaction Designer — One who is responsible for doing the research and coming up with wireframes.
VD — Visual Designer — One who is responsible for the look and feel of the product.
UX — User Experience Designer — Usually called for Interaction Designer.
UI — User Interface Designer — Usually called for Visual Designer.
XD — Experience Designer /Product Designer— Usually called for people who are skilled at both interaction and visual design aka T-Shaped profiles.

Still confused or don’t understand how these verticals work?

Here’s a comic that would help you understand better

Suppose the client is God (Client) and the service provider are Aliens(designers) 😉and say, the broader requirement is to create a human.

Problem statement : “I have created all other species(products), Now I need a species that is smart and intelligent”


In IT Industry, we have made it complicated by calling all this by different names. I think if we could make it simple, it will help the life of BA’s, PM’s, Recruiters life so easy. Next time when you work on a project, you shouldn’t be confused about the roles of a designer.
An interaction designer’s left brain will be very strong, he/she will be very logical in the way they think. They are responsible for doing the research and defining the product structure.
Visual designer will be responsible for defining the look and feel of it. They are right brain oriented. From the example shared above, we all share the same skeleton, but me and you look different and you see its the visual designer alien who did that.

PS — These are my interpretations from my experience. Designers please correct me if I am wrong or please add your points as comments. I await your thoughts.

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