Is it true that the role of "product designer" was invented by Facebook? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Luke Woods, VP and Head of Design, Facebook, on Quora:

I can't claim that the role "product designer" was invented by Facebook, but like to think that we helped to popularize product design in tech. When Facebook started using product design it was common to have roles focused on UX design, UI design, user experience, interaction design, etc.. Today it is becoming more common for companies in tech to use product design.

Why do we use product design at Facebook? For several reasons:

  1. Product design highlights that design is integrated into the entire end-to-end product development process. The role isn't fragmented into sub-parts like strategy or production. This enables a single designer to have a seat at the table with their engineering, PM, etc. counterparts.
  2. Product design is true to what we control--the product that we make. We put people at the center of everything we design and we hope to offer people products that help them accomplish the things they care most about.
  3. Product design implies designing something that is useful, interactive and personalized vs. something that is more about marketing or communications. Many designers have transitioned from roles working at ad agencies to working on products.
  4. Product design has deep roots in the broader field of design. Historically it has been associated with physical products like cars or phones, but today digital products play an increasingly important role in our lives. Surprisingly few people realize that the apps we depend on day to day are products of design and that there's a high-demand career path for product designers in tech.

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Published on: Sep 5, 2017