What is the difference between product design and digital product design?

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digital product design

Evolution is not just in biology, but also in design. Do you believe it?

Yes, starting from merely being a ‘design’ industry including all branches of design, now the design industry has classified facets. One such facet is the product design field.

However, the product design field itself has got classified as product design and digital product design. Are you aware of it?

The slightest upgrade and element addition has sparked the rise of separate divisions, i.e., digital product design and the element added is digitalization.

Do you want to know in detail the difference between product design and digital product design?

Read this blog from us, JS Institute of Design.

What is product design and digital product design?

Product design is a comprehensive process of ideating, conceptualizing, prototyping, designing and finishing a product of any kind, say, electronics, appliances, vehicles and much more.

Most commonly, product design deals with designing physical products and goods based on various factors such as aesthetics, ergonomics, sustainability, etc.

On the other hand, digital product design is designing digital products such as software, applications, etc. This process involves major software development cycles, usability testing, and much more.

So, product design and digital product design are related yet distinct fields based on the products they design and develop.

Moving on, here is a detailed view of the major differences between product design and digital product design.

Major Differences Between Product Design and Digital Product Design:

There are certain prominent factors that differentiate product design and digital product design which are detailed below.

Factors Product DesignDigital Product Design
Medium and MaterialProduct design deals with physical materials such as metals, plastics, textiles, composites, etc to create physical products or goods
Material handling considers factors such as cost, manufacturing processes, sustainability, etc.
Digital product design focuses on using software, digital tools, etc to create interfaces and digital experiences by using digital elements such as data architecture, visual elements, etc.
Tools and TechniquesProduct design also includes physical prototyping tools such as 3D printers, CNC Machines, etc.
It also uses digital tools such as basic design software, CAD, etc for basic design creation.
Digital product design uses all digital tools for various purposes such as wireframing and prototyping tools such as Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, InVision, etc.
User Factor ConsiderationsProduct design considers certain user factors such as ergonomics, physical comfort, safety, usability, etc as for physical products.Digital product design focuses on user experience (UX), user interface (UI) design, navigation, accessibility, and usability testing often with clickable prototypes.
Development and Production AgendaDevelopment and production of products in product design is quite complicated and requires massive machines of high cost at times. 
A wide range of product processes such as molding, casting, machining, and assembly are involved which are time and power-consuming aspects.
The process of development in digital product design involves coding, framework development, iteration, etc which are manually easy, yet mentally tough and time-consuming.
Timecycle and IterationThe time cycle for physical product production is longer with minimal iterations. Digital products are developed in a shorter time with easy update and iteration facilities
Distribution and User reachScaling production involves considerations of material availability, manufacturing capacity, logistics, and storage. Distribution is physical and can be costly and complex.Scalability can be vast and rapid, as distributing digital products often involves merely server capacities and digital download capabilities. The marginal cost of distribution per additional user is typically low.

These are the major differences between product design and digital product design.

We provide insight into these contexts because we offer a remarkable digital product design course at our college which is detailed below.

Also Read: Digital Product Design Skills for Beginners: Tips and Tricks

Digital Product Design Course at JS Institute of Design:

JS Institute of Design takes pride in offering courses in one of the latest and prominent fields of design, i.e., digital product design, and here are the course details on various aspects such as eligibility for product designing courses, etc.

Course NameBachelor’s degree in digital product design
Course DescriptionBachelor’s degree in Digital Product Design course is a course that trains students in all aspects of digital design such as UI/UX design, user experience interface, user experience research, and much more. 
This course imparts advanced in-depth field knowledge and prepares students with remarkable solution-developing skills.
Duration 4 years
Eligibility CriteriaThe fundamental digital product design courses eligibility criteria are as follows:
Candidates should be a minimum of 17 years of age.Candidates should have completed 10+2 with a minimum of 50% aggregate score at any recognized educational institution.
Admission ProcedureAdmission to UG in Digital Product Design at renowned design colleges is provided by conducting entrance exams and personal interviews.
Scope The scope of product design and digital product design together is significant as the product design industry is hitting higher levels with a market value of USD 14415.67 billion by 2022.
Jobs Here are the digital product design jobs that are available:
Product DesignerProduct ManagerProject design analysis consultantDesign ConsultantAdvertising Director

All details ranging from digital product design criteria to admission procedure have been covered in the above table for your reference. 

Now, tell us whether you are interested in becoming a digital product designer by taking up our digital product design. We are here to provide you with remarkable education on digital product design.


As a point of conclusion, we would highlight that there is a difference between product design and digital product design yet both facets require almost similar skills except computer and coding knowledge. Choose the best one for you based on your skills.


  1. What is the difference between product design and digital design?

The ultimate difference between product design and digital product design is the physical product and digital products are designed respectively.

  1. What are the two types of product design?
  • Industrial product design
  • Engineering product design
  1. What is digital vs physical product design?

Digital product design is designing digital products such as software, applications, etc while physical product design deals with designing physical products such as electronics, appliances, etc.

  1. What is digital production designer?

A digital production designer is responsible for idea generation, conceptualization, designing, prototyping, and production of digital products.