3 Groups You Need for World-Class Design

3 Groups You Need for World-Class Design

Article written by Kate Valind

3 min read

The three main players when it comes to building digital products and services are Business, Design, and Technology (ordered alphabetically, not by importance). 


Each group brings a unique and pivotal perspective to a product team. Business is responsible for the needs of the organization. Common business roles* on a product team are Product and/or Project Manager (PM), Scrum Master, Data Analyst, and Business Analyst. They’re often most concerned about sticking to the timeline and the budget and making a profit. While Designers can get annoyed at this, I think we can also recognize how important this role is since we work to get paid. 


Design is responsible for the needs of the user. The needs are both emotional and practical. We’re responsible for both form and function. Common design roles* on a product team are Strategist, Researcher, UX Designer, Visual Designer, Copywriter, and Design Lead. Our role is important because creating a well-functioning product that also resonates emotionally with the user are significant factors when individuals or businesses decide to use or purchase a product.


Technology is responsible for how the product will be built — both what’s feasible and what’s possible. They know what our limits are and also what could push us to the cutting edge. Common technology roles* on a product team are Front-End, Back-End, and/or Full-Stack Developer, Engineer, Quality Assurance Engineer, and Architect. Their role is important because they ensure that something will actually be built.  


The push and pull from each group is what keeps healthy product teams in balance (and what throws unhealthy teams out of whack). In my work, I expect the PM (Business) to push the team to work quickly and efficiently. I also expect Design and Technology to push back and ask for more time if we see a risk in moving too fast. Usually everyone will have to compromise at one point or another. It will make your life a lot easier if you expect this to happen as you continue to fight for the needs of the user and what you need to do your best work. 

The three main players when it comes to building digital products and services are Business, Design, and Technology (ordered alphabetically, not by importance). 


Each group brings a unique and pivotal perspective to a product team. Business is responsible for the needs of the organization. Common business roles* on a product team are Product and/or Project Manager (PM), Scrum Master, Data Analyst, and Business Analyst. They’re often most concerned about sticking to the timeline and the budget and making a profit. While Designers can get annoyed at this, I think we can also recognize how important this role is since we work to get paid. 


Design is responsible for the needs of the user. The needs are both emotional and practical. We’re responsible for both form and function. Common design roles* on a product team are Strategist, Researcher, UX Designer, Visual Designer, Copywriter, and Design Lead. Our role is important because creating a well-functioning product that also resonates emotionally with the user are significant factors when individuals or businesses decide to use or purchase a product.


Technology is responsible for how the product will be built — both what’s feasible and what’s possible. They know what our limits are and also what could push us to the cutting edge. Common technology roles* on a product team are Front-End, Back-End, and/or Full-Stack Developer, Engineer, Quality Assurance Engineer, and Architect. Their role is important because they ensure that something will actually be built.  


The push and pull from each group is what keeps healthy product teams in balance (and what throws unhealthy teams out of whack). In my work, I expect the PM (Business) to push the team to work quickly and efficiently. I also expect Design and Technology to push back and ask for more time if we see a risk in moving too fast. Usually everyone will have to compromise at one point or another. It will make your life a lot easier if you expect this to happen as you continue to fight for the needs of the user and what you need to do your best work. 

*New titles and terminology for each discipline come out fairly regularly so you may be familiar with different roles. For example, you may know UX Designers as Customer Experience (CX), Service, Interaction, or Experience (XD) Designers. The specific job title can vary depending on the company and industry, but I tried to select the titles that generally indicate a common role on a product team.

*New titles and terminology for each discipline come out fairly regularly so you may be familiar with different roles. For example, you may know UX Designers as Customer Experience (CX), Service, Interaction, or Experience (XD) Designers. The specific job title can vary depending on the company and industry, but I tried to select the titles that generally indicate a common role on a product team.

Every Design Activity You Need to Know

Every Design Activity You Need to Know