What Is the Difference Between Product Design and Design Engineering?

Product design and design engineering are two distinct but related disciplines. Product design focuses on developing a product’s appearance, usability, ergonomics, and other aspects of its look and feel.

It is often associated with the industrial design field. Design engineering is a more technical discipline focused on the development of functional components and systems. It involves the detailed analysis of system requirements, materials selection, and manufacturing processes.

Product design is typically concerned with creating attractive products that have an intuitive user experience. This can involve creating a product’s overall shape and color scheme, as well as determining how easy it is to use.

It may also involve considering usability features such as tactile feedback or voice control. The goal of product design is to create products that are visually appealing and easy to use.

Design engineering takes product design one step further by focusing on the technical aspects of a product’s development. This includes analyzing system requirements, selecting materials for components, and considering factors such as cost efficiency or environmental impact when designing parts or systems.

Design engineers must also consider how components interact with each other, as well as how they will be assembled in the final product. This requires a deep knowledge of manufacturing processes and engineering principles such as mechanical strength or vibration damping.


The key difference between product design and design engineering lies in their focus areas – product designers primarily focus on aesthetic aspects while design engineers focus on technical aspects such as system requirements, materials selection and manufacturing processes.