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Industrial Design vs. User Experience Design

career change Aug 17, 2022

Whether you’re deciding what career is right for you, changing careers, or changing disciplines within a field, understanding and weighing out your options is a good first step in making your decision. Natural skills, cost, education requirements, and day-to-day duties of a profession are extremely important in choosing what you want to do with your life.  

The Guac knows this is no easy choice and has complied a comparison of industrial and UX design to help you weigh your options. We've got you covered even if you’re just browsing the web for potential design careers. 

What is Industrial Design?

Think about the last time you bought a new toothbrush. You probably went in expecting a couple of options, maybe knowing which one you want. Then suddenly, there are tens of toothbrushes in front of you. Some are electric, some are pink, some are made from bamboo, and some sing songs to you! This is a simple example of industrial design. Hundreds of industrial designers are out there making their best toothbrush models for different consumer needs as we speak.  

More broadly speaking, Industrial Design focuses on improving the quality of life by creating more efficient designs of everyday objects/systems/services.


What is User Experience (UX) Design?

While Industrial Design might affect how users interact with your toothbrush, User Experience Design affects how users interact with an interface. User Experience Design focuses on forming solutions to everyday problems, researching, and testing these solutions. It is concerned with the user-product relationship and creating easy-to-use designs. The overall goal of a UX Designer is to create a positive user experience. Similar to Industrial Designers, a UX Designer will also cater to different consumer needs and target a specific audience.


How Does Industrial Design Compare to UX Design?


Industrial Design

UX Design

Educations Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in industrial design or a related field


  • Certificate program or related Bootcamp (there are no specific industrial design bootcamps - however, a product design Bootcamp will provide necessary information to start a career)

  • Bachelor's degree (in some cases)

  • Bootcamp or program with certification (alternative to a bachelor's)


  • Creating efficient products/systems

  • Targeting a specific user group

  • Catering to users' and clients' needs

  • Physical products

  • Finding solutions to real-world problems

  • User testing

  • Interaction and Visual Design

  • Targeting a specific user group

  • Catering to users' and clients' needs

  • Digital Interface

Top Skills

  • Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Analytic Research

  • Solidworks/3DSMax/Keyshot

  • Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Analytic Research

  • Sketch/Invision/Principal

Average Salary


$105,020 - 160,000

Do Industrial Designers Make Good Candidates For UX Design?

The main difference between UX Design and Industrial Design is that UX Designers' job encompasses more of a visual element and includes an interface. With this comes the element of perfection. For Industrial Designers, there is less room for error with a finished product. In UX Design, you can make changes even after the product is out there. However, both user testing and a trial and error method.

 Overall, yes, Industrial Designers make amazing candidates for UX designers. Both types of designers research consumer needs, target a specific audience, aim to add value with their design, and share the goal of producing desirable designs that will improve lives. 

Great designers in both these professions share many traits and skills. This gives Industrial Designers a head start in their switch to UX Design. These skills include


Empathy - In order to meet the needs of clients/users/the public, designers must be empathetic to various needs and inclusive in their designs. A good designer will put themselves in the user's shoes.

Communication - Storytelling is a huge part of the UX Design process. A designer's ability to communicate their ideas and sell their designs is essential. 

The desire to learn - Both of these design fields are constantly changing. This is especially true for UX design, considering it is done online.

Collaboration -  Designers typically work with multiple teams at a time for a single project. This is a great skill industrial designers will use in UX Design.

Research & Problem Solving - Research is the first step in any design process. Industrial and UX Designers aim to solve problems for users. They understand these problems through thorough research.


Start your Design Career today!

I know what you're thinking, these UX salaries must be coming from people with a formal UX education. How could anyone transition to an entirely new industry with a high-paying salary in under a year? Well, I have news for you. The high UX Design salaries are achievable by anyone! Graduates of the immersive, self-paced, and low-cost boot camp from Avocademy have an average salary of $85,000. Schedule a free mentoring session with a UX designer today!



Brynn is an aspiring UX designer who loves the beach, cooking, drawing, and meeting new people. She loves her avocados on a big salad or in a breakfast burrito.

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