In the construction industry, there's an architect:

An architect is a person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

and an interior designer:

Interior design describes a group of various yet related projects that involve turning an interior space into an "effective setting for the range of human activities" that are to take place there

What are the software industry equivalents of these jobs?

I'm interested in what are the common titles of people who design how software should look and be interacted with?

Am I thinking of an interface architect, a user experience expert or something else?

  • 2
    There's a loooot of titles floating around out there and often any two companies will have entirely different views of what they do. Not sure you can really get a clear generic picture or a useful list
    – Zelda
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 21:21
  • When you're building a museum, it's a massive project. You need to plan it out before you start pouring concrete. You get an architect and a structural engineer to talk about the building. The architect envisions many possible outcomes and the engineer gets excited about the materials. "Hey! Did you know if we use metal here we can support..." They work together bouncing ideas off each other to make something great. For a long time in software, we had no architect. In a business context, the need for an information architect has developed. There's other new job titles, too. Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 23:26
  • 1
    The structural engineer is your software engineer or management information systems specialist. Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 23:28
  • 1
    The look is created by one or multiple of a graphic designer, ux designer, ui designer, etc. There is a feel that comes from the look, and that feel can be reinforced, expanded, diminished, or changed otherwise by the actual interactions (clicks, scrolling, hovering, dragging, dropping, etc). Interactions are created and/or refined by a interaction designer and/or ux designer. Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 0:53

3 Answers 3


I would call them X designer where X can be Interaction, User Experience, User Interface, Information, Graphic or null.

So Interaction Designer, User Experience Designer, User Interface designer, User Experience Engineer, Information Architect, Information Designer, Graphic Designer or just Designer. This is especially true in small companies where the roles are multiple and you do a lot of different things.

In larger cooperations the "look" is handled by the Graphic Designer and the "feel" by the Interaction Designer.

  • 1
    You can often switch designer with developer and see the same responsibilities. The market likes both in one person.
    – Itumac
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 22:07
  • 1
    but the developer most often actually writes code, while the designer doesn't.
    – Dvir Adler
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 7:44
  • 1
    I fully agree the answer from Benny. You may take a look to the following links: The Five Competencies of User Experience Design and UX Design Defined.
    – Padrig
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 18:09
  • @Padrig That was a quite amazing link you gave me, and I think you could elaborate on that article and make your own answer. Thanx again Padrig! Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 18:26

Look = UI Design
Interaction = UX Design

Those two overlap a lot. IMHO, UI Designer should incorporate both: How can you design an interface without developing/modifying the experience part of the picture? Someone who specializes in UX is a subset more narrowly focused on researching and advising on the user's interaction.

  • Look = Visual/Graphic Design. UI doesn't necessarily mean digital. The knobs on my oven are an interface. Many interactions = behavior. Interaction designer handles the interaction. Very few people design the actual experience. The link will show you some real examples of experience design. Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 23:14
  • Marc Hassenzahl's research is using the term 'UX' literally. Considering his research is happening today, we can expect business to catch up within 10 to 30 years. Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 23:21
  • @TylerLangan the OP was referring to software, so I think it's safe to say we're talking digital here. As for experience design, that's a fuzzy term, but ideally, the experience is designed by the team and organization as a whole (Though in reality, and unfortunately, rarely is it seen that way.)
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 1:55

What are the software industry equivalents of these jobs?

Well, for starters, 'interior design' is a fuzzy term. Just as are most job titles.

A certified interior designer tends to be someone with basically a pre-architecture degree that specialized in the construction of interiors.

That is opposed to an interior decorator, which often title themselves as 'interior designers' who handle most of the aesthetic surface decisions.

So, anyways, it's a fuzzy analogy to begin with.

All that said, just like construction, there are many, many job titles that can influence the final product.

In software, it can include nearly everyone:

  • Business Analysts
  • Systems Analysts
  • system architects
  • Software developers
  • ui developers
  • ui designers
  • graphic designers
  • interaction designers
  • ux designers
  • and many, many more.

It all depends on the particular organization makeup and project flow. It will vary not only from company to company, but from project to project within the same company.

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