Over the years, designers or companies have chosen to use the term ‘product design’ rather than industrial design as it’s slightly more specific than the vast field of industrial design.
As previously mentioned, product design is a specialized field within the broader spectrum of industrial design. product designers are often hired to design everything except for vehicles. Vehicle design (land, air and water) is a field that has its own traditions and practices and often prefers to hire designers who have specialized in automotive or transportation design. This leaves virtually everything else up to product designers. Today, software or digital products as well as services are often in the territory of product designers. In some cases, product design includes a sub-field of specialists called engineering designers. Given the common goals and roles played by the field of industrial design and product design, using one term instead of the other certainly leads to confusion for some. The field of product design and industrial design do overlap and sometimes the distinction between the two isn’t so clear.