It is very easy to learn how to become a product designer without any form of experience. If you’re looking for where to start out, you are in the right place.
Let’s look at all you need to know about a product designer and how to become one.
1. What is Product Design?
Product design is known to be the process of improving user experiences by developing design-based solutions for brand-new products. You should know that the starting point of this process is solely based on design thinking. This has to do with giving priority to the needs of the customers, no matter the circumstance.
There is a branch of product design known as industrial design where the design processes are employed to create physical products like cars, furniture, mobile phones, and other items.
You should know that product design is a very essential part of today’s present tech industry. This is because it helps to develop coherent digital interfaces like websites, software, and applications.
The main focus of product design is to ensure that the needs and preferences of the user are satisfied as factors like market demand, manufacturable, and usability are put into consideration.
2. Types of Product Designers
Listed below are the types of product designers:
2.1. Furniture Designer
These types of product designers are concerned with designing furniture. This includes imploring and exploring new designs as they apply the traditional method. You should know that most furniture designers take courses in interior design to produce really nice and captivating designs.
2.2. Automotive Designer
These types of designers as their name implies are responsible for creating, designing, and developing automobile parts, ergonomics, and their components. You should know that the automobile industry is broad as it consists of designing different types of vehicles like trucks, cars, buses, motorcycles, scooters, and vans.
It is also not a job that can be accomplished by one main. It requires teamwork and hard work to achieve the goal of an excellent finished product. The job of the product designer in this field is to ensure that they are accountable for the electrical, electronic, mechanical, safety, and software aspect.
2.3. Packaging Designer
Packaging designers are concerned with creating and developing visually appealing and functional packaging for products. They put into consideration factors like usability, branding, product protection, and shelf appeal.
These types of product designers make sure that the packaging design is in line with the identity of the products and catches the interest of consumers.
2.4. User Experience Designer
UX designers are tasked with the responsibility of improving the all-around user experience of a product. They involve in the research and analysis of the behavior of the end users.
They also conduct usability testing and create intuitive interfaces. These types of product designers make sure that the products are easy to use and give out a positive and coherent experience.
2.5. Industrial Designer
You should know that industrial designers dwell on the functionality and physical appearance of a product. To be able to create a unique product, they consider factors like materials, aesthetics, ergonomics, and manufacturing processes. Their main aim is to produce products that will catch the interest of the users.
2.6. Design Strategist
They are concerned with the strategic part of product design. They also make sure that they identify the needs of the users, conduct market research and create designs that are in line with the goals of the business.
You should know that design strategists combine forces with multidisciplinary teams to make sure the design of the products meets all of the user requirements.
3. Importance of Product Design
Since product design plays an important role in the accomplishment of a product. Here is the importance of product design:
3.1. Distinguishes You From Competitors
It’s evident that what makes Apple products different and unique from other brands of mobile phone brands is their product design. You should know that your product design should be able to be identifiable by your target audience but also functional. This can help create a lasting impression on your customers and help to build a strong and reputable brand.
3.2. Easily Earn Attention
It is important to note that for your brand to stand out, you hire a good product designer. You can capture your customer’s attention through the excellent designs and advertisements of your brand on social media. This will guarantee a long-lasting brand and long-term success.
3.3. Credibility and Loyalty
There are thousands of ways brand loyalty can be achieved. It is pertinent to note that creative and effective brand designs would build your brand’s loyalty and credibility.
When you have an excellent brand design, rest assured that your brand’s loyalty will increase. Everyone loves to be associated with a good brand that has amazing aesthetics.
3.4. Functionality and Efficiency
You should know that an excellent product design will make sure that the functionality of a product is effectively accomplished. Product designers also make sure that factors like durability, usability, manufacturable, and reliability. Another plus to this is that the products not only meet the needs of the end users but also reduce errors and improve overall user experience.
3.5. Cost Optimization
There are some decisions made in the early stage of product development that can impact the cost of manufacturing. They put into consideration some factors like assembly techniques, material selection, and production techniques.
This is done without any form of compromise on the functionality and quality of the product. When you have a cost-effective design, your company will be able to achieve profitability and also maximize the return on the investment made.
4. Who is a Product Designer?
A product designer is simply a professional who majors in developing and bringing to life the design aspects of a product. Product designers make sure that make ideas and concepts into products that would meet the user’s intent and also be aesthetically pleasing.
You should know that a product designer is a creative and innovative problem solver who makes use of both analytical and artistic skills to find solutions to design problems.
They have a thorough understanding of the needs of the users, the market trends, and technological improvements so that they can develop products that can meet the user’s requirements.
5. Roles of a Product Designer
Product designers are tasked with different roles and responsibilities. Here are some of them:
- They conduct thorough market research to understand the needs and behavior of the user.
- Collaborate with different stakeholders and top people in the design industry to define product goals and success metrics.
- They gather user feedback, insights, and data to make decisions during the design process.
- Product designers analyze competitors and products to know the gaps and opportunities for innovation.
- Create storyboards and sketches to visualize designs
- They deliberate and join forces with multi-disciplinary teams to explore innovative solutions.
- Design and create interactive prototypes and conduct usability testing to get feedback that would help iterate designs.
- They make sure that there is accessibility and inclusivity in all designs made.
- Generate creative ideas and concepts for new products
- They make sure that the user interface is visually appealing and in accordance with the brand’s purpose.
- Collaboration and communication.
- Iteration and Improvement of designs.
- Ensuring design consistency and quality
- Incorporating feedback
6. Skills of a Product Designer
As a product designer, there are a variety of skills you must possess. Some of these skills include:
6.1. UI/UX Design
It is very important that product designers become proficient in both UI/UX design. This would help the designer create a visually appealing interface as well as an interactive interface that guarantees a seamless and enjoyable experience.
6.2. Design Software
One key skill a product designer must have is knowledge of design software like Figma, Adobe Creative Suite, and Sketch. This would help them bring their creative ideas to life.
6.3. Communication Skills
A product designer should possess excellent communicable skills to be able to explain designs and understand design concepts. This skill will help them assimilate feedback from their end users.
6.4. Visual Design
It is very important that a product designer has excellent visual design skills. This does not only help to create an attractive interface that would capture the eyes of the end users, but it also helps to ensure overall visual consistency. Using the right color, iconography and typography will go a long way.
Since product designing involves collaboration with other team members and developers, it is crucial that they develop the skill to be able to work with others. This would help them take decisions that would benefit the company of business.
6.6. Design Thinking
It is very crucial that product designers get themselves familiar with design thinking processes as it helps them to look at the problems from the perspective of human reasoning. It would help enhance the creativity and design process.
6.7. Time Management
As a product designer, you should know that meeting project deadlines and being able to manage different design tasks would require excellent time management skills.
It is essential that product designers are able to adapt to the ever-changing and improving trends in the industry. Knowing how to use modernized tools will help ease your work, create nice designs and take your career to the next level.
6.9. Basic Front-end Development
Having empathy is one skill every product designer should have. This helps them create designs from the lens of the end users. Understanding the needs of the users would birth a design that would resonate with them.
7. How to Become a Product Designer
The fact that you have a knack for design doesn’t mean that you automatically become a product designer. It is a rare combination of your skills, a good education, and practical experiences.
Here are the steps you can follow if you want to become a product designer:
7.1. Get Relevant Skills
There are skills in the design industry that you can learn that who help you elevate your career. These skills include learning how to use design software like Sketch, Figma, or Adobe Creative Suite.
Understanding UI/UX design skills would help create an interesting and interactive user experience. You should not leave out the basic coding knowledge as it gives you an edge in your field.
7.2. Gain Practical Experience
There are internships and entry-level positions in tech companies or startups you can apply to. It would help you brush up on your skills and you would have a first-hand experience of what the industry looks like. Gaining experience can also help you work and collaborate with other designers in your field.
7.3. Build a Portfolio
Building a portfolio would help you showcase your past design projects to prospective employers. You should know that you can freelance and also work on personal projects to build your portfolio.
It is very important that you connect with design communities, forums, and social media groups to communicate with other designers. There you can share knowledge, learn from fellow designers and seek advice. You should also try to create a strong LinkedIn profile that would help showcase your work to potential employers.
8. Factors that Affect Product Design
There are different factors that influence and affect product design, they include:
It is very important a product designer is able to balance giving an excellent visually appealing product and cost-effectiveness. Getting all the materials needed within a fixed budget is crucial as it helps to announce the designer’s brand. This is however a big limitation to a designer as they try to be creative within the allocated budget.
Getting the right size and shapes for your design is mostly based on the analysis made. Most clients would deeply appreciate it when the products are in alignment with the trends in the industry. Hence, this factor would affect the design.
8.3. Customer Requirements
It is very important that as a product designer, you satisfy the needs of the customer. It is the sole responsibility of the designer to get all of the requirements from the client before moving on to creating the prototype. This should be done in a way that catches the attention of the target audience.
It is important that your designs have environment-specific protection governing them. For instance, if you are going to use your product in an industrial setup, you should know that it has to follow the Ingress Protection that would prevent any form of damage.
It is very important that you have a good understanding of all the materials that would be used in designing the product before you commence. The quality of the material used would greatly impact the product design.
9. In the End
You should know that you need to be dedicated, creative, and passionate about designing to become a product designer. Learn to sharpen your skills and network with top product designers in the industry. This would help increase your chances of making it big in the field.[amazon_auto_links id="280559"]