In today’s world there are many problems to be solved. Can you imagine what your life would be without one of your favorite apps or websites? Digital products have made our lives easier and there is a massive demand for them. That’s why the relevance of product designers has increased as well.
Besides being one of the most popular careers in technology and business today, jobs in product design pay well, and they're only getting better. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary ranges from around $38,550 to around $168,200 per year. In 2021, the median annual wage was $79,890.
If you have been considering getting into this marvelous on-demand career, keep reading as I will do my best to provide you with a guide from someone who transitioned from accounting to product design.
Product design is about building things that people are going to use. A product designer is somebody who will put themselves in the shoes of a user to be able to make a solution to solve a problem they might have.
We are humble, creative, curious, and innovative. We have to become sort of planners or strategists in order to achieve the best results that will satisfy both the users and the business we are working for in the long run.
If you want to become a great product designer, you must start getting to know your users and their goals, making questions such as: what is their desired end-state? How would they feel using your product? What difference can I make in their lives? If these questions ignite something inside of you, then this might be a good career fit for you.
Product designers must be able to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas for new products and improve existing ones through innovation and creativity.
Bear in mind when we talk about product design, we are referring to digital products and we are also talking about UX Design, UI Design and Web Design. Essentially these are branches of the same career and you might choose the direction you feel more drawn to, whether that’s designing websites or applications. UX Design is about usability and UI Design is about visuals, and a product designer does both.
I started out doing Web Design and have participated in many projects as I was freelancing, one of these projects was Wonsulting and I ended up working here because I loved the vibe from the company from the beginning and the fact they help so many people, to the point where I am today which is also working as a product designer for our brand new amazing app: ResumAI.
Product design is a broad field with many professional career paths. Some product designers typically might have a bachelor's degree in design, industrial design, architecture, or engineering, but that doesn’t mean you must too. You can transition from a totally different field and make it if you are willing to put in the work, whether that’s starting out learning on your own online or joining schools or boot camps, there are so many ways to get into product design nowadays and monetary resources should not be an impediment, especially if you are passionate about this job.
There are several paths you could take towards becoming a product designer, but they all involve some combination of these steps:
Product or user experience (UX) designers are responsible for creating the user experience of a website or mobile application. They are part of the team that designs and tests the product, and they may be involved in all stages of development.
The product designer interacts with the customer to understand what they want from the product. They then create wireframes and prototypes to show how it will work. A good user experience designer should be able to solve problems creatively, communicate effectively and work well under pressure.
The role can be summarized as a combination of research, design, and strategy.
We need to have a wide range of skills, but the most important ones are in the following areas:
Product designers need to know how to do research, both quantitative and qualitative. They also need to be able to use the results of their research effectively. This requires a combination of statistical skills and an understanding of human psychology. You should also be drowning in backed ideas before you start to test them.
The UI is what users see and interact with when using an app or website. Product designers create wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and visual designs for apps and websites. They also design page layouts and write HTML/CSS code or build websites with no code tools if necessary.
Designers are super perceivers and critical thinkers, and they must learn to communicate their designs clearly and listen more before they even make them.
Usability testing involves observing people while they use your app or website so you can identify usability problems (i.e., where they get stuck) before launching it into production. You can do this informally by videotaping yourself testing your own prototype, or formally by hiring someone like me to do it for you!
Product designers have a lot of control over the look and feel of an end product, as well as the design strategy and engineering. The best tool I know of in the market and the one I use is Figma.
Figma is a design program for making digital products and prototypes. It's an intuitive tool for creating interactive prototypes that look and feel like the real thing. It provides a browser-based interface with modern browsers on all platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS devices.
There are other tools such as Adobe XD and Sketch. However Figma has become the preferred option because it's built for designers by designers.
If you're interested in learning user experience design, there are many ways to do so. The best product designers have a combination of skills and interests that make them unique. Some were born with an eye for detail, while others learned through trial and error.
To get started on this career, be curious, search Google, find videos on YouTube, and read articles and books, and you will find a lot of information online to help you. Here are some options you might consider:
As a product designer you will have a lot of ideas. Success comes from having lots of ideas and testing them. We need to test our ideas to know their value, so don’t get too attached to ideas because this job is a work in progress.
A designer must focus on people and put them at the center of design thinking but also see the viability of their solutions on the company they are working for. Focusing on making something a good experience is not necessarily "good." We could even make people’s lives worse, as some apps cause addiction to technology and this is an unethical pursuit.
Designers who make their projects thinking of the impact they will leave on the world will make it better one app at a time. You can make a good career out of working with products and design. Product designers will continue to be employed by big companies and startups, leaving a noticeable mark on society.
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The year was 2020. We met Gary Pierre during our Wonsulting Project 2020, an initiative we launched to help thousands of job-seekers land internships and offers during the pandemic.