Not everyone can solve problems successfully. If you’re someone who can easily empathise with others by putting yourself in their shoes, we have just the right profession planned for you! A career in product designing might be your calling.
But, what is product designing?
Digital Product designing relies on a problem-solving approach to improve the quality of life of the end user and his or her interaction with the environment. It is about visualizing the needs of the user and bringing a solution. It takes into consideration the production cost, manufacturing processes, and the regulations.
Product design has several fields of application such as medical devices, jewelry, tableware, furniture, sports and leisure, and food preservation appliances.
Why are companies looking to hire digital product designers?
Today, it’s no longer enough to have a killer idea. Companies want to keep their users in mind while designing their products or services because a user-centric approach leads to better products and eventually, better sales. If users find a certain product easier and more convenient to use as compared to its competition, they are more likely to buy that product. More companies in India are realising the benefit of user-centric designing and so, the need for capable digital product designers in our country is on the rise.
How exactly do digital product designers go about solving problems?
Digital product design consists of a set of philosophies, practices, and technologies that try to give the end user the highest quality experience of a product or service. This involves a series of steps such as planning, visualizing, prototyping, data collection, and analysis. For instance, let’s take the example of the taxi app, Uber. Their initial problem must have been – How can the app provide the best possible experience for the user?Digital product designers would then come into the picture and put themselves in the shoes of a user who needs to hail a cab. The designers will try to understand the problems the user may face. Finding a cab would be the most basic problem. There are two possible solutions to this problem. Either have cabs parked in designated locations throughout the city or have cabs that go to the user. Obviously, it would be more convenient for the user to have cabs find them instead of them having to go to the cabs.
How do digital product designers operate?
Digital product designers need to keep the user interface simple and intuitive. A confusing, cluttered design would be too intimidating for most users. Digital product designers need to find a way to combine a simple UI with all the complex functionalities of the product or service. Let’s go back to Uber’s example. Isn’t it more convenient to see where your cabbie is in real-time on a map instead of simply showing an ETA timer? However, before implementing these features into the app, the designer must first make mock-ups, build prototypes and run beta tests. Once done, they collect data and statistics to analyse things such as user satisfaction and responsiveness. This data is then used to further optimize and improve the product or service.
Does this career option have scope in India?
As such, digital product design is a highly interdisciplinary field. The designer is expected to be both creative as well as pragmatic; artistic as well as technical. In India, the startup explosion has led to many new and exciting ideas being proposed. In order to implement these ideas in an appealing manner, there is a growing need for digital product designers. Even large companies in our country are waking up to the fact that the products and services that last the longest are the ones that provide the best user experience. With increasing competition, companies are hiring digital product designers to set their product apart from their competition.
What education is needed to become a digital product designer?
According to CollegeDekho.com, there are 39 product design colleges in india that offer 56 courses. Poornima University (Jaipur), Pearl Academy (Delhi), Acharya Institutes (Bangalore) are a few reputed colleges that offer product design courses. You can check the entire list here.
Also, you do not need a degree to become a product designer. You can subscribe to an online certification course on product design and learn your basics there. What’s more? If you’re a graphic designer, UX designer or any other kind of digital designer, you can always make the switch to product designing at some point in your career.
Can you make a living as a digital product designer?
Depending on the size of the company and the position you get hired for, digital product designers can make anywhere between INR 25,000 to 1 lac per month! Make sure you constantly update your portfolio. It is your proof of work and the basis upon which most employers hire.
Product design is relatively new, but it is a rapidly developing field. If you want to make a career in designing, but you aren’t interested to do graphic design, this might just be the perfect option for you!
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