How to Start Your Career as a Product Designer

 |  Ankur Gohit

Tips to Help you Kickstart your Career as a Product Designer

So, you want to begin your career as a product designer, but you’re not sure where to start? Don’t worry! This article will help you become a good product designer and secure a high-paying job in this industry. Let’s get going!

Basically, product design is the process of creating and iterating products that can solve a particular problem of a user. A product designer is one who uses different product design programs and facets to create a valid solution that solves a user’s problem.

Product design often encompasses a variety of roles, such as:

  • User Experience (UX) Designer

  • User Interface (UI) Designer

  • Information Architect (IA)

  • Experience Designer (XD)

  • Interaction Designer (ID)

  • Experience Architect (XA)

A product designer may be responsible for some or all of the roles; that's why a product designer should have a good skill set to handle all the responsibilities.

Today, product design is one of the high-demand professions and highest-paid jobs in the designing industry. 

The average salary of product designers in America is $87,112 or $42 per hour. The top 10% of product designers make over $131,000 per year, while the bottom 10% make under $57,00 per year.

This is a dream salary for most people, but you can earn the aforementioned remuneration by becoming a professional product designer.

Whenever we decide to choose a career, whether it is related to design, marketing, engineering, or any other field, the first question that comes to our mind is, “What are the qualifications I need to begin a career in this field”?

To start a career as a product designer, some basic qualifications that you will need are:

  1. You should know the responsibilities a product designer has and the methods they use to manage those responsibilities.

  2. You should know the basic skills to become a product designer like 3D designing, Modeling, UX/UI designing, Collaboration, Visual design, High work standards, Decision making, etc. By knowing such skills, you can become an excellent product designer.

  3. You should understand the product design process so that you can create a well-managed system to solve design problems.

  4. To get a job as a product designer, create a portfolio that shows you how to solve any product design problem.

This article will explain these points briefly to figure out the important things you will need to become a product designer.

The Role of a Product Designer

Product design

Men Creating Product Designs. Image Source: UX Collective

Let’s learn about the roles and responsibilities of a product designer in detail. To become a successful product designer, you should know the role of a product designer, or we can say that you should know what a product designer does in their day-to-day life. Basically, a product designer works on creating a product that solves a user’s problem. While working on a product, product designers focus on both customer needs and business objectives.

Product designers invest their time in understanding the problems of their users, and by considering their issues, they try to create a product that can solve the various problems that the users are facing with the current product.

Different people and experts have different solutions for problems; everyone comes up with a new idea for solving the problem of users or clients. It’s one of the prominent reasons “Why do product designers work in a team”?

The product designers always work in a team. The team members include marketers, developers, product managers, business analysts, and other product designers. So, to become a product designer, one should have leadership and collaborative skills so that one can work efficiently with a team.

While working as a product designer, you have some responsibilities that include:

Understanding Problems: As a product designer, you should understand the company’s product and users’ problems. And by understanding the problem, you should start the work with a problem statement, goal, and context.

Exploring the Solutions: After finding the problems and analyzing the issues, a product designer needs to explore the different ways to solve the problems. Product designers should analyze the pros and cons, questions, and problems that may arrive while launching the final product. 

Working with Team Members: As we have mentioned earlier, product designers work in a team to get the desired solution to any problem. So, as a product designer, you will have to work with team members to solve the different aspects of the user's problem.

Market Research: Market research is very important for any business to thrive. If you don’t know what’s happening in the market, you can’t design a product that people will like. So, conduct market research, know your competitors, and understand the market needs.

Conducting User Research: By doing user research, you learn about the customer needs and goals that help you create a design that focuses on the user’s needs.

Creating User-Friendly UX/UI Designs: Product design is considered the next step of UX/UI design; that’s why UX/UI design plays a vital role in product designing. You have to create simple and elegant solutions with a good user interface and a relevant user experience.

To manage all these requirements, a product designer should:

  • Understand the company’s vision and goal

  • Understand the roles of all departments that are working on developing the product

  • Work in a team, and solve all the design problems as a team member

  • Understand the market and user’s needs to provide the best solutions

  • Know tools that are required to complete the work as a product designer

Skills and Methods You Need to Master as a Product Designer

Product design

Image Containing Product Design Info. Image Source: Freelancermap

1. Product Design Software

Now, let’s look into some of the best software that will help you become a maestro in your field. To become an exceptional product designer, you should know how to use product design software because you can’t create stunning designs without product design software.

You may have a look at these product design software so that you can choose the best software for your work.

Hundreds of product design software are available in the market, such as SelfCAD, Onshape, Fusion 360, CATIA, Inventor, and Solid Edge. You can use any software according to your business needs, but we recommend using SelfCAD because it has some unique features that can help you take your work to the next level.

SelfCAD is best for product designers because its interface is straightforward. SelfCAD has been designed to have a simplified interface that makes it easier for beginners to navigate. The tools are arranged in clusters based on their use, making it easier to locate any device.

Whether you're a user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) designer, you can use this software to increase the user experience of any website, app, or digital product.

One of the outstanding features of SelfCAD is its training material that can help you as a beginner. SelfCAD has interactive tutorials, YouTube videos, and other guides that allow you to design easily.

SelfCAD is very affordable; you can purchase its pro plan at a significantly lower price than other 3D CAD software. There is a 10-day free trial where one has full access to the software. After a 10-day free trial, you can continue with the free version with limited access to features or subscribe to any of the following packages.

Free: Forever (with limited features).

SelfCAD Pro Monthly: $14.99.

SelfCAD Pro Yearly: $139.99.

SelfCAD Perpetual License: $599.00 (Lifetime access)

You can use this software for all your product design works. Incredible, isn’t it?

2. Brainstorming

By brainstorming, you can generate new ideas, which are very important for business growth.

It allows you and the whole design team to come up with new design ideas. You can try all those new ideas before finalizing the product, and you can receive feedback from all team members.

3. Customer Journey Map

As a product designer, you need to create a customer journey map that shows all the steps a customer should take when interacting with a product. 

With the help of a customer journey map, you can understand the needs and emotions of the user at each step.

4. User Flow

Uses flow gives you information about how the customer completes different tasks within the product. 

With user flow diagrams, you can know the possible paths a user goes through when using the product. E-commerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart benefit from understanding the user flow and providing the desired solution.

5. Usability Testing

By doing usability testing, you can get feedback from users before launching the final product. This testing allows us to validate the usability and ease of use of the product. 

You can know if the product meets customer expectations or not.

Create a Portfolio

Product design

Portfolio Image. Image Source: theAsianparent Thailand

The final step to start your career as a product designer is creating a portfolio. A portfolio is an integral part of getting a job as a product designer. The hiring manager or client will review your portfolio before providing you with the job/work. So, create an impressive portfolio that no manager or client can turn down.

After reading this article, we hope you get to know more about starting a career as a product designer.

If you have any queries and doubts, feel free to ask; we will respond as soon as possible.

Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.

Need to learn 3D modeling? Get started with interactive tutorials.

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