Going into Product Design? Read This First.

by Natalie Robertson on June 16, 2017

More and more young people are finishing high school and are heading to universities, ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Students are choosing the arts at a higher rate, which means that creative fields will be given an influx in employment. This article will specifically highlight product design and what is needed to become a full-fledged product designer.

product design

What is Product Design?

First off, you need to understand how product design fits in with the process of bringing a particular product to market. When an individual has a new product idea, they will either choose to create the physical product themselves or bring it to a product designer. They will plan out the design, make prototypes, and revise their plan as needed. It is vitally important for them to be organized and deliver the product that is expected.

University Options

If you are currently studying, there are a few courses that you should definitely take to help in your quest to be a product designer. Focusing on the design element, knowing how to sketch and mold items will be a huge asset to being able to first visualize, then create the physical product. Take some basic art classes that teach shading, texture, and basic shapes. You don’t need to be able to watercolor the Eiffel Tower or anything, but knowing how things should look on paper helps when the time comes to construct the item. Some Universities have a product or industrial design degree, which is fantastic. If this is the case, they should have each class lined up for you in an order that makes sense. See a counselor for more specific information on programs and courses that your school offers.

Product Design companies usually look for candidates that have a related degree and show strong marks in their classes. While there is no specific requirement for grade point average, getting lower than a 3.5 can make it more difficult to find a job.

Business, Creativity, and Science

Even more than formal education, a person going into product design should exhibit a good mix of creativity and practical business knowledge. They will be not only building and designing a product, but presenting, communicating, planning, and explaining their ideas to others. They will need to be able to persuade others if an idea needs backing.

On the design side, a product designer needs to have an eye for shapes and colors and how to effectively combine them. Knowing how certain materials will interact with each other is also a plus. Oftentimes they will use software programs and 3D models, so a basic understanding of how those work is also a good thing to keep in mind. A psychological component is also required in this field, as it is crucial that one understands how the end customer will perceive your product. Another oft forgotten aspect of a product designer’s work is the written aspect. They will be documenting the process, producing reports, and need to be able to deliver all this within a timeframe and budget. If you think you have what it takes to become a product designer, there are companies out there that will need strong, capable applicants for years to come.

Author Bio: Natalie Robertson enjoys the outdoors and watching classic movies. She works at a product design firm and loves to write about creative topics.

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