Now that you have the skills, and your portfolio ready to start looking for a job in the field of product design, what’s next? And how do you increase your salary? Understanding what product design is, and staying on top of the latest trends is just part of what helps join the community of product design.
What is Product Design and Why is it in Demand?
Oftentimes when people think about product designers they think about UX designers and the terms are used interchangeably. But, they are not the same. Product designers are part of the entire process of designing a product, and UX designers focus on the user experience of a product. The field of product design is customer focus, which means that individuals in this field keep everything in mind from understanding what the customer needs to ensure those needs are met in the product. The benefit of being in the product design world is that it opens up a broad range of career opportunities such as graphic design, UX engineering, UX research, or product management. And while the terms Product designer and UX designer are different roles, there is some overlap between them. Avocademy graduates have landed jobs both as product designers, and UX designers because the roles vary from company to company.
What Education & Skills are Needed to enter Product Design?
You might be asking yourself, what type of skills and education do I need in order to enter the field of Product Design? There are a few ways to do this: you can go to college, self-teach, or enroll in a bootcamp. If you take the college route you can learn the theory and practice of UX design, you can learn from professors who are likely in the field, and earning the degree could be useful for employers who seek them. However, college is expensive, and takes anywhere between 2-4 years to complete. If you decide to self-teach this is usually free or cheap, and you can learn at your own pace. On the other hand, you might not have a mentor or feedback, no one to hold you accountable, and without a portfolio, it might be harder to appeal to employers. Enrolling in a bootcamp is usually the fastest way to learn UX design, and you will learn with a practice-based curriculum. But, keep in mind that the price of bootcamps vary in price from $2,000 to $10,000, and not all bootcamps offer mentorships.
How Do You Build a Strong Portfolio for Product Design?
When you are a Product Designer, your portfolio is what showcases your skills. Portfolios are how employers choose the best candidate for the role. They also help you show off your projects that help when you are job searching. But, how do you build a portfolio that is strong enough to help you land a job? First, you should have between three and four projects that you have worked on. These projects can be a mix of both mock and real-life projects, however, at least two of them should be one that reflects real-world experience. Next, you need to pick your portfolio builder. You can use the following portfolio builders: UXfolio, Webflow, Squarespace, Wix, or Behance Adobe Portfolio. After you have found the portfolio builder that best suits you, then it’s time to build your site. Your site will be filled with a home page, an About Me page, and your resume. If you have several projects, you might want to add an additional page to showcase them. Making sure that your site shows off your skills as a designer, tells future employers a little about yourself, and having an updated resume will all help with the job search.
What are the Latest Trends in Product Design?
Product design has been evolving rapidly over the years, with new trends emerging every year. So, you might be wondering, what are the latest trends in product design? Typography and word-oriented design focuses on words and helps set the tone of brands to help attract their target audience. Bold colors help with the instant recognition and attractiveness of brands. Minimalism has been an ongoing trend for a while now, and will continue into the year. The dark mode is also being introduced into product design since it’s seen as a major technological advancement. Motion design is set to be a significant trend in UX design as it helps with wait time for users. Another major trend this year is Voice User Interface or VUI– which is speech recognition technology that helps with interactions with smartphones, computers, and other devices. Another exciting trend is Thumb-friendly navigation for phones, which will make it easier for users to comfortably reach buttons and functions.
How Do You Find a Job in Product Design?
Finding a job in product design can be a challenging process, but with the right approach, it can also be a rewarding one. It is important to have a strong portfolio that showcases your design skills and experience. Networking with other professionals in the industry can also be helpful in gaining exposure and learning about job opportunities. Researching companies that align with your design interests and values can also aid in finding a job that is a good fit for you. Additionally, staying up-to-date with industry trends and continuously improving your design skills through education or workshops can make you a more competitive candidate. Overall, finding a job in product design requires persistence, creativity, and a willingness to put in the effort to stand out in a competitive field.
How Do You Negotiate Your Salary & Benefits in Product Design?
When you get an offer from a company, they expect the candidate to negotiate. By negotiating, you can get a higher salary than initially offered. It's essential to research the average salary range for your experience level and the location of the job to have a starting point for your negotiations. Additionally, you should consider the benefits package, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and vacation time. When negotiating, it's important to communicate your value to the company and be confident in your skills and qualifications. You should also be willing to compromise and understand the company's financial limitations. A successful negotiation should result in a fair and mutually beneficial agreement for both you and the company.
Should You Be a Freelance or In-House Designer?
Deciding whether to become an in-house designer or a freelancer is a critical choice for any designer. In-house designers work for a company or organization and have a steady income, job security, and benefits, but they may have less flexibility in their work schedule and may be limited to working on projects for their employer. On the other hand, freelancers work independently and have greater flexibility in choosing their projects, clients, and working hours. However, freelancers may experience fluctuating income, have to manage their own business operations, and may lack the benefits and security of a full-time job. Ultimately, the decision to become an in-house designer or a freelancer depends on individual preferences, career goals, and personal circumstances.
Product design is an in-demand field that offers opportunities for those who are interested in design and want to utilize their creativity. With the increasing demand for products that are both functional and visually appealing, the role of a product designer has become more important than ever. By following the steps outlined in this article, aspiring product designers can enhance their skills, gain valuable experience, and ultimately boost their salaries.
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Ruby is a SEO content writer who loves reading nonfiction, binging reality TV, and going to live shows. She loves her avocados on toast with a runny egg and freshly cracked black pepper.