Why It’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Product Designer

Raúl M. Vicente
Mar 24, 2016 · 3 min read

If you plan to choose design as a career path then go for it. Just to be clear, I am not trying to convince you to pursue design as a profession, it all depends on what you like to do and what your interests are. But choosing design as your field of study is –today– a very good decision.

Design is fun, but it is not easy. Today there are lots of opportunities in design –more than when I went to college– but, be aware, the path will be tough with savage competition.

Keep this in mind, if you are not interested in visual aesthetics or arts in general you better consider other profession. If you are more confortable with computers, mathematics and logic than with pencils you might be thinking of becoming a developer instead. Design is for people interested in visual aesthetics, problem-solving and communication. Design is not just about computing and technology, even though, we use technology to build designs.

Keep this in mind, if you are not interested in visual aesthetics or arts in general you better consider other profession.

You can learn design without going to college, there are plenty of tutorials and information out there. Do not get me wrong, you might need some sort of formal education but I will not consider it crucial. I respect self-learning and believe it shows determination and a strong attitude and personality. Although, going to college makes easy to find people with your same interests. At least that was my case.

I studied Visual Communication and while I was a student I had the impression designers had to go through lots of pain to develop their careers. At that time, there were not enough jobs for every graduate leaving college. I thought I would most likely be working for the printing industry -or doing something else not design related. Graphic design focused on publishing or editorial. Mainly printing industries.

Web designers appeared to me like a rare mixture between developers and designers. The offline and online world were different entities within the design field, nowadays these two worlds are pretty much connected. We can hardly think of the offline without the online. The thought of a coffee shop without a website or social network account to communicate to their target groups seems almost impossible. In other words, an online presence is necessary for most businesses, organisations or industries.

The offline and online world were different entities within the design field, nowadays these two worlds are pretty much connected.

In my last years in college the first wave of touch devices were released: phones, tablets, etc. It make us think and interact with technology and people in new ways, businesses found new opportunities which needed design thinking and visual communication professionals.

Today as designers our mission is to connect businesses with people as they interact through graphic interfaces. We are, after all, communicators on the frontline of interactivity. We are the builders, thinkers and architects of the shop, office building or administration office; we build websites and apps. Businesses need an online presence and design expertise is key to communicate with their target groups through graphic interfaces. Design matters today more than ever.

As designers our mission is to connect businesses with people as they interact through graphic interfaces.

Designers today need more technology related skills such as coding to build dynamic and interactive content and are required to work comfortably within multidisciplinary teams –for instance with developers or marketing teams. Educational institutions will need to focus their curriculums to students which can learn on their own watching videos online or reading blogs. Remember you can learn on your own.

There are a few challenges ahead for anyone who decides to go for this profession and we can easily argue that the road to a successful career seems quite optimistic.

Have fun and design.

Thanks to Carlos Yllobre and Emmet Fėrdle.

Raúl M. Vicente

Written by

Product Designer for Web & Mobile. http://raulmv.com