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Most everything people use was designed by a product designer. They can design everyday objects, but also specialised ones for medical use or for telecommunications, for example.

They determine how a product will work and look, and find ways to cut down on production costs and time. While they can design new products, they often work on improving existing ones. The position can vary quite widely from product to product, and from company to company. Industrial designers generally focus on physical objects, such as cars and phones, while UX designers work on digital products and the kind of user experience they create.

In more detail

Product designers must be acutely aware of what clients need and what their companies expect from them. This requires being able to identify a problem and come up with a creative solution. It is necessary to conduct research on similar products, user habits, market demand to begin developing ideas for the design. Initial ideas may be sketched by hand, though the designers will eventually move on to using computers and specialised design software.

Throughout the design process, they must be aware of the budget and time constraints, and adapt accordingly. Product designers should also provide reports about the process, frequently in the form of presentations. The design must be tested upon completion. Changes are then made to the design as necessary. It is a cyclical process, and designs frequently have to be changed and tested multiple times before arriving at the final product.

To succeed as a digital product designer, it is important to have a keen understanding of UX/UI (user experience/user interaction) design. This requires practical knowledge of tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and experience in graphic design.

Creativity is very important for this kind of work. Typically, product designers are also experienced in building wireframes and mockups, and creating a coherent user journey. They understand what clients want and can provide solutions that are easy and intuitive to use.

A degree in Graphic Design is a frequent requirement for this kind of position.

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