Thinking about how to get started with with product design, a career in design, but not sure where to start? Getting started with product design is a bit difficult at the beginning, like any other profession. It demands your time, commitment & consistency. But once you get your foot in, you start seeing things as clearly as ever.
Product design is a dominant field that sets companies apart and gives a real edge over competitors. Whether you are a designer, product manager, program manager or marketing manager it’s essential to understand the product development process in order to create your best work. If you like to solve problems, then this is the career path for you!
User Experience (a.k.a. UX, UI, or UED) is one of the hottest gigs out there today (just check out all of these open positions!)
Being a Product Designer is an amazing opportunity for you to explore. It is a generalist/specialist role which means occasionally you will collaborate with designers, product managers, engineers, customer support, operations, sales, marketing.
The good news is, no matter what stage of your career you’re in or how far afield your background may seem, if it’s something you aspire to, it’s entirely possible to find your niche in starting a career in Product Design
The “UI” in UI design stands for “user interface.” The user interface is the graphical layout of an application. It consists of the buttons users click on, the text they read, the images, sliders, text entry fields, and all the rest of the items the user interacts with. This includes screen layout, transitions, interface animations, and every single micro-interaction. As a UI designer, you decide what the application is going to look like. You have to choose color schemes, button shapes and the fonts used for text. UI designers create the look and feel of an application’s user interface. It’s the job of the UI designer to make sure the application’s interface is attractive, visually-stimulating and themed appropriately to match the purpose and personality of the app.
“UX” stands for “user experience.” A user’s experience of the app is determined by how they interact with it. Is the experience smooth and intuitive or clunky and confusing? Does navigating the app feel logical or does it feel arbitrary? Does interacting with the app give people the sense that they’re efficiently accomplishing the tasks they set out to achieve or does it feel like a struggle? User experience is determined by how easy or difficult it is to interact with the user interface elements that the UI designers have created. They determine the structure of the interface and the functionality. How it’s organized and how all the parts relate to one another. In short, they design how the interface works.
The difference between the UI & UX designer is that whereas UI designers are tasked with deciding how the user interface will look, UX designers are in charge of determining how the user interface operates.
The most important thing for you now is to understand what exactly you want to do. Design isn’t just about how something looks. Your first step towards building a career in design is to understand the kinds of roles out there and decide what kind of designer you want to be. You have to choose for yourself what you want. No one will do it better than you. You need to understand what both the UI & UX designers do and choose the one more suitable for you.
Gaining mastery of the necessary tools is a building block for any career in Product Design. Like any good tool, your UI and UX drawing programs are an extension of you. Whether you’re using Sketch, InVision, Adobe XD, Figma, Flinto, Balsamiq, etc, knowing your tools means knowing where the buttons are, and how to use them. You must be able to place, pull, resize, export, crop, and erase. But also be ready to use shared styles and symbols. A good place to learn the basics includes @Torilo Academy, YouTube tutorials, or sitting next to a designer friend and watching them work. As long as you’re becoming more comfortable and adept at a quality drawing program, it’s working.
Designers who aren’t able to articulate their process don’t have the design backbone to back up their choices with data and discernment. At the best big companies, you’re required to manage yourself and your process. At startups, you have to set a process or you’re just going to be told what to do all the time. While planning the UX process, try telling a story and be sure that your users would understand the story perfectly and that there aren’t loopholes in your story. Being able to talk about how you arrived at your design and why your design solved a problem for real-life people is paramount because that translates to cool cash for a business. Some good places to learn about how to regularly design using a reliable process include @ToriloAcademy, Udacity, the courses from the legendary Norman Nielsen Group, etc. It’s important that wherever you are learning, they teach you how to understand your users, interactive prototyping, and testing.
Having a good portfolio is paramount to becoming a good Product Designer. You are not a designer if you don’t have a portfolio. Your portfolio would get you that interview, it is what is in your portfolio that would determine if you get shortlisted for the interview or not. Having a good portfolio has 3 procedures :
In conclusion, having achieved all these necessary disciplines I can say you are ready to kick start and journey towards your career in Product Design. Also, the most important thing to remember when designing products is that design is for people. Thus, define your target audience, research their problems, and, finally, focus on building a product that solves those problems.
Join us at our training center in lagos and in no time, you’d be come exceptionally great.