Looking to flex your design muscle in the product world, but don’t know where to start? We sat down with one of our expert recruiters who shared insider tips to landing a job as a Product Designer. This Toolkit is geared toward all the skills, experience, and key components needed to succeed as a Product Designer in today’s job market.
Product Designer job description:
Product Designers are typically responsible for all aspects of product design. A Product Designer's role is closely tied with product development, marketing, and graphic design. This includes, but is not limited to: user-experience, interaction design, packaging, user research, and design management. It is a Product Designer's duty to collaborate with product development teams to create and implement strategic, comprehensive product visions. Product Designers are involved in every step of the design process, from pre-production, to proofing, to post-production. Specific job requirements may vary depending on the exact role, however, being able to identify and resolve time-sensitive design issues is a must.
Skills Product Designers need:
According to our Freelance Account Manager, Courteney Walsh, when considering a role in product design, candidates need "experience working closely with developers, product managers, and other designers." They also must be willing and able "to solve problems alongside engineers to build high performing, user-centric products for web and mobile." With that said, it is necessary for Product Designers to be "fluent in the language of how digital products work." Walsh says having both "user experience and user interface experience" for most jobs is non-negotiable. This may consist of "creating responsive design for web and mobile" and "understanding browser and mobile capabilities, along with UX best practices."
How to get Product Designer experience:
If you're looking to get product design experience, we suggest you opt for a "degree in Graphic Design, Visual Communication or other design related degree," according to Walsh. You can also opt for less traditional experience "by taking a UX/UI boot camp or program.”If you're just starting out in your career or you're not sure how to transition into a Product Designer role, Walsh suggests you "begin in UX/UI positions and work your way to product design within a company.”
What hiring managers look for:
While you don't need a Master's to get a job as a Product Designer, Walsh says you do need "at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a design related field." Some hiring managers require 3-5 years of product design experience, plus an understanding of CADD software programs, but having a Bachelor's and "UX/UI experience working across web, tablet, and mobile" will suffice.Browsing through our job database, we noted that hiring managers may also look for experts in visual design, spanning UI, brand, iconography, and art direction, in addition to a strong understanding of motion, interaction, and service design.
Key components to success:
If you've made it to this point in our Toolkit, it’s safe to say you’re committed to succeeding as a Product Designer. Our Freelance Account Manager stresses the importance of staying "organized, while maintaining a visually appealing portfolio." As a Freelancer, an up-to-date, well-maintained portfolio, knowledge of user experience trends, and having a "clean aesthetic” will definitely come in handy when searching for future jobs. Product Designers want to be able to "show the UX process and the final visual product" of all projects. If you are a quick thinker with the ability to problem solve effectively, you will absolutely thrive in a product design environment.
Additional resources to sharpen your skills:
Take a look at our Product Designer job openings today!