A product designer is the sum of a user experience designer, UI/UX designer, and UX researcher. In short, a product designer is a Full-Stack Designer who can perform all designing assignments from scratch to finish.
Product designing is an extensive process of creating a product that solves specific problems. It involves conceptualizing a solution, creating a roadmap, designing the navigation, and presenting it to the target audience. So, a product designer is simply a user experience designer who designs a product plan from scratch to finish using his skills in research and testing, as well as both UX and UI designing.
Roles of a product designer
With an understanding of product design, we can define the role of a product designer as a person responsible for creating the entire experience associated with a product. A product designer usually takes direction from the product management team about the mission and vision of a business. Most of the time, we associate a product designer with the visual and tangible aspects of a product. However, he also plays a role in defining information architecture and system design.
Designing: Despite having multiple responsibilities, the primary job of a product designer is always to design. To create a product, he uses his knowledge of color schemes, typography, shapes, texture, detail, and other design elements.
Creating relevance: Every designer considers the UX/UI principles while creating a design. And it is not limited to making a standard product that fits all. A product designer conducts thorough research via A/B testing, email surveys, wireframes and prototypes, journey maps, and other UX research methodologies to create a personalized experience.
Collaboration: A product designer is someone who progresses with a holistic approach to a product. While owning multiple skills, a product designer must collaborate with researchers, designers, and business stakeholders to ensure a design that aligns with the company’s goals. He needs to assimilate all the processes necessary to make the product user-friendly.
The must-have skills for product designers
A product designer wears many hats. And so, he should master multiple skills from research to designing. Besides, he also needs to own some primary business and remote work skills to maneuver in the current times. So let’s look at some essential skills a product designer should have:
Research skills: Research is the core of any design project. When creating a user experience, the foremost thing is understanding the user. A product designer must prepare to conduct quantitative and qualitative studies to gather more relevant information about the users. Interviewing, usability testing, prototypes and mock-ups, and building out demographics and personas are some fundamental skills to own.
Data Analytics: Analysis of the data obtained from the research leads product designers to identify ways to create or improve a product’s layout, features, and aesthetics. Although they are designers, a significant role they play is scientific. Their analytical skills can help create an engaging product experience.
Prototyping and Wireframes: Prototyping and wireframing bring ideas to a tangible form to analyze and validate the characteristics of a product with users. As a product designer, it is mandatory to have prototyping expertise to understand or present the idea. If done correctly, this process can help a design team get feedback on their work.
Graphic Designing: No amount of research is sufficient if a product designer can’t handle the visual designing part. Successful study will help a product designer understand what users want to achieve. It gives information about their pain points and how a solution makes them feel. However, on the artistic side, you anticipate a product designer to take care of icons, logos, and other elements. From color schemes to pixel-perfect resolutions, a product designer should have proficiency in every aspect of visual matters. From a design perspective, he should know some popular tools like Figma, Sketch, or Adobe Creative Suite.
Business and remote work skills
Without proper communication skills, it is almost impossible for anyone to scale up and grow in any industry. The same is valid for product designers. Communication is essential in successfully designing concepts as he communicates with his team, management, and customers. So, a product designer must clearly understand what is required and convey the right message.
Project management and leadership skills are crucial for a professional to turn the tides in his favor. When hiring a product manager, it is a prerequisite to know his project management skills. He should be able to visualize the broader perspective with the ability to strategize and know how to execute an idea. Although a product designer doesn’t necessarily have to manage products or lead teams, knowledge of creating, overseeing, or implementing a project is an important skill.
Being a team player helps complete all the projects on time and with precision. A product designer has to work with multiple stakeholders. It is better for a business if he can do it in harmony with others.
Remote work tools and techniques
Remote work can be a massive challenge if a professional doesn’t know how to manage it. However, it is only a matter of intelligent work and efficient tools. For example, a product designer must be fluent with tools to create and share designs, communicate with clients and teammates, manage projects and deadlines, and conduct research.
Hire world-class product designers
A product designer can be your whole package for design projects. To find the right product designer, you need a person capable of technical and personal skills.
At Andela, we connect brilliant talent with opportunities to do impactful work. Andela’s Design Practice has the talent and experience to build your next design system. If you want to hire best-in-class product designers, put together your dream team with Andela.