Top 7 Skills of Successful Product Designer

Product designers have versatile positions across every industry. There’s no doubt that whether you’re designing an app or creating visionary technology, the product designer role is ubiquitous among ambitious tech companies. No matter what segments you work in, product designers need to understand various production methods, market trends, and emerging technology. At any given time, a product designer is juggling several tasks at once and using both their technical and design skills to develop new products or refine existing ones. If you’re in the market for a product designer position, here are some skills you should have (and list on your resume).

Top 7 Skills of Successful Product Designer

Top 7 Skills of Successful Product Designer

1. Drive to Learn More

Product designers should go the extra mile to always be learning how to maneuver different products pertinent to their field. You need to be able to understand (and learn) how certain technology can help you achieve your product goals. For example, if you were designing printed circuit boards, you’d want to know how to use a controlled impedance calculator on PCB software to configure design rules. Depending on your product, perhaps you’ll need to freshen up on certain programming skills.

With technology moving at an increasingly accelerated speed, it’s important for you to always be up to date with changes, new releases, and groundbreaking technology. Here’s another example: as a developer with decades of experience, it’s important that you understand how to work under the DevOps methodology and use new tools like Kubernetes, Docker, and Helm. Although each of the aforementioned technologies are fairly new, if you don’t learn to adopt and adapt to what’s happening in your field, you’ll quickly fall behind as your competition streamlines their processes around you.

2. Detail Oriented

Yes, the big picture matters. But it’s equally important for product designers to be detail-oriented. Not only should you have well-developed creative and technical skills, but you should have a good eye for detail. Strategic visionaries tend to be creative in their approaches, paying attention to the small things that contribute to the greater whole.

3. Commercial Awareness

Even though the tasks of a product designer are often similar from position to position, every industry is different and the execution and reasons for those tasks change. Commercial awareness in your industry can help you stand out from other product designers, most especially if you’ve worked in a specific niche exclusively for quite some time.

4. Problem Solver

Product designers should be able to able to leverage data to both solve current problems and identify potential issues. Systems thinking also plays a role here. For instance, it’s not just necessary that you understand how to solve a technical problem, but that you also have the know-how to solve organizational and logistical issues, too.

5. Creativity

This one goes without saying, but it’s worth mentioning. When you’re in the market for a product design job, your creativity should be able to shine through on your resume. Although this is considered a “soft” skill, it’s one that potential employers pay particular attention to. You should have a passion for creating things that solve problems and help people. Having a history of side projects can help demonstrate this—sometimes even stronger than an itemized resume.

6. Master Communicator

A product designer should be a master communicator. Business language isn’t the same as design language, but it’s important for you to be able to bridge the gap between the two. Having a strong emotional intelligence can mean the difference between high and low collaboration and company morale.

Although it’s important to know how to use language to communicate your thoughts and visions, when you’re trying to express your ideas, you can use design to aid you. What’s most important is that you understand what works best when it works best.

Product designers tend to be instrumental in helping project managers. Your job is to help the project manager understand the user’s need, put together a realistic roadmap, and prioritize what to build. In some situations, you may even find yourself filling the project manager role.

7. Customer Mentality

No matter what you’re working on, chances are you’ve got end clients or customers in mind. Rather than leave it to them to discover flaws in your design, always be testing to make it easy for them to navigate your product. It’s important for you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, too. This is necessary no matter what industry you’re in.

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TechGlobeX: Top 7 Skills of Successful Product Designer
Top 7 Skills of Successful Product Designer
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