• 22/05/2024
  • 10

Top 6 Career Pathways in Digital Product Design

In our digital-first world, product design is no longer limited to physical products. The larger umbrella of product design features a wide category of digital product design. Digital product designers play a pivotal role across the digital domain. They design and develop apps, websites, web experiences, experiential and immersive experiences, and more. Digital product design combines creativity, technology, and problem-solving skills for designers to develop innovative digital products. Here are some key functions that a product designer in the digital realm performs:

a. Designing wireframes, journey maps, prototypes, and detailed mock-ups to reflect a product scenario.
b. Access the mock-ups with user testing to iterate design based on feedback.
c. Communicate with peers, managers, stakeholders, and team members.
d. Collaborate with developers to ensure design quality on digital platforms.
e. Work cross-functionally to ensure all stakeholders are engaged in the design process and more.

Product design is a field that is changing and evolving rather quickly. In the digital realm, product designers solve functional problems for digital products. They craft the user experience of the software or a web product. The designer conceptualizes, designs, and iterates user-friendly digital products, like a website or a mobile application, with a focus on user experiences and interface design.

Top 6 Career Pathways in Digital Product Design

Digital product design is a strategic approach to designing and creating software, web experiences, and intuitive digital products. To guide the users efficiently and solve a user challenge. Within digital product design, there are many pathways for a designer to become an expert in:

1. Product UX

Product UX deals with web design which incorporates critical research and analysis to understand how a user will interact with the design, a website’s content, and its services. As a Product UX designer, one works to scale usability, design, navigation, and impression. In the digital world, Product UX designers design a user’s overall experience when they interact with a digital product. Digital product designers create wireframes, prototypes, and user flows. They build interactive and intuitive interactions to enhance user experiences. The digital product can range from a website, an application, an online course, a video game, an e-book, a digital art platform, software, etc.

2. Product Interface design (UI – User Interface design)

Under this, a product designer in the digital vertical works on creating useable and enjoyable interfaces to keep a customer on the application or website longer. Here designers take care of the website’s look, visual design, and overall feel of the website. A UI designer/ interface designer is responsible for the graphical user interface of a digital product. The way a product appears, its interactivity, behaviours, and overall feel.

Designers here often work with digital tools like Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, etc to design the UI part.

3. Mobile application designer

A critical booming niche for a digital product designer where he/she designs the UX and UI of an application. They work closely with the app developers to then build the UX-UI. Designer in this area of expertise works cross-functionally with different teams to ensure a seamless user experience on various mobile devices. He/she also designs considering responsive design in mind. An application design that easily functions across tablets, iPhones, and Androids. Mobile application designers must dwell deeply into learning about device software, hardware, new technology trends, and evolving design dynamics. This helps them to:
i. create meaningful screen transitions,
ii. design anticipatory loading screen,
iii. design the right call-to-action buttons
iv. create better overall user experiences and more.

4. Web designer

Another growing and popular niche expertise profile is where designers create and build web pages and/or websites working with various design elements like type design, visual design, graphics, branding, etc. A web designer specializes in designing new websites, and web pages or updating an already existing website with a new layout design or theme. The designer works on creating low and high-fidelity wireframes that dictate the flow of a user navigating through the website. After taking care of the UX, the web designer works on the interface design with dynamic colours, types, icons, and graphics. Often web design works to make the website inclusive with accessibility design at the core of their design philosophy.

Also Read: Is UI UX Design a Good Career

5. Process design

In this pathway, a designer becomes an expert in figuring out the steps involved for the end-user to fulfil an order and/or achieve their goal on the digital platform. What does this mean? It means the designer considers both aspects: the customer’s needs and the business’s needs. While balancing them both to achieve the best results. For instance, if a designer is working on a laundry application, they will dive deep into research to understand the upselling items. Such as ironing, services, express services, etc. A designer’s job here is to work out a fine balance between service offerings that upsell a brand’s image while also bringing users additional services they might require.

6. System Design

This is the end-to-end design of the digital shop, software, or service. A system designer will categorize the various needs of the digital product into logical categories (i.e. UX, UI, wireframes, information architecture, user flow, etc.). A system designer is responsible for creating a structure on digital shelves. It helps to maximize a user’s natural journey on a platform. Within this, the designer is also responsible for curating the overall product that offers an intuitive user flow while also achieving commercial and financial objectives.

Other specializations

Designers can also specialize in becoming experts in
a. User journey research,
b. Accessibility design (for digital platforms),
c. Empathy design,
d. Information Architecture,
e. Design Research,
f. Design Strategy, and more.

As our digital products expand with Metaverse, digital product design is projected to grow exponentially offering several career opportunities packed with high growth. Technology giants like Meta, Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Adobe, and IBM Watson, are some global brands that are investing heavily in design-technology integration. Hiring many designers to lead their 3D realm design categories.

Curious about the digital product vertical and want to join one of the leading Metaverse projects? Learn the fine skills of product design at Strate School of Design, India. Where industry learning is an essential tool throughout the programme. It ensures students co-develop projects with industry mentors and gain access to global cultural happenings in design. The school has a curated 14-day educational visit to Strate Paris and an international student exchange with Strate Lyon and Paris.

Learn more about the Product Design Program here.

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