Product design is the activity to create a product that solves the user’s problems. The process starts from identifying the problems, finding the solution, imagining the end product, creation of the product and then marketing it. Making it more efficient makes the product more valuable. The key to successful output is understanding and evaluating the customer’s problem regarding the product. Product designers works with a group of professionals such as engineers and marketers. The need for product design is essential to make life more convenient and efficient thereby, saving time.
Initially, research has to be done regarding the product. The materials to be used, the cons of using it, the age restriction to use it, the life of the product, etc. A basic idea is drawn out on the paper to visualize the model and understand the 3d form thoroughly. Workshops are carried out to develop the idea into 3d form with sample materials. After approving the model by the department head, the model is further sent to manufacture it. Product design offers various career options. Some of them are as follows:
1. Furniture Design | Product Designers
Furniture design deals with the modelling and crafting of furniture for daily use or aesthetics. You may be involved only in designing or you could also be offered to work in the workshop to create your design based on your skillset. Designing could be done individually or in a group where several people can collaborate to produce an innovative product to meet the end-user comfort. Your work activities as a product designer in the domain of furniture design will vary according to whether you are self-employed or with a couple of other craftsmen or working for a company with a group of skilled and experienced furniture designers.
2. Clothing and textile technologist
Product designers are offered a job regarding clothing and textiles where they have to select and test an ideal fabric or material of the product. People in this domain work with a variety of fabrics such as man-made as well as natural fibres like metals, plastic, leather, wool, etc. As a technologist, you’ve got to source fabrics or textiles that are suitable for purpose and perform internal control tests. The job is to work on the development of the product, enhancing the product efficiency, while cooperating with those involved in the production process. The clothing industries and textiles are closely linked and therefore, the end products vary from clothing to household and industrial textiles.
- Developing man-made fibres and enhancing the quality of natural fibres
- Producing non-woven materials.
- Advising colleagues on technical aspects of marketing the business.
- Cooperating with the designers and adapting designs to suit production methods.
- Making and sizing pre-production garments.
3. Interior Design | Product Designers
Product designers can move into interior designing to design products that can be placed in the interiors and design the space accordingly. Interior and spatial designers make use of their creative and technical knowledge to come up with an innovative design for the clients. The job is to design or renovate internal spaces including structural alterations, furniture products, lighting fixtures and colour schemes. You could work in a variety of commercial, leisure or domestic domain. Efficient use of space
with convenient functionality and an understanding of aesthetics is a requirement for this job.
- Understanding of the client’s requirements and coming up with extensive ideas to approach the needs.
- Researching of materials to use for the interior products.
- Production of sample design of products to present to the client.
4. Automotive Design
If you are a product designer and love machines then this field is for you. This field can grant you an opportunity to showcase your skills in an advanced domain. Automotive engineers deal with designing, developing and manufacturing vehicles and their engineering systems. Working as an automobile engineer, you get an opportunity to design new products and sometimes, modify the one’s that are currently in use. You are also expected to identify problems within the machinery products and repair them. You must be able to utilize engineering and commercial skills to deliver projects within budget. Having experience built up in this field, you are most likely to choose your area of interest without any difficulty. For example, structural design, engines or exhaust systems.
- Use of software like CAD to analyse and develop a product before starting with manufacturing.
- To decide the most appropriate material for the component production.
- Create prototypes of components and test their performance and note down their weakness and safety.
- Investigate mechanical failures and unexpected maintenance issues to be resolved before finalizing.
5. Graphic Design | Product Designers
Graphic design has more to do with software skills. As a graphic designer, you will have to make appealing visuals while being creative and having the potential to work in a team. You will be assigned with a variety of products and activities like marketing the products on websites, advertisements, magazines, making posters, computer games, product packaging, corporate communications and corporate identity, exhibitions and displays. Furthermore, you will have to meet the client’s requirements as per the brief and develop appropriate innovative ideas and concepts for the client’s objectives.
- Presenting concepts and rough sketches to depict the idea.
- Software handling skills.
- Marketing strategies on through advertisements.
- Estimating the period required to finish a job and providing quotes for the client.
6. Production Designer, theatre, television, film
You are required to be a creative powerhouse to be successful as a production designer with a trait of visual arts that differentiates you from the rest. Production designers have to look after the visual concept of a film, television or theatre production. The main job is to identify the design theme for sets, type of lighting to be used, props, location, graphics, camera angle, costume designs while working closely with the director and producer. Once the concept is finalized, designers usually appoint and manage an art department that involves the construction and design teams.
- Researching art history, historical information and producing relevant design ideas.
- Providing rough sketches and drawings to scale and for studio or theatre sets.
- 3d models showcasing a brief idea about the scene.
- Thorough communication with the director, producer and internal coordination among the design department.
7. Procurement Manager
Procurement managers are liable for sourcing and buying the best or efficient quality equipment, goods and services at the foremost competitive prices to enable a corporation or organisation to work successfully. As a product manager, you have to source and purchase products such as:
Components to form a product that a corporation sells.
Products to be sold by a corporation (for example during a shop)
Goods and services to be used by the corporate.
Marketing and advertising services to promote a company.
You will be involved in sourcing suppliers, contract drafting, negotiation and managing suppliers through the entire procurement process. You will also play a part in other factors like sustainability, risk management and ethical issues. Your work will help a business or organisation economize, minimise waste and increase profits.
- Run tenders, evaluate bids and make recommendations, supported by commercial and technical factors.
- Negotiate and agree to contracts, monitoring the standard of service provided.
- Keep contract files and use them as references for the longer term.
- Maintain good and stable relationships with new and existing suppliers.
8. Product manager | Product Designers
As a product manager, you are required to have knowledge regarding business, marketing, data analysis and technology along with good communication skills. A product manager works with the people that make a product, those that use the merchandise and people who manage the business to make sure that the merchandise is meeting everyone’s needs. Product managers help to make sure that the product is formed as efficiently as possible, which the people building it have access to the newest technologies and techniques. They also note the user’s feedback of the products, checking out what new features they need, before gathering and analysing their feedback and usage data. This helps them to form decisions about the longer term of the merchandise – what is going to and won’t be possible, which features to prioritise or to drop altogether and produce product roadmaps.
Responsibilities | Product Designers
- Looking after the responsibility of the success of the product.
- Managing budgets.
- Contributing towards the strategies and ideas about the product and vision.
- Creating timelines and roadmaps for developing the product.