Product design is a distinct discipline, and to become a product designer, it’s essential to possess a certain skillset. However, there are five key skills that are absolutely essential and that lie at the heart of being a successful product designer. Let’s take a closer look at them here.
Perhaps the most important skill that a product designer needs is technical knowledge. Concepts like user interface and experience design, or motion and sound design must be thoroughly understood in order to design outstanding digital products which people love to use.
Having an in-depth understanding about the process involved as well as the psychology that lies behind the ways in which digital products are used lie at the very heart of product design. Understanding customer pain points and journeys as well as knowing how the feel and look of the design can influence the way it is used and perceived by customers allows a product designer to do their job successfully.
And, of course, it goes without saying that computer literacy is an essential too, including the use of special design programmes.
There are numerous disciplines involved in product design, however it all revolves around problem solving. Product designers are required to find the optimal solution for the user’s needs, therefore problem-solving skills are a must-have.
Knowing how to carry out product research is also a vital skill for any product designer. Understanding the target market and competitors is key, alongside being able to perform SWOT analyses on ideas. Being able to carry out user interviews, develop personas, and run focus groups is also an important skill.
Strong Business Acumen
In many cases, product designers also have a part to play not only in designing the product but also in developing the strategy around it. Therefore, having strong business acumen is important. Product designers should be able to spot opportunities so they can design and launch a product that is suited to the market.
Skills In The Related Areas
Being a successful product designer isn’t just about designing products, it’s about being able to see a design in a larger scenario. Therefore, having knowledge in the related areas like coding, user testing, copywriting and marketing can be extremely beneficial.
Beneficial Soft Skills
Although the above five skills are the most important for any product designer, the most successful professionals also boast some soft skills that support their job role. These soft skills include creative flair, an ability to pay close attention to details, decision-making skills, the ability to work as part of a team, good communication skills, and good project and time management capabilities.
Of course, these soft skills are helpful for many different jobs, not only for the role of a product designer, but being in possession of them allows any product designer to really maximise the potential of their role.
With the above skills, a product designer can really succeed in their chosen career path.