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Top Skills for Product Designers to Succeed

Everything around us is designed. Therefore, Product Designers span across multiple industries, categories, job titles and career paths. Design has become the core focus for many companies and designers have become indispensable to any decision-making at the product level. Needless to say, shoes this big can’t be easy to fill. A Product designer is expected to carry a combination of hard and soft skills with them. Let’s look at a few.

Hard Skills

User Research

As a Product Designer, you need to learn customers’ desires, needs, challenges, and concerns. Conducting precise and insightful interviews is one of the most underrated yet important technical skills of a Product Design role. 

Information Architecture

All your user research and mock up designs must be documented and organized for the rest of the team to access. Furthermore, creating IAs is a great way of communicating fresh user flows and ideas or edits to the rest of the stakeholders.

Prototyping and Testing

Prototyping and testing before going live is a common practice today. Designers must prototype functional versions of their ideas and gain insights by circulating the product internally.

Design

Of course, having an eye for design is at the core of a career in Product Design. All of your ideas and inputs need to translate into effective typography, hierarchy, grid systems, color theory and much more to create impact and take form. This is the main goal of a Product Designer.

Soft Skills

Besides a great portfolio, Product Designers need to display a variety of soft skills to perform their roles optimally in an organization. Here are the most important ones.

Communication

It isn’t just about how well you speak, but also about how well you strategize communication to keep the entire team aligned. A Product Designer is often expected to over-communicate, especially with complex products. Team members can forget and deviate easily, so it’s your job to consistently speak the same language and remind the team of their common goals and tasks at hand.

Confidence

Designers often suffer from the imposter syndrome and let their lack of confidence get in the way of their success. When you present something to the team, don’t get distracted by criticisms and opinions. Have faith in yourself and your ideas if you wish to be taken seriously. The only way to achieve this is by working on your self-confidence and body language.

Ask Questions

Not asking the right questions can cause a Product Designer to face the biggest losses of their career. Instead of saying, “I’ll get the look right,” ask questions like, “What problem are we trying to solve? Does the solution help achieve that goal?” Asking these questions might be tough in the beginning, but with time, patience and a consistent attitude, you’ll find your seat at the table.

Becoming a successful Product Designer is a long and rewarding journey. If you’re considering it as a career, begin with learning some fundamentals with our microcourses on Product Design and find out if it’s the right fit for you.

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