I have had the privilege of working with some really amazing Product Designers. As I have worked with these amazing men and women through the years, I have found that all these great designers I have worked with have had some similar traits.
The three main traits of a successful Product Designer is that 1) they understand who they are designing for and why, 2) they are humble and gracious to listen to another person’s ideas, while at the same time understanding clearly what they want and why and 3) they can visualize the design.
There are many reasons we see these traits so important to be a good product designer. Here are the reasons why we feel this way:
A successful Product Designer understands who they are designing for and why.
Knowing and understanding your customer base is about 60% of the traits an excellent Product Designer has. The very best product designers I have worked with all really understand who they are designing and why they are designing this product for that particular customer base.
This is an essential trait of what makes someone a great designer. They understand that it is their customers to some degree that dictates their designs. They can put aside any of their own personal wants, likes, or dislikes and design for the customer, who will ultimately be the persons who will purchase the products.
Many may say, “hey, of course,” a great Product Designer needs to design products that sell; after all, that is their job. But the truth is that many designers have a tough time putting aside their personal wants and desires and really designing for their customers. Some designers always think they are “right” or fully understand the trends, when they may not really have an excellent grasp of their customers’ wants or accept.
Great design is like great art. What is great can be personal, in what actually sells, and why it sells be personal to the consumer. Just like some companies can sell one kind of look or trend, their customer will accept this look. Another company could have a completely different look and trend, but that look and trend will also sell to their customer base. Is one company designing the right product and another company designing the wrong product?
The truth is that both companies are right as they have products that sell. They both have Product Designers who understand their client base and what will sell.
So if you want to become a great product designer, the first thing you should look to understand is the audience you are designing for and why. The good news is that this can be learned with experience and time.
If you are a new designer, just out of school, try to find a job where you can be mentored and work under one of these great designers. Work hard, learn, and listen to them. Be willing to start at the bottom to work your way up. Watch this great product designer and see how they fully understand their customer base. Learn from them. Be like a sponge and try to soak up everything you can from them. If you do this, then you are also on the road to become a great designer.
A Successful Product Designer Has Humility and Will Hear Ideas
Being teachable and listening to others is about 30% of the traits an excellent Product Designer has. This is a trait of all the many great designers I have worked with; they are always willing to listen to others’ ideas.
One of the major reasons for this is the Product Designer’s ultimate goal is to produce and design the best product they can. They fully understand that the making of a great product requires a lot of team effort. Everything from the manufacturing team, to those who are developing the product, to everyone working to help make this product viable – are all important members of this product development team. The great Product Designers will see them all, especially those who are experts in their fields, as a viable part of this product development team.
I have noticed that it is the novice designers who may try to really push what they want. They will discount the other team members. They may discount what others tell them, or they may basically say, “look, I am right, so do what I tell you to do.”
This kind of attitude never helps to lead to the very best product design possible. Those who are on that design team will usually keep quiet and do what they are told to do and then wait for the product to fail somehow.
Able to Visualize and Put Down on Paper their Product Designs and Ideas
‘I believe that being able to visualize and put down on paper the product design is the final 10% trait of an excellent Product Designer. You will notice that I did not put down about using this or that program on the computer. Many really great product designers I have worked with have no idea of how to use a computer. Many of them still draw the products by drawing by hand using a pen and paper. Others may give us papers that can look quite messy but clearly indicate what they are looking for.
Some new product designers who have just come out of school may not understand how a person can even be a viable designer unless they know all the latest computer programs. But the truth is that many great designers have limited computer skills.
Having great computer skills and being able to design great products is not the same thing. A person can have great computer skills but have absolutely no idea what really constitutes a great design. And a great designer can have zero computer skills but have a really great eye for design.
Having great computer skills and knowing the latest technology can only help a great designer be even better than what they are today. However, if a designer can visualize the product somehow and then put it on paper, they can still develop amazing products.
Being a great product designer has a lot to do with a few basic traits that every product designer should look to develop. The first and most important is understanding who they are designing for and why they are designed for those customers. The second trait to be humble and with humility comes with being a team player. And finally, great product designers can put their ideas down on some form of paper.
If you are interested in finding out more about how we can help you create, develop, and manufacture home decor and home furniture products in Asia, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact Mondoro and Anita by clicking here.
Is becoming a Product Designer a good career choice?
Becoming a product designer is an excellent career choice. Those Product Designers that are very good at designing products do very well. Those product designers are also in great demand. But being good at Product Design takes many years of getting viable experience and technical knowledge about the product you are designing. So anyone who wants to enter this career path needs to understand that becoming really great in product design can take many years.
Is it difficult to find a job as a Product Designer?
Normally, to become a product designer, you must have the proper relevant background and experience. A product designer is not the same as an industrial designer. An industrial designer may take a product designer’s designs and put them on CAD or another computer program. That is not designing a product, as they do not specify the shape, look, or colors of the product.
A product designer will be the person who will direct the design, color, and look of the product. And to really do a good job in product design, a person needs to have the relevant background and experience to make these design and product development choices accurately.