Professions of the future: who is a technical designer?
Often there are disputes between developers and designers – which of them plays the main role. Ask this question to the HR Manager, and you will get an answer like, ” Both teams are equally important”” It’s nothing.
If you compare the product to a huge cruise ship, the development team will be something like an engine. It would seem that without the engine, it is completely useless. But on the other hand, let’s say you want to book a cruise. You don’t care about the engine – you look at the photos of the ship, how the cabins are equipped, how high-quality servium is. Of course, for such a huge vessel, the engine is very important. But if no one wants to book a cruise because the ship’s design sucks, what difference does it make how good its engine is?
Design is not just important. It is vital. A person decides in just 5 seconds whether they like what they see. And usually, the first thing we encounter is design.
10 years ago, you might have been able to launch a product without bothering with the design. It was important that it worked. But back then, experts didn’t have any data on how the design would have affected the user experience.
Participate in every decision from day one
This helps to save time, resources, and greatly affects the final product. If you are not invited to participate in these initial meetings, take the initiative. Ask and even demand your presence.
Today, most companies, if not all, are beginning to realize that design is no longer just an aesthetic addition. It has become the main factor influencing decision-making. If a company wants to be successful, it must work with the designer from the first stages of product planning.
The user experience is a combination of two elements:
Flow. This is what the user wants to get from the product, and what they end up getting. There are only two possible outcomes – success and failure.
Design and content. What the product looks like and what the user feels when interacting with it.
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To be successful, you need to perfect both elements. This is why the designer must be present at all stages of product planning and creation.
These conditions are something new in the design world. But the world is changing, and we have to keep up with it if we want to stay afloat. Therefore, new professions are emerging, more complex and multi-faceted. Technical designers – specialists who are able to work out the design line from the planning stage to the final product launch-have become such an innovation in design. Their task is to make sure that the team does not forget about the convenience and needs of the end user.
So, what do you need to do to become a good technical designer?
Collaborate with designers from related disciplines
A clear view from the outside and learning new approaches and ways of thinking will improve your skills. Diversity is the key to creativity. As a web designer or UX designer, connect with architects, interior designers, and clothing designers-everyone in the design field. Then you will be able to consider your profession from all sides. You will be able to learn from others and to share their knowledge with them.
Don’t look at your direction one-sidedly. You need to take your profession more broadly, taking into account other areas of design. Then you will be able to truly solve problems and create successful products.
Constantly expand your knowledge and experience in different areas of design and content
It’s no news to anyone that the Internet is a great source of knowledge. Just use it. Today, it is not enough to be an expert in one direction. You need to understand how they work and are other. Constantly learn, develop, and go beyond your comfort zone.
The UX designer itself is not as valuable as it used to be. Now he must at least understand something about motion design and 3D graphics. And even in copywriting and content creation. The more you know, the more valuable you are as a professional. Why is this necessary? In order to understand exactly how to create the best design, and how to properly present yourself in communication with experts from other teams.
Read also: 15 inspiring examples of engaging UI
Learn to interact with others
If you are a designer, it is easy for you to communicate with other designers. You speak the same language. But you will also have to communicate with experts from other areas: copywriters, developers, marketers, and so on. All these professionals are working on the same product as you. However, they have a completely different approach to the process, as they face different tasks. So you need to be able to present yourself and your design as if your colleagues were your customers.
Learn to listen, but also learn to speak. Especially with those who are older than you in office. It is important to perceive what is being told to you. But it is just as important to give an adequate response and politely defend your point of view. Try to find this middle ground. After all, it’s not the company you work for or the product you create that matters. And your ability to interact and collaborate with others. Without this, nothing will work.
Rely on data
Without numbers – you’re just a dude with an opinion.
Today, it is not enough to say “I have a feeling that it should be done like this”. Of course, in some areas, it is important that the designer has this intuitive sense of the right solution. But if you work in the technical field, this intuition should not be more than 20% of your opinion. The remaining 80 should be based entirely on data.
This new type of designer needs to know how to understand and use data in their design work. Because the numbers don’t lie. You can’t argue with data. Design is the relationship between users and you. In them, as in any relationship, it is important to know as much as possible about the other side. Therefore, follow the behavior of users, collect statistics and study the information received.
The designer must create as he pleases, but create what people need.
Always stay ahead of trends
And even-always be ahead of everything. Designers create the future. This is a huge responsibility. You should not read lists of trends for 2019, but make them. You have access to a huge amount of data. Learn to analyze them and develop the ability to determine what will be trending in the future.
Read also: Who’s who: good web designer vs bad web designer
Be inspired by everything around you. Again, don’t limit yourself to your field. See what happens in other branches of the design. Follow the work of specialists from related areas. Believe me, you will find many new ideas and inspiration for your projects.
Don’t wait for people to bring you what you need. Be proactive, create opportunities for yourself. Play with the basic design rules and change them. Always experiment with them and don’t be afraid to break them. The world is moving forward all the time. This means that the fundamental laws of design can change with it. When you try something new, you will find new opportunities to realize yourself as a professional and better solutions for your work tasks.
The profession of a designer has changed significantly in recent years. Along with this, opportunities have grown. Today, the designer occupies an important position, because with the help of design and a data-backed approach to solving problems, we can influence the user experience and dramatically improve it. We can expand the scope of our profession as never before.