Product (or industrial) designers design all the things we use in our daily lives from vacuum cleaners to cars. They consider how to make items easier to use, more efficient, cheaper to produce or better looking. This means looking carefully at what is required, researching and developing ideas and coming up with a design, which might be for a completely new product or to improve an existing one.
The process involves:
Designers normally work from 9am - 5pm, but might have to work longer hours if there is a deadline to meet.
The work is based in a studio, offices or a workshop, and some time may be spent in the factories where the items are made.
To be a product designer you need:
Opportunities for product designers are increasing, and there is a high demand for experienced designers, especially if they have expertise in specific areas and a thorough understanding of technology.
Product designers may work in many of the manufacturing industries as part of an in-house design team or in a consultancy.
Opportunities in freelance and self-employed design depend on the market and the skills of the designer. With experience, a move into design or project management may be possible.
Some designers may move into the ergonomics field by completing a postgraduate qualification. See the Ergonomist profile for information.
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Creative and Cultural Skills
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