At Plant, we have seen it all — the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I tell you what; product design is not for everyone. Regardless of whether you need a university degree or not or how low the barrier of entry is, not everyone can survive in it — and no, you do not have to become one to know if you will be good in the field or not. This is because there are some minimum requirements — and bad thinking that would make someone not fit to become a product designer.
In this post, we will be discussing the top reasons why becoming a product designer might be a bad idea for you, regardless of how interesting and rewarding it seems.
Money is Your Only Motivation
The average salary for a product designer in the United States is about $87,000. However, if these statistics and other money-related matters are the reasons you want to become a product designer, then you need to have a rethink — product design might not be the best for you. You need to be motivated by the act and art of design and not money. This might sound trivia at first. Yes, someone can be a good designer and still get motivated. But most times, we get newbies rush to become designers because of the mouth-watering salary. And the end result? They turn out to be bad designers.
You are Lazy and Do Not Like Learning
Be truthful to yourself, are you lazy? If you answer yes to this question, then you need to know that product design is not a profession to dive into. This is because the field is made of hardworking people and very much competitive. The truth be told, laziness does not have a place in product design, and most times, you will be working in a team of hardworking professionals that expects you to be as hardworking as they are. Not to even mention that you might be expected to work all day.
Also important is the quest for learning. Product designers learn a lot, and you need to know that there are no instances when you will run out of what to learn. You can learn from colleagues, seminars, and workshops, as well as books and videos. If you find yourself not ready to learn, then you need to know that you would become outdated anytime soon in the industry as new techniques are being introduced, and only those that love learning will catch up.
You Do Not Have a Design Sense
Are you artistic? Do you love to sketch and play with ideas until they become a real masterpiece? If you answer no to these questions then forget about product design, you might end up getting frustrated. Let me tell you something — some of the best designs you have seen started as a sketch on a piece of paper. You might think, with the right tool you can go ahead and create beautiful masterpieces. But you need to know that product designs are all about inspiration. For you to be inspired, you need to have a design sense and the passion for designing. Without any of these, product designing is not for you.
You are a Bad Communicator
The whole idea of product designing is being able to communicate ideas through products you design while maintaining good user experience. Not only to the end-users of your product, but you also have to learn how to communicate with your collaborators and managers. If you are a lone ranger, the kind of person that works alone and finds it difficult to work with others, then you will find it difficult to become a product designer. And no, do not equate being an introvert to being a bad communicator as introverts are good designers.
You Do Not Like Criticism
The product design industry strives on criticism. There are no two ways about it. If you must design, then be ready to be criticized. Sometimes, the criticism might make sense to you — other times; it can be bad, get at you, and make you feel bad. What matters is how you respond to them. If you are the kind of person that does not respond well to criticism, then you need to know that you will get upset a good number of times. However, if you are the type that accepts corrections, then you can do well in the field.
You are a Disorganized Fellow
How well will you rate your organizational skills? If you rate yourself badly, then you need to step up your game or, better still, forget about becoming a product designer. This is because for you to be a good designer, you need to be good at organization, and it could start from how you organize your desk and time. With good organization skills, productivity is enhanced, and more is done in a short time. This is because you will waste no time searching for things you need — and not to think of the good energy that comes with organization.
You are Not Dedicated
Even after you have trained yourself not to have one of the above qualities, you can still suck as a product designer if you are not dedicated to your job. If you find yourself getting distracted easily and finding it difficult to stay focus while working, then product design is not for you. I know people with ADHD find it difficult to concentrate, but it is also important you know that when they find something interesting, their focus and concentration is on the hyper side — which makes it even a plus for them.
Make no mistake about it; product design is for selected people — not for everyone. It is for people with an artistic mindset who are motivated and do not find it difficult to focus on their job. A design sense is required, likewise continuous learning, organization, and good communication skills.