Many people get confused with the skills required of a visual designer versus a product designer. The life of a product design professional is quite different. There's a lot more that goes into designing beautiful and highly functional products than you might expect. Research, planning, and user testing experience are must-haves for any successful product designer. Read on to find out why each is an essential skill in your future tool-kit.

User Research

As a product designer, you’re creating for the user. It’s all about what the user wants and needs. In order to get that info, you have to be able to conduct good interviews. You’ll need to know how to run research experiments like focus groups and surveys to extract the right information to build a useful product.

Information Architecture

When you’re creating digital products, you must understand how to organize and store all of the data and information that you have from mockup designs and user research. You’ll usually deal with shared cloud environments that require careful planning and IT storage organization.

Prototyping & User Testing

To ensure the digital product you’re building is actually worth the cost of investment, in time and money, product designers need to know how to create prototypes and conduct user tests to measure performance before going live. These test drives allow for more insight and gives you an opportunity to flex problem solving skills by pivoting on ideas that don’t.

Visual Design

Product designers need a plethora of visual design skills to visually express what the product will look like. Skills include understanding typography, hierarchy, grid systems, color theory and more.

Frontend Design

To power user interfaces, it’s great when product designers know front end programming languages like HTML, CSS, and presentational JavaScript. You won’t need to be a coding expert, but these skills are important if you want to advance in your career.

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