Role Basics: What is Product Design?
Product designers design what a product experience looks like. This includes everything: what is the logical flow of interacting with a product, what information is displayed and collected, and — yes — what color that button is.
Example Product Design projects:
- Design the user signup and onboarding flows
- Create a design system
- Work with a product manager to mock up a new product or feature
Common activities in Product Design:
- Creating wireframes and user flows in tools like Figma
- Create graphics and illustrations in tools like Figma
- Design a product’s information architecture in tools like Figma
- Participating in design reviews to test a design against product requirements
- Create mood boards for design inspiration
- Conduct usability tests
- Interview users to understand their behavior and needs
Product Design metrics:
Core product metrics like engagement, conversion, and NPS.
Product Design compensation:
Entry jobs pay $80-120. They often require either specific training in design or prior experience in graphic design, user research, product management or engineering.
Product Design career path:
Great. Product designers have the most leverage of any individual contributor in tech products.
How accessible are Product Design jobs?
- Time to learn. 1+ year and 2,000 hours.
- Selectivity. Very selective. But, like engineering, also very transparent – everyone can see both how you work and what you produce.
- Ease of working remote. OK. Design requires a lot of interaction with the product team, but great designers can work from anywhere.
Job Requirements: What you need to be competitive for product design roles?
Key skills for Product Design:
- Visual design
- User experience design
- Prototyping experience
- Deep experience with Figma or a similar tool
- Design thinking
- Usability testing
- Customer interviewing
- Front-end dev skills are a big plus
Professional background for Product Design:
Many designers are trained in design or art, but many are self-taught and come to design from a product or user research background.
Prior accomplishments to be competitive for Product Design:
- Portfolio – the more you can show specific results (in terms of funnel metrics) the better
- Example user flows
- Example wireframes
Personal characteristics for success in Product Design:
Obsessed with detail. Creative. Visual. Curious. Focused on users.
How to prepare for and get a job in Product Design?
Projects to learn and prove yourself: