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Do you need a background in engineering or art to succeed as a product designer?

Do you need a background in engineering or art to succeed as a product designer?

Do you need a background in engineering or art to succeed as a product designer?

In this episode, Kartik Sankar, founder of KICKASS DESIGN answer this pressing question. He mentions that while it is not necessary to have a background in engineering or art, the field of product design is a multi-disciplinary field that involves multiple skill sets and requires collaboration with professionals from other fields to create ideas and solutions.

Welcome to The Zista Podcast.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in product design but unsure if you need a background in engineering or art to succeed? In this episode of The Zista Podcast, we explore this topic with Mr. Kartik Sankar, Founder of KICKASS Design. Kartik is an industry professional with over 20 years of experience. He discusses the multi-faceted nature of product design and the importance of collaboration in the design process.

Key takeaways:

  • Product design requires a blend of technical and creative skills, and the ability to bridge engineering and art.
  • You don’t necessarily need a background in engineering or art to become a product designer, as product design is a collaborative effort that involves people with different skill sets.
  • Usability is a crucial factor in product design, as it determines how easy it is for users to use a product. The end user should be involved in the design process to optimize usability.
  • To excel in product design, you must possess an eye for design, exceptional communication skills, and the ability to work effectively in a team with experts from different disciplines.

Q: Do you need a background in engineering or art to succeed as a product designer?

A: You need to be a bit of both; an engineer and an artist. A product designer’s work is part technical and part creative, so the role of a product designer is to bridge the gap between engineering and art. Product design is a collaborative process wherein a team of multi-disciplinary experts work together to create a solution.

Q: Can you become a product designer without having a background in engineering or art?

A: Yes, it is possible to become a product designer without a background in engineering or art. Product design involves a multi-disciplinary approach and needs people with different skill sets working together. Depending on the nature of the product, there may be multiple people involved, each bringing their own skill sets, life experiences, and background in engineering or art. Your unique skills can complement the skills of the team you work with, and together, you can create some amazing products.

Q: Is product design more of a collaborative team effort rather than an individual effort?

A: Yes, product design involves a collaborative team effort. For example, if you take medical devices, you need hardware engineers, software engineers, doctors, medical specialists, and the user group that will use such devices on a day-to-day basis. In the case of a backpack, you need to consider usability, form factor, aesthetics, colors, materials, and functionality. Therefore, the essence is to create a solution that draws on the collective expertise of a group or a team.

Q: What is the role of a product designer?

A: The role of a product designer is look at a challenge or a problem, and think about the best way to solve that problem. The nature of the problem or task at hand could vary from one client to another, from one project to another. You need to use your left brain and your right brain. A product designer is a bit of an artist, a salesman, a marketer, an architect, an engineer, all rolled into one.

Q: What are the skills required to become a product designer?

A: The skills required to become a product designer are a combination of technical and creative skills. You need to have an eye for design, form, and function. You need to be able to communicate your ideas effectively, both verbally and visually. You need to be able to work in a team and collaborate with others to create a solution. You don’t necessarily need a background in engineering or art, but it is helpful to have a multidisciplinary approach.

Q: What is the importance of usability in product design?

A: Usability is extremely important in product design, as it determines how easy it is to use a product. The usability of a product depends on how well it is designed to meet the needs of the user. Therefore, it is essential to involve the end user in the design process, to understand their needs and preferences. In the case of medical devices for example, ease of usability might be a critical factor that impacts life and death. Therefore, the product design team needs to optimize the number of steps involved in getting an output or completing a task.