Human psychology is unique and can crane towards attractive things. Visual information becomes more effective than any other form of communication. The design is one such visual constituent that invokes curiosity to further explore.
For instance, when you buy clothes, you are invariably drawn to their designs at first the glance followed by other factors. Similarly, the logic applies to every other product you buy. The visual appeal or design influences your decision to proceed ahead and find out whether it meets your expectations and preferences.
Over the past five years, the design preferences of customers have evolved increasingly. Social media and the Internet have played a fundamental role in driving the design choices of customers. Today, anyone can browse online for designs that are trending.
Realising the importance of design in customer acquisition as well as retention, brands are now placing great emphasis on design in their products. They view design as a distinct business strategy that can give them an edge over their competitors in the market. This design is reflected in their logo, website, products, services, processes and marketing communication to create unique brand positioning in the minds of customers. The design is a brand’s translation of its vision, mission and core values to adapt to the requirement of customers.
Today, the demand for design professionals are high especially in motion graphics, UX and UI; packaging, creative arts, home decor, fashion textiles, video games, animation, multimedia, web design, exhibitions, automotive, publication and other sectors, which call for visual influence on customers.
While the current landscape of design indicates a flourishing space for designers, it also creates an onus on them to evolve their skills to meet the changing trends. Here are a few key skills that designers need to stay abreast with the evolving job market.
Thinking outside the box
Though designers are backed with educational knowledge, the evolving trend compels them to come up with innovative designs. Designers with such a mindset have better career opportunities. Every time when a design is created; the idea should be fresh, original and innovative. The designers need to be imaginative, dynamic and not bound by any prejudice while creating a design.
The key to successful product development lies in design research. A design may sound great on paper, but it may not translate as desired during execution. It could lead to customer dissatisfaction and even ruin the designer’s reputation. Hence, thorough groundwork or research before diving into designs is a must-skill for every designer. For example, if the designer is creating interiors for a client with children, it is important to research whether the design is practical and child-friendly.
As mentioned above, customers prefer designs that reflect their social status. Hence, customisation or personalisation of designs to customers’ requirements is a valuable skill. Designers need to create designs that enhance the user experience or functionality and meet their specific priorities. Organisations are looking at designs as a competitive business strategy to enhance profitability and as a value-add for the company.
A hoard of new-age technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning, virtual reality, 3-D printing and virtual reality have emerged in the design landscape.
There are also other modern digital and web tools that designers should have hands on to go beyond their normal confines of design. Designers must be tech-savvy to take their designs to the next level.
The technical know-how of the industry isn’t enough for designers to make their mark in the industry. Today, organisations expect their designers to possess soft skills such as communication, storytelling, problem-solving, team spirit, leadership, integrity, work ethic, etc.
The design industry is pod for a bright future. The designers who continuously up-skill or cross-skill themselves to fit in the industry will survive and thrive.
(The author is with Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune)