Product designers create a wide range of items, from everyday products, such as mobile phones, household appliances and cars; to larger items, such as industrial tools, equipment and machinery.
They work on new products or improve existing ones, and use their understanding of technology, materials and manufacturing methods to improve the design and usability of an item. The work involves:
• Producing prototypes.
Working alongside engineers and model-makers, industrial/product designers conduct research and devise a design proposal for projects. They may need to work on the budget of the designed item to make sure it's cost effective.
• consulting managers and clients about design requirements
• negotiating and agreeing contracts, budgets and time-scales
• clarifying and solving design issues
• investigating appropriate materials and production processes
• producing sketches and sample designs
• testing product designs using models, prototypes, specialist computer software and computer-aided design (CAD) technology
• maintaining an awareness of current design trends and influences
• liaising with sales, marketing and production departments
• correcting product faults
• presenting designs, samples and final work to customers for evaluation
• A good eye for detail
• Well-developed technical and creative skills
• Commercial awareness
• IT skills, including CAD
• Communication and interpersonal skills