“A designer is a true ninja: Strategic, versatile, flamboyant and super-skilled.”
Around five to 10 years ago, website/mobile app design, gaming, AR/VR and workspace design weren’t prospective careers. Clearly, this isn’t the case today. With the digital space evolving exponentially, the need for talented artists and designers is felt across the spectrum. A young creative professional’s eye for detail and unique perspective on colour and layout are in great demand, particularly in the technology realm. Art and design careers encompass the physical and digital worlds — from painting to animation, photography to videography, interior design to building architecture.
The expectation from a creative designer has rapidly evolved, over the years. Thanks to technology, the digital design space has transformed in ways we never imagined, opening doors to creative designers to showcase their work and talent. The needle of expectation has moved from fairly static design to creating immersive and memorable human experiences. Designers are now decision-makers who play crucial roles in designing, branding and marketing a product, and crafting customer experiences that not only resonate with the mind, but also connect emotionally.
Be passionate about excellence and constantly improve your craft. As you gain experience, you will become more skilful and confident.
When you start out, take initiative and accept challenges.
Experiment with what you have (be it a little or a lot).
Ask questions about the big picture, strategy, business implications, your role, and the roles of others.
Through apprenticeship or mentorship, learn from those with more experience and be receptive to ideas.
Stay up-to-date with what is trending, the latest ideas, and the smartest technology.
Observe how design impacts customer interaction.
Be curious about what you can leverage to get a competitive advantage.
Focus on the distinct progressive design fields that are relevant today: visual and interaction design (UI/UX), augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), illustrations for digital, content for digital, and motion graphics.
Know where your strength lies and acquire additional skills related to your role.
Take things up a notch
Good isn’t good enough. You must adapt and grow. A working knowledge of allied skills such as coding, multimedia/social media marketing, and art greatly widens the door of opportunity. Being a full stack designer with a wide range of capabilities across design, content, and technology will help you build a career that’s future proof. However, the basic requisite of a designer remains unchanged — the ability to know what looks good.
As young designers, it is important to participate in design events, listen, learn, get inspired, and stay connected. As the dynamics of the industry keep changing, this is your opportunity to adapt and deliver.