Put your creativity to work
With the demand for creative services on the rise, the design domain is no more on the fringes
Generation Z is now exploring career options beyond Engineering and Medicine, or Law and Management. Creative youngsters are flocking to newer domains like design, as they realise they can make a career out of something that was once considered a frivolous fringe activity.
The design domain is vast. You can be an industrial designer working on making better appliances or cars that are mass produced. You can choose to be a graphic designer who creates branding material for the corporate sector or a textile or a fashion designer working on clothes and apparel design. You can be a UX designer creating websites and apps with a user-centric approach. Here are four types of design careers that are gaining significance today:
Product Design: Imagining a better world
Product design offers the opportunity to develop creative solutions to problems. Look around you and ask: Who designed this? Is your cup of coffee is too hot to hold? Your phone too slippery to use? You cannot locate the power button on your remote?
All these can be solved by a product designer: choosing better materials for the phone; developing accessories in paper for the coffee cup; making the power button prominent by making it large and in red...
When you start designing better walking sticks for the elderly, better wheelchairs for the differently abled, and better toilets for the under-privileged, you will feel pleased with yourself for having chosen this profession.
Communication Design: Visualising excitement
This deals with visual elements like logos, posters and user interfaces and so one needs ‘Visual Literacy’. Every ad you have enjoyed watching, every logo that you remember easily, and every attractive brochure that you pick up is the handiwork of a communication designer.
The profession itself is evolving, as colleges and universities are working towards making it less analogue and more digital. You could use the pencil as well as the stylus but the core of communication design is to appeal to the target audience and to communicate the right message in the right manner, whether it is a magazine, poster or a website.
Interaction Design: Pixel-gazing professional
Ever since software started occupying our work area and the mobile phone our personal space, Interaction Design has come into its own. It deals with better interfaces between humans and our devices or between one device and another.
These interactions could be anything from ordering vegetables on your app to booking a ticket for travel, and the remote interacting with the AC or the fridge. This is a new domain and there are more jobs than professionals. This demand-supply mismatch itself makes it an attractive profession.
Interdisciplinary Design: Diversity in Design
This is the ideal domain for the people with multiple intelligences and varied interests. This typically leads to a T-type designer who understands the breadth of design and specialises in one of them.
The typical interdisciplinary designer works on his own or with start-ups that require different competencies from a single designer. This professional will design your logo, develop your website, curate your products and packaging, erect an exhibition and work on an installation.
These are only four of the many design career opportunities. While choosing a domain, ask yourself what you would like to do the rest of your life. If the answer is working on creative assignments that brings out the best in you, letting your imagination work and giving extremely satisfying results that affect everyone, then design can be your chosen profession.
The writer is a professor at JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur.