A peek into how our industry is defining this new digital role
I analysed 30 different Product Designer roles from some of the most well-respected companies in the world. Why? There’s a common question that keeps popping up in the conversations that I’m having; what is a Product Designer? I think I’m one… but, maybe I’m not…?! Or maybe I am…
It’s actually something that I struggle with explaining to peers in the web industry, but even more so people outside of it, so I took to the research streets to find out what some of the industry-leading companies are expecting of the role.
I sampled job descriptions from companies with teams of all ranges, from startups of under 10 to large companies with over 10,000 employees, to get a better understanding of what this role actually is all about, or at least how we — as an industry — are defining it.
Firstly, I collated the expected skills and traits from an array of role requirements into a skills matrix. This became a tool to assist with identifying what companies were looking for, which skills were more popular, and which skills held more value to potential employers.
Result: 36 trackable skills.
My next job was to sift through the job descriptions, assigning a rating to each skill with 0, 1, 2 or Bonus:
- 0 if the job description didn’t mention that skill or trait
- 1 if the skill was mentioned briefly, required a basic understanding or, implied inadvertently
- 2 if the skill was referenced with an adjective like Expert, Superior, Highly Skilled, Excellent, etc
- Bonus if the skill was mentioned as optional or nice-to-have
I also organised the skills into categories to get a better understanding of the scope of Product Designers:
- Foundation Design Skills & Disciplines
- Technical & Additional Knowledge
- Personality & Professional Traits
- Leadership & Teamwork