Headhunter specialising in Product, Design, and Digital Transformation | Executive Search | Global Network | Berlin based

Navigating the Evolving Product Design Hiring Landscape

An interview with muse case labs

 

Milan Vukelić, one of the founders of muse case labs, a Berlin-based tech education company, interviewed me about the current Product design hiring landscape. Here are 10 of his questions and my attempts to find answers to them or at least to share observations – derived from many conversations I have had with design hiring managers and job-seeking designers over the past weeks. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions and would like to continue the conversation.

 

1. Everyone knows there’s a crisis in the job market, because of all the lay-offs. Last year had a lot of fluctuation. What are your predictions for the rest of the year?

The job market has indeed been affected by economic challenges, including lay-offs. However, hiring continues in the UX/UI design field as companies recognize the importance of digital experiences. At the same time, there may be some uncertainties, not all sectors and companies are equally impacted by the crisis. While there are many hiring freezes in the early-stage startup world and big tech companies are laying off massively, the project and retainer business of agencies and management consultancies is relatively stable – hiring continues here. In addition, the recruitment of companies in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability, and Greentech is currently booming.

It is also an excellent opportunity for German SMEs, NGOs and public organizations and services – which have not been so interesting for digital specialists and innovators – to get their hands on rare talent. Recruitment is continuing here as well. Furthermore, I see that hiring freezes are also precautions or simply imitated by many companies in a very uncertain situation. Additionally, the market is flooded with product designers looking for a job right now, and it's hard for companies to find the best talent in this noise. Personal recommendations have become the most important guide, and that's why I strongly recommend networking. I expect that we will see a more dynamic job market in the autumn – and that hiring will pick up again in Q1 next year at the latest.

Freelancing can be another option in the current situation. Companies first outsource work to freelancers in case of bottlenecks before hiring permanently. Becoming a freelance designer can offer flexibility and opportunities for remote work. However, it's significant to note that the freelance market can be competitive, especially during challenging economic times as we have right now. Freelancers should be prepared to market themselves effectively, build a strong portfolio, and continuously update their skills to stay competitive in the industry. 

 

2. Are the more senior and executive-level designers, whom you mostly work with, still in higher demand than juniors?

In the current market, the demand for senior and junior designers exists, but it depends on the specific company and their needs. While there is often a higher demand for experienced designers who can lead projects and teams, companies also recognize the value of fresh perspectives and junior designers who bring new ideas and energy to the table. On the other hand, I currently see the tendency to reduce overhead due to cost savings – and so many design managers are currently being dismissed. Design teams report more to product and tech again, and the individual contributors become more important.

In times of cost savings, the question is always asked first: Who is working productively and who can we do without? Experience shows that this leads sooner or later to a backlash – the design teams are overworked. The first thing that happens is that freelancers are brought in again – then the lack of leadership is discovered, and leadership is hired again. Companies typically do not learn, but unfortunately, go through the same unsustainable loops again and again.

 

3. What are the chances that brand designers get a role in product design?

Brand designers with a strong foundation in visual design can transition into roles in product design. Many brand design skills, such as layout, colour, motion design and typography, apply to product design. However, it's essential for brand designers also to develop skills specific to digital platforms, such as user experience design, interaction design, and prototyping. Brand design is currently experiencing a renaissance, and talented brand designers who have transitioned into product designers are desperately sought after.

Showcasing brand design work in a portfolio can be beneficial when applying for digital roles. It demonstrates a designer's overall design skills, creativity, and attention to detail. However, it's essential to ensure that the portfolio emphasizes the digital aspects of the work and highlights relevant UX/UI design projects and skills.

Of course, there is also the possibility of considering a short internship for brand designers who are transitioning into product designers. Internships provide an opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learn from experienced professionals, and build a network in the industry. It's a valuable stepping stone for career development and can lead to full-time opportunities in the future. It can be a good way to get your foot in the door, especially in times of crisis.

 

4. What are the most sought-after skills by companies when it comes to UX/UI designers?

Companies highly value UX/UI designers with a strong understanding of user-centred design, the ability to conduct user research and usability testing, prototyping skills, interaction design, visual design, and proficiency in relevant design tools and software. Additionally, communication skills, teamwork, and an understanding of business goals and requirements are also crucial.

It depends on the size and complexity of the design organization and the products, and to what extent specialized designers are sought. In early-stage phases, the so-called unicorns are often sought – designers who cover the entire range of design skills from research to development of the design system, prototyping, UX design and testing. In complex setups, there is then differentiation into researchers, UX architects, UI designers etc.

In consultancies and venture builders, as well as in organizations that recognize the value of a customer-centric product perspective, there is also a great need for service designers, strategic designers and business designers. These roles have intersections and overlap with product design, of course, but also offer the possibility of a professional transition.

 

5. What is the typical career progression for UX/UI designers? Are there specific positions or roles that designers can work towards?

The career progression for UX/UI designers can vary depending on the kind of company and individual aspirations. Typically, designers start as junior or entry-level designers, and with experience and demonstrated skills, they can advance to mid-level, senior, or leadership positions. From there, opportunities may arise to become UX/UI design managers, design directors, or specialized roles such as UX researchers or information architects. There are also a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or Business designers.

There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers. So creating the opportunity for expert roles – so-called design principals, who work as specialists and develop and lead professionally. This is contrasted with Team Lead roles. Until now, at least in Germany, career advancement in design was exclusively linked to taking on team lead responsibilities. Currently, there is a rethink in the industry about the nature of careers in design.  

Navigating the Evolving Product Design Hiring Landscape

An interview with muse case labs

 

Milan Vukelić, one of the founders of muse case labs, a Berlin-based tech education company, interviewed me about the current Product design hiring landscape. Here are 10 of his questions and my attempts to find answers to them or at least to share observations – derived from many conversations I have had with design hiring managers and job-seeking designers over the past weeks. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions and would like to continue the conversation.

 

1. Everyone knows there’s a crisis in the job market, because of all the lay-offs. Last year had a lot of fluctuation. What are your predictions for the rest of the year?

The job market has indeed been affected by economic challenges, including lay-offs. However, hiring continues in the UX/UI design field as companies recognize the importance of digital experiences. At the same time, there may be some uncertainties, not all sectors and companies are equally impacted by the crisis. While there are many hiring freezes in the early-stage startup world and big tech companies are laying off massively, the project and retainer business of agencies and management consultancies is relatively stable – hiring continues here. In addition, the recruitment of companies in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability, and Greentech is currently booming.

It is also an excellent opportunity for German SMEs, NGOs and public organizations and services – which have not been so interesting for digital specialists and innovators – to get their hands on rare talent. Recruitment is continuing here as well. Furthermore, I see that hiring freezes are also precautions or simply imitated by many companies in a very uncertain situation. Additionally, the market is flooded with product designers looking for a job right now, and it's hard for companies to find the best talent in this noise. Personal recommendations have become the most important guide, and that's why I strongly recommend networking. I expect that we will see a more dynamic job market in the autumn – and that hiring will pick up again in Q1 next year at the latest.

Freelancing can be another option in the current situation. Companies first outsource work to freelancers in case of bottlenecks before hiring permanently. Becoming a freelance designer can offer flexibility and opportunities for remote work. However, it's significant to note that the freelance market can be competitive, especially during challenging economic times as we have right now. Freelancers should be prepared to market themselves effectively, build a strong portfolio, and continuously update their skills to stay competitive in the industry. 

 

2. Are the more senior and executive-level designers, whom you mostly work with, still in higher demand than juniors?

In the current market, the demand for senior and junior designers exists, but it depends on the specific company and their needs. While there is often a higher demand for experienced designers who can lead projects and teams, companies also recognize the value of fresh perspectives and junior designers who bring new ideas and energy to the table. On the other hand, I currently see the tendency to reduce overhead due to cost savings – and so many design managers are currently being dismissed. Design teams report more to product and tech again, and the individual contributors become more important.

In times of cost savings, the question is always asked first: Who is working productively and who can we do without? Experience shows that this leads sooner or later to a backlash – the design teams are overworked. The first thing that happens is that freelancers are brought in again – then the lack of leadership is discovered, and leadership is hired again. Companies typically do not learn, but unfortunately, go through the same unsustainable loops again and again.

 

3. What are the chances that brand designers get a role in product design?

Brand designers with a strong foundation in visual design can transition into roles in product design. Many brand design skills, such as layout, colour, motion design and typography, apply to product design. However, it's essential for brand designers also to develop skills specific to digital platforms, such as user experience design, interaction design, and prototyping. Brand design is currently experiencing a renaissance, and talented brand designers who have transitioned into product designers are desperately sought after.

Showcasing brand design work in a portfolio can be beneficial when applying for digital roles. It demonstrates a designer's overall design skills, creativity, and attention to detail. However, it's essential to ensure that the portfolio emphasizes the digital aspects of the work and highlights relevant UX/UI design projects and skills.

Of course, there is also the possibility of considering a short internship for brand designers who are transitioning into product designers. Internships provide an opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learn from experienced professionals, and build a network in the industry. It's a valuable stepping stone for career development and can lead to full-time opportunities in the future. It can be a good way to get your foot in the door, especially in times of crisis.

 

4. What are the most sought-after skills by companies when it comes to UX/UI designers?

Companies highly value UX/UI designers with a strong understanding of user-centred design, the ability to conduct user research and usability testing, prototyping skills, interaction design, visual design, and proficiency in relevant design tools and software. Additionally, communication skills, teamwork, and an understanding of business goals and requirements are also crucial.

It depends on the size and complexity of the design organization and the products, and to what extent specialized designers are sought. In early-stage phases, the so-called unicorns are often sought – these are designers who cover the entire range of design skills from research to development of the design system, prototyping, UX design and testing. In complex setups, there is then differentiation into researchers, UX architects, UI designers etc.

In consultancies and venture builders, as well as in organizations that recognize the value of a customer-centric product perspective, there is also a great need for service designers, strategic designers and business designers. These roles have intersections and overlap with product design, of course, but also offer the possibility of a professional transition.

 

5. What is the typical career progression for UX/UI designers? Are there specific positions or roles that designers can work towards?

The career progression for UX/UI designers can vary depending on the kind of company and individual aspirations. Typically, designers start as junior or entry-level designers, and with experience and demonstrated skills, they can advance to mid-level, senior, or leadership positions. From there, opportunities may arise to become UX/UI design managers, design directors, or specialized roles such as UX researchers or information architects. There are also a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or Business designers.

There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers. So creating the opportunity for expert roles – so-called design principals, who work as specialists and develop and lead professionally. This is contrasted with Team Lead roles. Until now, at least in Germany, career advancement in design was exclusively linked to taking on team lead responsibilities. Currently, there is a rethink in the industry about the nature of careers in design.  

Navigating the Evolving Product Design Hiring Landscape

An interview with muse case labs

 

Milan Vukelić, one of the founders of muse case labs, a Berlin-based tech education company, interviewed me about the current Product design hiring landscape. Here are 10 of his questions and my attempts to find answers to them or at least to share observations – derived from many conversations I have had with design hiring managers and job-seeking designers over the past weeks. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions and would like to continue the conversation.

 

1. Everyone knows there’s a crisis in the job market, because of all the lay-offs. Last year had a lot of fluctuation. What are your predictions for the rest of the year?

The job market has indeed been affected by economic challenges, including lay-offs. However, hiring continues in the UX/UI design field as companies recognize the importance of digital experiences. At the same time, there may be some uncertainties, not all sectors and companies are equally impacted by the crisis. While there are many hiring freezes in the early-stage startup world and big tech companies are laying off massively, the project and retainer business of agencies and management consultancies is relatively stable – hiring continues here. In addition, the recruitment of companies in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability, and Greentech is currently booming.

It is also an excellent opportunity for German SMEs, NGOs and public organizations and services – which have not been so interesting for digital specialists and innovators – to get their hands on rare talent. Recruitment is continuing here as well. Furthermore, I see that hiring freezes are also precautions or simply imitated by many companies in a very uncertain situation. Additionally, the market is flooded with product designers looking for a job right now, and it's hard for companies to find the best talent in this noise. Personal recommendations have become the most important guide, and that's why I strongly recommend networking. I expect that we will see a more dynamic job market in the autumn – and that hiring will pick up again in Q1 next year at the latest.

Freelancing can be another option in the current situation. Companies first outsource work to freelancers in case of bottlenecks before hiring permanently. Becoming a freelance designer can offer flexibility and opportunities for remote work. However, it's significant to note that the freelance market can be competitive, especially during challenging economic times as we have right now. Freelancers should be prepared to market themselves effectively, build a strong portfolio, and continuously update their skills to stay competitive in the industry. 

 

2. Are the more senior and executive-level designers, who you mostly work with, still in higher demand than juniors?

In the current market, the demand for senior and junior designers exists, but it depends on the specific company and their needs. While there is often a higher demand for experienced designers who can lead projects and teams, companies also recognize the value of fresh perspectives and junior designers who bring new ideas and energy to the table. On the other hand, I currently see the tendency to reduce overhead due to cost savings – and so many design managers are currently being dismissed. Design teams report more to product and tech again, and the individual contributors become more important.

In times of cost savings, the question is always asked first: Who is working productively and who can we do without? Experience shows that this leads sooner or later to a backlash – the design teams are overworked. The first thing that happens is that freelancers are brought in again – then the lack of leadership is discovered, and leadership is hired again. Companies typically do not learn, but unfortunately, go through the same unsustainable loops again and again.

 

3. What are the chances that brand designers get a role in product design?

Brand designers with a strong foundation in visual design can transition into roles in product design. Many brand design skills, such as layout, colour, motion design and typography, apply to product design. However, it's essential for brand designers also to develop skills specific to digital platforms, such as user experience design, interaction design, and prototyping. Brand design is currently experiencing a renaissance, and talented brand designers who have transitioned into product designers are desperately sought after.

Showcasing brand design work in a portfolio can be beneficial when applying for digital roles. It demonstrates a designer's overall design skills, creativity, and attention to detail. However, it's essential to ensure that the portfolio emphasizes the digital aspects of the work and highlights relevant UX/UI design projects and skills.

Of course, there is also the possibility of considering a short internship for brand designers who are transitioning into product designers. Internships provide an opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learn from experienced professionals, and build a network in the industry. It's a valuable stepping stone for career development and can lead to full-time opportunities in the future. It can be a good way to get your foot in the door, especially in times of crisis.

 

4. What are the most sought-after skills by companies when it comes to UX/UI designers?

Companies highly value UX/UI designers with a strong understanding of user-centred design, the ability to conduct user research and usability testing, prototyping skills, interaction design, visual design, and proficiency in relevant design tools and software. Additionally, communication skills, teamwork, and an understanding of business goals and requirements are also crucial.

It depends on the size and complexity of the design organization and the products, and to what extent specialized designers are sought. In early-stage phases, the so-called unicorns are often sought – these are designers who cover the entire range of design skills from research to development of the design system, prototyping, UX design and testing. In complex setups, there is then differentiation into researchers, UX architects, UI designers etc.

In consultancies and venture builders, as well as in organizations that recognize the value of a customer-centric product perspective, there is also a great need for service designers, strategic designers and business designers. These roles have intersections and overlap with product design, of course, but also offer the possibility of a professional transition.

 

5. What is the typical career progression for UX/UI designers? Are there specific positions or roles that designers can work towards?

The career progression for UX/UI designers can vary depending on the kind of company and individual aspirations. Typically, designers start as junior or entry-level designers, and with experience and demonstrated skills, they can advance to mid-level, senior, or leadership positions. From there, opportunities may arise to become UX/UI design managers, design directors, or specialized roles such as UX researchers or information architects. There are also a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or Business designers.

There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers. So creating the opportunity for expert roles – so-called design principals, who work as specialists and develop and lead professionally. This is contrasted with Team Lead roles. Until now, at least in Germany, career advancement in design was exclusively linked to taking on team lead responsibilities. Currently, there is a rethink in the industry about the nature of careers in design.  

Navigating the Evolving Product Design Hiring Landscape

An interview with muse case labs

 

Milan Vukelić, one of the founders of muse case labs, a Berlin-based tech education company, interviewed me about the current Product design hiring landscape. Here are 10 of his questions and my attempts to find answers to them or at least to share observations – derived from many conversations I have had with design hiring managers and job-seeking designers over the past weeks. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions and would like to continue the conversation.

 

1. Everyone knows there’s a crisis in the job market, because of all the lay-offs. Last year had a lot of fluctuation. What are your predictions for the rest of the year?

The job market has indeed been affected by economic challenges, including lay-offs. However, hiring continues in the UX/UI design field as companies recognize the importance of digital experiences. At the same time, there may be some uncertainties, not all sectors and companies are equally impacted by the crisis. While there are many hiring freezes in the early-stage startup world and big tech companies are laying off massively, the project and retainer business of agencies and management consultancies is relatively stable – hiring continues here. In addition, the recruitment of companies in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability, and Greentech is currently booming.

It is also an excellent opportunity for German SMEs, NGOs and public organizations and services – which have not been so interesting for digital specialists and innovators – to get their hands on rare talent. Recruitment is continuing here as well. Furthermore, I see that hiring freezes are also precautions or simply imitated by many companies in a very uncertain situation. Additionally, the market is flooded with product designers looking for a job right now, and it's hard for companies to find the best talent in this noise. Personal recommendations have become the most important guide, and that's why I strongly recommend networking. I expect that we will see a more dynamic job market in the autumn – and that hiring will pick up again in Q1 next year at the latest.

Freelancing can be another option in the current situation. Companies first outsource work to freelancers in case of bottlenecks before hiring permanently. Becoming a freelance designer can offer flexibility and opportunities for remote work. However, it's significant to note that the freelance market can be competitive, especially during challenging economic times as we have right now. Freelancers should be prepared to market themselves effectively, build a strong portfolio, and continuously update their skills to stay competitive in the industry. 

 

2. Are the more senior and executive-level designers, who you mostly work with, still in higher demand than juniors?

In the current market, the demand for senior and junior designers exists, but it depends on the specific company and their needs. While there is often a higher demand for experienced designers who can lead projects and teams, companies also recognize the value of fresh perspectives and junior designers who bring new ideas and energy to the table. On the other hand, I currently see the tendency to reduce overhead due to cost savings – and so many design managers are currently being dismissed. Design teams report more to product and tech again, and the individual contributors become more important.

In times of cost savings, the question is always asked first: Who is working productively and who can we do without? Experience shows that this leads sooner or later to a backlash – the design teams are overworked. The first thing that happens is that freelancers are brought in again – then the lack of leadership is discovered, and leadership is hired again. Companies typically do not learn, but unfortunately, go through the same unsustainable loops again and again.

 

3. What are the chances that brand designers get a role in product design?

Brand designers with a strong foundation in visual design can transition into roles in product design. Many brand design skills, such as layout, colour, motion design and typography, apply to product design. However, it's essential for brand designers also to develop skills specific to digital platforms, such as user experience design, interaction design, and prototyping. Brand design is currently experiencing a renaissance, and talented brand designers who have transitioned into product designers are desperately sought after.

Showcasing brand design work in a portfolio can be beneficial when applying for digital roles. It demonstrates a designer's overall design skills, creativity, and attention to detail. However, it's essential to ensure that the portfolio emphasizes the digital aspects of the work and highlights relevant UX/UI design projects and skills.

Of course, there is also the possibility of considering a short internship for brand designers who are transitioning into product designers. Internships provide an opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learn from experienced professionals, and build a network in the industry. It's a valuable stepping stone for career development and can lead to full-time opportunities in the future. It can be a good way to get your foot in the door, especially in times of crisis.

 

4. What are the most sought-after skills by companies when it comes to UX/UI designers?

Companies highly value UX/UI designers with a strong understanding of user-centred design, the ability to conduct user research and usability testing, prototyping skills, interaction design, visual design, and proficiency in relevant design tools and software. Additionally, communication skills, teamwork, and an understanding of business goals and requirements are also crucial.

It depends on the size and complexity of the design organization and the products, and to what extent specialized designers are sought. In early-stage phases, the so-called unicorns are often sought – designers who cover the entire range of design skills from research to development of the design system, prototyping, UX design and testing. In complex setups, there is then differentiation into researchers, UX architects, UI designers etc.

In consultancies and venture builders, as well as in organizations that recognize the value of a customer-centric product perspective, there is also a great need for service designers, strategic designers and business designers. These roles have intersections and overlap with product design, of course, but also offer the possibility of a professional transition.

 

5. What is the typical career progression for UX/UI designers? Are there specific positions or roles that designers can work towards?

The career progression for UX/UI designers can vary depending on the kind of company and individual aspirations. Typically, designers start as junior or entry-level designers, and with experience and demonstrated skills, they can advance to mid-level, senior, or leadership positions. From there, opportunities may arise to become UX/UI design managers, design directors, or specialized roles such as UX researchers or information architects. There are also a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or Business designers.

There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers. So creating the opportunity for expert roles – so-called design principals, who work as specialists and develop and lead professionally. This is contrasted with Team Lead roles. Until now, at least in Germany, career advancement in design was exclusively linked to taking on team lead responsibilities. Currently, there is a rethink in the industry about the nature of careers in design.  

Navigating the Evolving Product Design Hiring Landscape

An interview with muse case labs

 

Milan Vukelić, one of the founders of muse case labs, a Berlin-based tech education company, interviewed me about the current Product design hiring landscape. Here are 10 of his questions and my attempts to find answers to them or at least to share observations – derived from many conversations I have had with design hiring managers and job-seeking designers over the past weeks. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions and would like to continue the conversation.

 

1. Everyone knows there’s a crisis in the job market, because of all the lay-offs. Last year had a lot of fluctuation. What are your predictions for the rest of the year?

The job market has indeed been affected by economic challenges, including lay-offs. However, hiring continues in the UX/UI design field as companies recognize the importance of digital experiences. At the same time, there may be some uncertainties, not all sectors and companies are equally impacted by the crisis. While there are many hiring freezes in the early-stage startup world and big tech companies are laying off massively, the project and retainer business of agencies and management consultancies is relatively stable – hiring continues here. In addition, the recruitment of companies in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability, and Greentech is currently booming.

It is also an excellent opportunity for German SMEs, NGOs and public organizations and services – which have not been so interesting for digital specialists and innovators – to get their hands on rare talent. Recruitment is continuing here as well. Furthermore, I see that hiring freezes are also precautions or simply imitated by many companies in a very uncertain situation. Additionally, the market is flooded with product designers looking for a job right now, and it's hard for companies to find the best talent in this noise. Personal recommendations have become the most important guide, and that's why I strongly recommend networking. I expect that we will see a more dynamic job market in the autumn – and that hiring will pick up again in Q1 next year at the latest.

Freelancing can be another option in the current situation. Companies first outsource work to freelancers in case of bottlenecks before hiring permanently. Becoming a freelance designer can offer flexibility and opportunities for remote work. However, it's significant to note that the freelance market can be competitive, especially during challenging economic times as we have right now. Freelancers should be prepared to market themselves effectively, build a strong portfolio, and continuously update their skills to stay competitive in the industry. 

 

2. Are the more senior and executive-level designers, whom you mostly work with, still in higher demand than juniors?

In the current market, the demand for senior and junior designers exists, but it depends on the specific company and their needs. While there is often a higher demand for experienced designers who can lead projects and teams, companies also recognize the value of fresh perspectives and junior designers who bring new ideas and energy to the table. On the other hand, I currently see the tendency to reduce overhead due to cost savings – and so many design managers are currently being dismissed. Design teams report more to product and tech again, and the individual contributors become more important.

In times of cost savings, the question is always asked first: Who is working productively and who can we do without? Experience shows that this leads sooner or later to a backlash – the design teams are overworked. The first thing that happens is that freelancers are brought in again – then the lack of leadership is discovered, and leadership is hired again. Companies typically do not learn, but unfortunately, go through the same unsustainable loops again and again.

 

3. What are the chances that brand designers get a role in product design?

Brand designers with a strong foundation in visual design can transition into roles in product design. Many brand design skills, such as layout, colour, motion design and typography, apply to product design. However, it's essential for brand designers also to develop skills specific to digital platforms, such as user experience design, interaction design, and prototyping. Brand design is currently experiencing a renaissance, and talented brand designers who have transitioned into product designers are desperately sought after.

Showcasing brand design work in a portfolio can be beneficial when applying for digital roles. It demonstrates a designer's overall design skills, creativity, and attention to detail. However, it's essential to ensure that the portfolio emphasizes the digital aspects of the work and highlights relevant UX/UI design projects and skills.

Of course, there is also the possibility of considering a short internship for brand designers who are transitioning into product designers. Internships provide an opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learn from experienced professionals, and build a network in the industry. It's a valuable stepping stone for career development and can lead to full-time opportunities in the future. It can be a good way to get your foot in the door, especially in times of crisis.

 

4. What are the most sought-after skills by companies when it comes to UX/UI designers?

Companies highly value UX/UI designers with a strong understanding of user-centred design, the ability to conduct user research and usability testing, prototyping skills, interaction design, visual design, and proficiency in relevant design tools and software. Additionally, communication skills, teamwork, and an understanding of business goals and requirements are also crucial.

It depends on the size and complexity of the design organization and the products, and to what extent specialized designers are sought. In early-stage phases, the so-called unicorns are often sought – designers who cover the entire range of design skills from research to development of the design system, prototyping, UX design and testing. In complex setups, there is then differentiation into researchers, UX architects, UI designers etc.

In consultancies and venture builders, as well as in organizations that recognize the value of a customer-centric product perspective, there is also a great need for service designers, strategic designers and business designers. These roles have intersections and overlap with product design, of course, but also offer the possibility of a professional transition.

 

5. What is the typical career progression for UX/UI designers? Are there specific positions or roles that designers can work towards?

The career progression for UX/UI designers can vary depending on the kind of company and individual aspirations. Typically, designers start as junior or entry-level designers, and with experience and demonstrated skills, they can advance to mid-level, senior, or leadership positions. From there, opportunities may arise to become UX/UI design managers, design directors, or specialized roles such as UX researchers or information architects. There are also a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or Business designers.

There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers. So creating the opportunity for expert roles – so-called design principals, who work as specialists and develop and lead professionally. This is contrasted with Team Lead roles. Until now, at least in Germany, career advancement in design was exclusively linked to taking on team lead responsibilities. Currently, there is a rethink in the industry about the nature of careers in design.  

“For designers, new modalities such as gaze, touch, and speech open up possibilities for innovative design, creation, and interaction and new use cases across the creative industries.”

David Johnston, lead technologist at Digital Catapult, the UK innovation agency for advanced digital technology: Will Apple’s Vision Pro be a design success? Design Week, June 6, 2023

6. Are there any current trends or technologies in the UX/UI design field that designers should pay attention to and prepare for?

I think there are several trends and technologies that UX/UI designers should pay attention to. These include Voice User Interfaces, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), data-driven design, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). IBM recently published Seven Bets on the future, they see the Metaverse as having a huge growth potential. There are currently numerous studios in the German design industry that have been actively working on this for a long time and are developing fantastic results, such as Artificial Rome, Demodern, Elastique, and Journee - to name but a few. Designers should stay informed about these developments to keep their knowledge and skills up to date, and consider further education if necessary.

Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and in the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers. Designing for spatial computing and experiences: the launch of Apple Vision Pro is an evolution in the AR and VR market. This gives a huge space for designers to play with, both visually and conceptually. “New modalities such as gaze, touch, and speech open possibilities for innovative design, creation, and interaction and new use cases across the creative industries.” (David Johnston in Will Apple’s Vision Pro be a design success?)

 

7. Can you provide insights or advice on effectively presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process?

When presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process, it is important to provide a clear and compelling story. The portfolio should include a variety of projects that showcase different aspects of the design process, including problem-solving, user research, prototyping, and visual design. It is helpful to contextualize the project examples by explaining the underlying challenges, solutions, and achieved outcomes.

Additionally, designers should be able to effectively communicate their design decisions and processes in their portfolio. Just as essential as a good self-presentation is a well-prepared list of questions for the interviewer: e.g.: What are the biggest challenges for the team at the moment? How big is the team? What is the career path for this role? How do they work with tech? What is the status of design in the organization? Who is the most senior designer and who decides what gets shipped?

 

8. What key skills or qualities do recruiters and HR professionals look for in UX/UI designers during interviews and evaluations?

Recruiters and HR professionals look for a combination of technical expertise, creativity, problem-solving skills, communication skills, teamwork abilities, and the ability to accept constructive feedback from peer UX/UI designers and stakeholders. They also want to see applicants who can explain their design decisions, demonstrate their design process, and strike a good balance between aesthetic design and functional user experience.

Typical interview processes are 1. A first interview with Talent Acquisition (check of core requirements) 2. Case study presentation with the hiring manager and leadership or team members from the other functions 3. Team meeting for cultural check 4. Offer and negotiation.

Matthias Schmeisser, Global Director, Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding, Emnify, is a strong advocate of skill-based hiring. Where someone went to school or which companies they have worked for is not an indicator of what they can do. Skills are important: they are the tools a person uses to get a job done. He says the following factors are good predictors of future job performance: Cognitive ability assessments, technical or functional ability tests, and creative problem-solving assessments. This means that the competency test will play a much bigger role in the application process in the future than it has in the past. I think applicants in the product design environment should also realize that it's less about a glossy portfolio and an impressive CV and more about presenting and developing relevant case studies in the application process.

 

9. Can you share tips or strategies for networking and building connections within the UX/UI design community? How significant is networking for professional development in this field?

Networking is highly essential in the field of UX/UI design. To build connections, designers can participate in industry events, conferences, and meetups, engage in online forums and social media, and take advantage of mentorship programs when available. It's crucial to actively engage with the design community, share knowledge and experiences, learn from others, and discover potential career opportunities. Networking can lead to new projects, career opportunities, and valuable contacts.

In June, for example, the largest unconference for UX Professionals in Europe — UXcamp Europe took place in Berlin – an influential community meeting – which I can highly recommend. I've also heard good things about the Hatch Conference – An event for UX & design experts in Berlin & online, which takes place in October. Even though these conferences are sold out quickly, Hatch Conference, for example, also offers the opportunity to buy an online pass that allows you to see the contributions online.

 

10. And finally: Will AI put us all out of work? ;-)

This is a huge and incredibly important topic. I heard a great quote from a design leader the other day. He said that in the future there will be three different types of designers, First: Designers who are made obsolete by AI, Second: Designers who communicate with AI and Third: Designers who design AI.

Generative AI will massively change all areas. In design, I have been observing the trend for some time now to develop design into a service product – design on demand, so to speak. This trend is unstoppable and goes hand in hand with the general trend towards the servitization of offerings that we see everywhere. But this trend is now further fuelled by AI-generated design.

I think it will be more essential than ever for the designer to intervene in a consultative way. The designer is the gatekeeper and the advocate for user interests, brand guardian and quality control for ergonomics and usability. I can imagine that the designer will then take on more of a curator function. To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created – keyword: “Prompt Design”. Experience designers from IBM iX recently gave an exciting keynote on this topic at UXcamp Europe under the following questions: How to design AI products and what kind of design skills will we need in the future? (IBM iX: “Experience Design for a ChatGPT World” – keynote at UXcamp Europe)

6. Are there any current trends or technologies in the UX/UI design field that designers should pay attention to and prepare for?

I think there are several trends and technologies that UX/UI designers should pay attention to. These include Voice User Interfaces, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), data-driven design, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). IBM recently published Seven Bets on the future, they see the Metaverse as having a huge growth potential. There are currently numerous studios in the German design industry that have been actively working on this for a long time and are developing fantastic results, such as Artificial Rome, Demodern, Elastique, and Journee — to name but a few. Designers should stay informed about these developments to keep their knowledge and skills up to date, and consider further education if necessary.

Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and in the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers. Designing for spatial computing and experiences: the launch of Apple Vision Pro is an evolution in the AR and VR market. This gives a huge space for designers to play with, both visually and conceptually. “New modalities such as gaze, touch, and speech open possibilities for innovative design, creation, and interaction and new use cases across the creative industries.” (David Johnston in Will Apple’s Vision Pro be a design success?)

 

7. Can you provide insights or advice on effectively presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process?

When presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process, it is important to provide a clear and compelling story. The portfolio should include a variety of projects that showcase different aspects of the design process, including problem-solving, user research, prototyping, and visual design. It is helpful to contextualize the project examples by explaining the underlying challenges, solutions, and achieved outcomes.

Additionally, designers should be able to effectively communicate their design decisions and processes in their portfolio. Just as essential as a good self-presentation is a well-prepared list of questions for the interviewer: e.g.: What are the biggest challenges for the team at the moment? How big is the team? What is the career path for this role? How do they work with tech? What is the status of design in the organization? Who is the most senior designer and who decides what gets shipped?

 

8. What key skills or qualities do recruiters and HR professionals look for in UX/UI designers during interviews and evaluations?

Recruiters and HR professionals look for a combination of technical expertise, creativity, problem-solving skills, communication skills, teamwork abilities, and the ability to accept constructive feedback from peer UX/UI designers and stakeholders. They also want to see applicants who can explain their design decisions, demonstrate their design process, and strike a good balance between aesthetic design and functional user experience.

Typical interview processes are 1. A first interview with Talent Acquisition (check of core requirements) 2. Case study presentation with the hiring manager and leadership or team members from the other functions 3. Team meeting for cultural check 4. Offer and negotiation.

Matthias Schmeisser, Global Director, Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding, Emnify, is a strong advocate of skill-based hiring. Where someone went to school or which companies they have worked for is not an indicator of what they can do. Skills are important: they are the tools a person uses to get a job done. He says the following factors are good predictors of future job performance: Cognitive ability assessments, technical or functional ability tests, and creative problem-solving assessments. This means that the competency test will play a much bigger role in the application process in the future than it has in the past. I think applicants in the product design environment should also realize that it's less about a glossy portfolio and an impressive CV and more about presenting and developing relevant case studies in the application process.

 

9. Can you share tips or strategies for networking and building connections within the UX/UI design community? How significant is networking for professional development in this field?

Networking is highly essential in the field of UX/UI design. To build connections, designers can participate in industry events, conferences, and meetups, engage in online forums and social media, and take advantage of mentorship programs when available. It's crucial to actively engage with the design community, share knowledge and experiences, learn from others, and discover potential career opportunities. Networking can lead to new projects, career opportunities, and valuable contacts.

In June, for example, the largest unconference for UX Professionals in Europe — UXcamp Europe took place in Berlin – an influential community meeting – which I can highly recommend. I've also heard good things about the Hatch Conference – An event for UX & design experts in Berlin & online, which takes place in October. Even though these conferences are sold out quickly, Hatch Conference, for example, also offers the opportunity to buy an online pass that allows you to see the contributions online.

 

10. And finally: Will AI put us all out of work? ;-)

This is a huge and incredibly important topic. I heard a great quote from a design leader the other day. He said that in the future there will be three different types of designers, First: Designers who are made obsolete by AI, Second: Designers who communicate with AI and Third: Designers who design AI.

Generative AI will massively change all areas. In design, I have been observing the trend for some time now to develop design into a service product – design on demand, so to speak. This trend is unstoppable and goes hand in hand with the general trend towards the servitization of offerings that we see everywhere. But this trend is now further fuelled by AI-generated design.

I think it will be more essential than ever for the designer to intervene in a consultative way. The designer is the gatekeeper and the advocate for user interests, brand guardian and quality control for ergonomics and usability. I can imagine that the designer will then take on more of a curator function. To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created – keyword: “Prompt Design”. Experience designers from IBM iX recently gave an exciting keynote on this topic at UXcamp Europe under the following questions: How to design AI products and what kind of design skills will we need in the future? (IBM iX: “Experience Design for a ChatGPT World” – keynote at UXcamp Europe)

6. Are there any current trends or technologies in the UX/UI design field that designers should pay attention to and prepare for?

I think there are several trends and technologies that UX/UI designers should pay attention to. These include Voice User Interfaces, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), data-driven design, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). IBM recently published Seven Bets on the future, they see the Metaverse as having a huge growth potential. There are currently numerous studios in the German design industry that have been actively working on this for a long time and are developing fantastic results, such as Artificial Rome, Demodern, Elastique, and Journee — to name but a few. Designers should stay informed about these developments to keep their knowledge and skills up to date, and consider further education if necessary.

Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers. Designing for spatial computing and experiences: the launch of Apple Vision Pro is an evolution in the AR and VR market. This gives a huge space for designers to play with, both visually and conceptually. “New modalities such as gaze, touch, and speech open possibilities for innovative design, creation, and interaction and new use cases across the creative industries.” (David Johnston in Will Apple’s Vision Pro be a design success?)

 

7. Can you provide insights or advice on effectively presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process?

When presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process, it is important to provide a clear and compelling story. The portfolio should include a variety of projects that showcase different aspects of the design process, including problem-solving, user research, prototyping, and visual design. It is helpful to contextualize the project examples by explaining the underlying challenges, solutions, and achieved outcomes.

Additionally, designers should be able to effectively communicate their design decisions and processes in their portfolio. Just as essential as a good self-presentation is a well-prepared list of questions for the interviewer: e.g.: What are the biggest challenges for the team at the moment? How big is the team? What is the career path for this role? How do they work with tech? What is the status of design in the organization? Who is the most senior designer and who decides what gets shipped?

 

8. What key skills or qualities do recruiters and HR professionals look for in UX/UI designers during interviews and evaluations?

Recruiters and HR professionals look for a combination of technical expertise, creativity, problem-solving skills, communication skills, teamwork abilities, and the ability to accept constructive feedback from peer UX/UI designers and stakeholders. They also want to see applicants who can explain their design decisions, demonstrate their design process, and strike a good balance between aesthetic design and functional user experience.

Typical interview processes are 1. A first interview with Talent Acquisition (check of core requirements) 2. Case study presentation with the hiring manager and leadership or team members from the other functions 3. Team meeting for cultural check 4. Offer and negotiation.

Matthias Schmeisser, Global Director, Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding, Emnify, is a strong advocate of skill-based hiring. Where someone went to school or which companies they have worked for is not an indicator of what they can do. Skills are important: they are the tools a person uses to get a job done. He says the following factors are good predictors of future job performance: Cognitive ability assessments, technical or functional ability tests, and creative problem-solving assessments. This means that the competency test will play a much bigger role in the application process in the future than it has in the past. I think applicants in the product design environment should also realize that it's less about a glossy portfolio and an impressive CV and more about presenting and developing relevant case studies in the application process.

 

9. Can you share tips or strategies for networking and building connections within the UX/UI design community? How important is networking for professional development in this field?

Networking is highly essential in the field of UX/UI design. To build connections, designers can participate in industry events, conferences, and meetups, engage in online forums and social media, and take advantage of mentorship programs when available. It's crucial to actively engage with the design community, share knowledge and experiences, learn from others, and discover potential career opportunities. Networking can lead to new projects, career opportunities, and valuable contacts.

In June, for example, the largest unconference for UX Professionals in Europe — UXcamp Europe took place in Berlin – an influential community meeting – which I can highly recommend. I've also heard good things about the Hatch Conference – An event for UX & design experts in Berlin & online, which takes place in October. Even though these conferences are sold out quickly, Hatch Conference, for example, also offers the opportunity to buy an online pass that allows you to see the contributions online.

 

10. And finally: Will AI put us all out of work? ;-)

This is a huge and incredibly important topic. I heard a great quote from a design leader the other day. He said that in the future there will be three different types of designers, First: Designers who are made obsolete by AI, Second: Designers who communicate with AI and Third: Designers who design AI.

Generative AI will massively change all areas. In design, I have been observing the trend for some time now to develop design into a service product – design on demand, so to speak. This trend is unstoppable and goes hand in hand with the general trend towards the servitization of offerings that we see everywhere. But this trend is now further fuelled by AI-generated design.

I think it will be more essential than ever for the designer to intervene in a consultative way. The designer is the gatekeeper and the advocate for user interests, brand guardian and quality control for ergonomics and usability. I can imagine that the designer will then take on more of a curator function. To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created – keyword: “Prompt Design”. Experience designers from IBM iX recently gave an exciting keynote on this topic at UXcamp Europe under the following questions: How to design AI products and what kind of design skills will we need in the future? (IBM iX: “Experience Design for a ChatGPT World” – keynote at UXcamp Europe)

6. Are there any current trends or technologies in the UX/UI design field that designers should pay attention to and prepare for?

I think there are several trends and technologies that UX/UI designers should pay attention to. These include Voice User Interfaces, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), data-driven design, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). IBM recently published Seven Bets on the future, they see the Metaverse as having a huge growth potential. There are currently numerous studios in the German design industry that have been actively working on this for a long time and are developing fantastic results, such as Artificial Rome, Demodern, Elastique, and Journee — to name but a few. Designers should stay informed about these developments to keep their knowledge and skills up to date, and consider further education if necessary.

Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers. Designing for spatial computing and experiences: the launch of Apple Vision Pro is an evolution in the AR and VR market. This gives a huge space for designers to play with, both visually and conceptually. “New modalities such as gaze, touch, and speech open possibilities for innovative design, creation, and interaction and new use cases across the creative industries.” (David Johnston in Will Apple’s Vision Pro be a design success?)

 

7. Can you provide insights or advice on effectively presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process?

When presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process, it is important to provide a clear and compelling story. The portfolio should include a variety of projects that showcase different aspects of the design process, including problem-solving, user research, prototyping, and visual design. It is helpful to contextualize the project examples by explaining the underlying challenges, solutions, and achieved outcomes.

Additionally, designers should be able to effectively communicate their design decisions and process in their portfolio. Just as essential as a good self-presentation is a well-prepared list of questions for the interviewer: e.g.: What are the biggest challenges for the team at the moment? How big is the team? What is the career path for this role? How do they work with tech? What is the status of design in the organization? Who is the most senior designer and who decides what gets shipped?

 

8. What key skills or qualities do recruiters and HR professionals look for in UX/UI designers during interviews and evaluations?

Recruiters and HR professionals look for a combination of technical expertise, creativity, problem-solving skills, communication skills, teamwork abilities, and the ability to accept constructive feedback from peer UX/UI designers and stakeholders. They also want to see applicants who can explain their design decisions, demonstrate their design process, and strike a good balance between aesthetic design and functional user experience.

Typical interview processes are 1. A first interview with Talent Acquisition (check of core requirements) 2. Case study presentation with the hiring manager and leadership or team members from the other functions 3. Team meeting for cultural check 4. Offer and negotiation.

Matthias Schmeisser, Global Director, Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding, Emnify, is a strong advocate of skill-based hiring. Where someone went to school or which companies they have worked for is not an indicator of what they can do. Skills are important: they are the tools a person uses to get a job done. He says the following factors are good predictors of future job performance: Cognitive ability assessments, technical or functional ability tests, and creative problem-solving assessments. This means that the competency test will play a much bigger role in the application process in the future than it has in the past. I think applicants in the product design environment should also realize that it's less about a glossy portfolio and an impressive CV and more about presenting and developing relevant case studies in the application process.

 

9. Can you share tips or strategies for networking and building connections within the UX/UI design community? How important is networking for professional development in this field?

Networking is highly essential in the field of UX/UI design. To build connections, designers can participate in industry events, conferences, and meetups, engage in online forums and social media, and take advantage of mentorship programs when available. It's crucial to actively engage with the design community, share knowledge and experiences, learn from others, and discover potential career opportunities. Networking can lead to new projects, career opportunities, and valuable contacts.

In June, for example, the largest unconference for UX Professionals in Europe — UXcamp Europe took place in Berlin – an influential community meeting – which I can highly recommend. I've also heard good things about the Hatch Conference – An event for UX & design experts in Berlin & online, which takes place in October. Even though these conferences are sold out quickly, Hatch Conference, for example, also offers the opportunity to buy an online pass that allows you to see the contributions online.

 

10. And finally: Will AI put us all out of work? ;-)

This is a huge and incredibly important topic. I heard a great quote from a design leader the other day. He said that in the future there will be three different types of designers, First: Designers who are made obsolete by AI, Second: Designers who communicate with AI and Third: Designers who design AI.

Generative AI will massively change all areas. In design, I have been observing the trend for some time now to develop design into a service product – design on demand, so to speak. This trend is unstoppable and goes hand in hand with the general trend towards the servitization of offerings that we see everywhere. But this trend is now further fuelled by AI-generated design.

I think it will be more essential than ever for the designer to intervene in a consultative way. The designer is the gatekeeper and the advocate for user interests, brand guardian and quality control for ergonomics and usability. I can imagine that the designer will then take on more of a curator function. To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created – keyword: “Prompt Design”. Experience designers from IBM iX recently gave an exciting keynote on this topic at UXcamp Europe under the following questions: How to design AI products and what kind of design skills will we need in the future? (IBM iX: “Experience Design for a ChatGPT World” – keynote at UXcamp Europe)

6. Are there any current trends or technologies in the UX/UI design field that designers should pay attention to and prepare for?

I think there are several trends and technologies that UX/UI designers should pay attention to. These include Voice User Interfaces, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), data-driven design, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). IBM recently published Seven Bets on the future, they see the Metaverse as having a huge growth potential. There are currently numerous studios in the German design industry that have been actively working on this for a long time and are developing fantastic results, such as Artificial Rome, Demodern, Elastique, and Journee - to name but a few. Designers should stay informed about these developments to keep their knowledge and skills up to date, and consider further education if necessary.

Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers. Designing for spatial computing and experiences: the launch of Apple Vision Pro is an evolution in the AR and VR market. This gives a huge space for designers to play with, both visually and conceptually. “New modalities such as gaze, touch, and speech open possibilities for innovative design, creation, and interaction and new use cases across the creative industries.” (David Johnston in Will Apple’s Vision Pro be a design success?)

 

7. Can you provide insights or advice on effectively presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process?

When presenting design skills and portfolios during the application process, it is important to provide a clear and compelling story. The portfolio should include a variety of projects that showcase different aspects of the design process, including problem-solving, user research, prototyping, and visual design. It is helpful to contextualize the project examples by explaining the underlying challenges, solutions, and achieved outcomes.

Additionally, designers should be able to effectively communicate their design decisions and processes in their portfolio. Just as essential as a good self-presentation is a well-prepared list of questions for the interviewer: e.g.: What are the biggest challenges for the team at the moment? How big is the team? What is the career path for this role? How do they work with tech? What is the status of design in the organization? Who is the most senior designer and who decides what gets shipped?

 

8. What key skills or qualities do recruiters and HR professionals look for in UX/UI designers during interviews and evaluations?

Recruiters and HR professionals look for a combination of technical expertise, creativity, problem-solving skills, communication skills, teamwork abilities, and the ability to accept constructive feedback from peer UX/UI designers and stakeholders. They also want to see applicants who can explain their design decisions, demonstrate their design process, and strike a good balance between aesthetic design and functional user experience.

Typical interview processes are 1. A first interview with Talent Acquisition (check of core requirements) 2. Case study presentation with the hiring manager and leadership or team members from the other functions 3. Team meeting for cultural check 4. Offer and negotiation.

Matthias Schmeisser, Global Director, Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding, Emnify, is a strong advocate of skill-based hiring. Where someone went to school or which companies they have worked for is not an indicator of what they can do. Skills are important: they are the tools a person uses to get a job done. He says the following factors are good predictors of future job performance: Cognitive ability assessments, technical or functional ability tests, and creative problem-solving assessments. This means that the competency test will play a much bigger role in the application process in the future than it has in the past. I think applicants in the product design environment should also realize that it's less about a glossy portfolio and an impressive CV and more about presenting and developing relevant case studies in the application process.

 

9. Can you share tips or strategies for networking and building connections within the UX/UI design community? How significant is networking for professional development in this field?

Networking is highly essential in the field of UX/UI design. To build connections, designers can participate in industry events, conferences, and meetups, engage in online forums and social media, and take advantage of mentorship programs when available. It's crucial to actively engage with the design community, share knowledge and experiences, learn from others, and discover potential career opportunities. Networking can lead to new projects, career opportunities, and valuable contacts.

In June, for example, the largest unconference for UX Professionals in Europe — UXcamp Europe took place in Berlin – an influential community meeting – which I can highly recommend. I've also heard good things about the Hatch Conference – An event for UX & design experts in Berlin & online, which takes place in October. Even though these conferences are sold out quickly, Hatch Conference, for example, also offers the opportunity to buy an online pass that allows you to see the contributions online.

 

10. And finally: Will AI put us all out of work? ;-)

This is a huge and incredibly important topic. I heard a great quote from a design leader the other day. He said that in the future there will be three different types of designers, First: Designers who are made obsolete by AI, Second: Designers who communicate with AI and Third: Designers who design AI.

Generative AI will massively change all areas. In design, I have been observing the trend for some time now to develop design into a service product – design on demand, so to speak. This trend is unstoppable and goes hand in hand with the general trend towards the servitization of offerings that we see everywhere. But this trend is now further fuelled by AI-generated design.

I think it will be more essential than ever for the designer to intervene in a consultative way. The designer is the gatekeeper and the advocate for user interests, brand guardian and quality control for ergonomics and usability. I can imagine that the designer will then take on more of a curator function. To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created – keyword: “Prompt Design”. Experience designers from IBM iX recently gave an exciting keynote on this topic at UXcamp Europe under the following questions: How to design AI products and what kind of design skills will we need in the future? (IBM iX: “Experience Design for a ChatGPT World” – keynote at UXcamp Europe)

Key Takeaways

  • In the current economic climate, design leadership is often reduced – design teams report more to product and tech again, and individual contributors become more important
  • Talented brand designers who have made the transition into product designers are desperately sought after
  • There are a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or business designers
  • There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers
  • There is a shift in the industry towards skill-based hiring with the ultimate goal of becoming a skill-led organization
  • Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers
  • To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created

Key Takeaways

  • In the current economic climate, design leadership is often reduced – design teams report more to product and tech again, and individual contributors become more important
  • Talented brand designers who have made the transition into product designers are desperately sought after
  • There are a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or business designers
  • There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers
  • There is a shift in the industry towards skill-based hiring with the ultimate goal of becoming a skill-led organization
  • Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers
  • To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created

Key Takeaways

  • In the current economic climate, design leadership is often reduced – design teams report more to product and tech again, and individual contributors become more important
  • Talented brand designers who have made the transition into product designers are desperately sought after
  • There are a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or business designers
  • There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers
  • There is a shift in the industry towards skill-based hiring with the ultimate goal of becoming a skill-led organization
  • Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers
  • To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created

Key Takeaways

  • In the current economic climate, design leadership is often reduced – design teams report more to product and tech again, and individual contributors become more important
  • Talented brand designers who have made the transition into product designers are desperately sought after
  • There are a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or business designers
  • There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers
  • There is a shift in the industry towards skill-based hiring with the ultimate goal of becoming a skill-led organization
  • Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers
  • To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created

Key Takeaways

  • In the current economic climate, design leadership is often reduced – design teams report more to product and tech again, and individual contributors become more important
  • Talented brand designers who have made the transition into product designers are desperately sought after
  • There are a variety of new design roles, such as AI- / VR- / AR- / Voice-Interface designers, DesignOps Managers or business designers
  • There is a trend to pay more attention to expertise versus team leadership in the career path of designers
  • There is a shift in the industry towards skill-based hiring with the ultimate goal of becoming a skill-led organization
  • Digital interaction will detach itself from displays and screens and be more located in physical space and the Metaverse environments – thus opening entirely new playing fields for designers
  • To design AI products, design thinking methods would have to be adapted and new building models for AI interfaces would have to be created
PowerPoint Presentation

Cover image credit © muse case labs

Cover image credit © muse case labs

Cover image credit © muse case labs

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Full-time, part-time, free-timeInterview for PAGE Magazine

Design in a Post-COVID Worldmuse case labs Sessions

Expert Search demystifiedBuilding a Minimal Viable Recruiting Brand

Agile by DesignCollaborative Workspace Design

Mindset is EverythingSOULWORX ENERGIZER

Leading TogetherBlog Post

Embrace VarietyBerlin Dribbble meetup

Tech-Speed-DatingVolunteering at ReDI School

Cogs CrunchKnowledge Sharing Format

Headhunter SecretsUXcamp Europe, BarCamp

DECODERInnovation Platform

Service and selected CasesPDF Download (PW required)

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© 2024 Jan Pautsch

© 2024 Jan Pautsch