ID, whats it all about??

I am a student in the process of exploring industrial design as a possible career and wanted to get the opinions and experiences of people who are in the business. I would really like to get a feel for what ID is all about.

  • What do you do on a daily basis, what is your day like? I realize that ID is a very broad field that takes many forms and has many different aspects but if you could give me an idea what a day in the life of a designer is like.
  • What is industrial design, in general and to you personally? This is an ambiguous all encompassing question, I know, but I am interested to know what it is to people, and I’m sure as you move from school to the work world your view of what design represents changes as you find out how ID works in the “real world”.
  • Is the job market for this career as brutal as I have heard or is this just a scare tactic to reduce competition? How hard is landing your first job/internship?
  • What makes you want to keep doing it? From what I hear the hours can be long, the pressure high, and some projects never manifest making all the hard work you poured into a project a waste. At the end of the day or a project what makes you say “damb, I love this job!!!”.
  • And finally any advice for some one looking into this field, aside from the usual know how to sketch like a mother, know programs x,y,z , or your going to have to work your ass off.

Oh and if I missed some thing you think is important to know I would love to hear about it.
Thank you for your time,

The daily life of a designer varies alot depending on their position. At a consultancy you can be having meetings one day, the next you are a computer jockey, and then the next you are having fun sketching incredible concepts. At a corporate job you might have alot more time in meetings and have to juggle egos a little bit more. If there is a more specific area of design you are interested in, I’m sure someone will be able to explain in greater detail.

Design to me is figuring out how to use a companies manufacturing capabilities and knowledge assets to meet a user’s wants and/or needs. Therefore, to succeed in the profession you need to know about manufacturing and business plus you need to know how to research users then using the design process develop a solution.

The job market is not the strongest it has ever been, but if you work hard you will get a job no problem. There are maybe 5% of students that treat their school projects like a 35+ hour a week job. If you do that, you will have a great portfolio & a job.

I keep being a designer because I’m not smart enough to know when to stop. No, I’m just kidding. I have always wanted to build small tools and things and ID is as close to that as we get in the contemporary western society.

Advice: do your research. Contact the IDSA. Get a subscription to Innovation to see a little different perspective of what’s going on in design. Contact some designers and find out about different schools reputations.

Good luck