Looking for info on roles in design businesses.

I’m sorry the topic is vague. I’m not sure how to word it.

I’m a student, and I have this growing cloud of concerns regarding design jobs, roles in design employment and even how different interpretations of “design” factor into the job market. I haven’t been able to take an internship yet because I’m currently working 3 jobs + full time grad school, and trying to get a body of work together for my first year review.

So I guess I’m asking if there are any books, films or blogs that address roles in design employment.

To go a little further into why I’m concerned about jobs… I’m trying to percieve and navigate the difference between “Design” - making pretty objects, and “design” - looking at how things (objects, systems, users) work and making them better. I understand that there is a lot of overlap. I’m in an art based program, but much more interested in the system view type of work. I’m more comfortable and useful in a research setting than a visual setting. I feel like there is a gradiated list of job positions between the two, but I really have no idea whats in there.

If anyone has any recommendations, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Congrats on having enough energy to juggle all that is currently on your plate. :wink:

Being in an Arts based ID program shouldn’t prevent you from including ample market research, user studies and utility / mechanical considerations in your final projects & presentations. Including those aspects of design will make for a more broadly interesting and better balanced portfolio…and that could help you find the technically skewed ID jobs that might be available when you graduate.

In short though, the functions of an ID job can be very diverse - you’ll see that when interviewing at different firms / manufacturers, etc. In the meantime, internships are the most valuable education in our industry.

Here are a few books that might help;

How to think like Leonardo da Vinci - Michael J. Gelb
Innovation - Thomas D. Kuczmarski
Creating Breakthru Products - Jonathan Cagan | Craig M. Vogel

Thanks for the book recommendations! I’ll grab those ASAP.

I believe you about internships being the most valuable education. Earlier in the semester I was putting a lot of thought into the hunt for one. As my hectic schedule is weighing me down, I’m getting more concerned with just getting past review. I’m cutting some jobs next semester and am going to try to see if I can spend a couple days here and there shadowing people in the industry. I don’t know how much luck I’ll have finding people who are ok with this, but it seems like the best way I can see how things work short of the actual internships.