Sudhir Mor is the co-founder of DesignShift Academy and has been working in the Digital space for the last 10+ years. He has received a Masters in Product Design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. He started DesignShift three years ago, along with Preeti Sheokand as an initiative to train aspiring designers in industry-relevant design practices. They are now beginning a Zero Upfront cost UX/UI Design program.
Digital Design has become one of the most sought-after skills in recent years, with UX/UI Design being on the list of most in-demand jobs in 2021. With digital becoming the first point of interaction, not just with businesses but also with interpersonal and work exchanges, the demand for UX professionals is bound to grow even higher.
There are quite a few job roles where UX professionals are being hired, naming a few UX Researchers, Product Designers, Interaction Designers, UX Designers, UI Designers, Usability Experts, Design Thinking Experts. And with the new techs like Voice, Chat, and AR/VR, job roles like Conversational UX Designer, VUI Designer & AR/VR Designer are also coming into the picture.
With technology becoming an integral part of the design process, whether it is the tools that designers use or the technology product is using at its core, the designers need to be aware of it. With this in mind, the focus should move to acquiring a practical knowledge of the subject wherein students not only learn design but also work with developers to understand how their designs come to life. The idea is to help students be industry-ready with the right design skills along with technology & business understanding. Understanding the basics of the front-end is vital for designers to understand the feasibility, and this should be an integral part of the training. This way the students will also understand new technologies like Voice, Chat, AR/VR at a high level.
The need of the hour is multi-disciplinary courses that will create a new wave of designers who are not only skilled in design practices but are also aware of tech and business feasibility. This understanding will also smoothen the learning curve many fresh designers face when they join the IT industry. And on the other side of it, the businesses looking out for designers with 2-3 years’ experience will also be able to get talent that is at par with such an experience due to the rigorous nature of the course. Thus, such training programs would bridge the gap between industry expectations and students’ skills and prove a win-win for both stakeholders.
Like all other sectors in edtech, skilling has picked up quite a bit in these pandemic times. This pandemic is giving way to a lot of startups to provide better offerings to the students. Hopefully, this time is also allowing design colleges to fine-tune their curriculum to industry standards. With the teaching moving entirely online, many industry experts are also very open to sharing knowledge with students. I believe that this is a golden opportunity for design institutes.
When we are talking about designers being tech aware, the opposite also is equally essential, i.e., the tech and product being aware of a user-centric approach to digital products. So, the convergence will genuinely be possible when even the engineers and product managers also learn design as part of their training. There is already a change in attitude in the IT sector, and Design Thinking is becoming quite popular among all stakeholders. Moreover, with digital products moving to a User Experience driven approach, institutes with cross-learning across different courses will create a better workforce.
Industry collaboration has become of paramount importance to make sure the ever-evolving digital design. The mushrooming of design institutes should not follow the path of “engineering colleges”.