Recent research reveals that the global market for industrial design services will likely reach $2.8 billion by 2026. A significant segment of that market is for product design services, estimated to reach $1.2 billion by the same year. As the demand for more intuitive and user-friendly apps and software grows, so does the need for skilled product designers.
The role of a digital product designer involves a wide range of responsibilities, from identifying opportunities for new products to producing prototypes and improving the design of existing products. If you are curious, open-minded, detail-oriented, and interested in starting a tech career, product design may be for you.
And if you’re looking for a way in, Flatiron School offers a Product Design course that aims to help you transition toward a meaningful career in the field. Read on to learn how the tech bootcamp ensures that its recently retailored Product Design course remains aligned with the industry’s latest trends.
Flatiron School has revamped its product design course with the help of hiring managers to ensure that its students are fully prepared to enter the job market.Sign up for Flatiron School’s Free Intro to Product Design.
An Overview of Flatiron School’s Product Design Course
Flatiron School’s Product Design course teaches students how to design user-friendly digital products such as websites, computer programs, and mobile applications. The course comprises interactive labs, collaborative experiences between students, and instructor-led project walk-throughs.
Prior to its launch last year, the Product Design course was revamped under the guidance and expertise of Flatiron School’s group of curriculum designers and developers. “We knew we wanted to go in a different direction than past programs and take a different approach from programs that are out there already in the market,” said Joshua Robinson, Director of Product Design at Flatiron School.
“Our first step was to meet with hiring managers. We also interviewed some of the best companies building teams that hire product designers. We asked them to show us what types of work they were hiring junior and associate entry-level product designers to do,” he said.
From there, Flatiron School designed a curriculum that meets the demands of today’s employers, ensuring that students learn the necessary skills to become competitive product designers. And it doesn’t stop there. The course continues to work with industry professionals to keep the program up-to-date.
“We are always speaking to hiring managers so that we’re always reviewing the state of the program. We show them our students’ work and say, ‘Is this the type of work you would expect or want when you hire a product designer?’” said Joshua.
Among the trends they incorporated into the program is an emphasis on “ethical, inclusive, and accessible design” and how to strategize and work with teams throughout the design process.
“As a curriculum team, [we have to] do the work to find the voices that haven’t had the platform. I think we’ve missed the full picture of what design is capable of. It takes intentionality. It takes a values-based approach. It takes caring about these qualities in a program and in a curriculum.”
“We can’t just do what everyone else is doing because that will not move us forward. There are huge challenges, but it’s worth taking on those challenges at the end of the day,” Joshua shared.
Note that the Product Design course can be taken full-time or part-time and online or on-campus in New York City. The live program requires you to commit approximately eight hours of your day, from Monday through Friday, for 15 weeks.
Each weekday begins with a morning standup and morning workshops where new lessons are discussed. The rest of the day is spent on labs and projects, where students dive deeper into materials learned during the morning session.
At the end of the day, students consult with their cohorts and instructors for daily check-ins to make sure they are on track. This schedule works best if you prefer studying on a structured schedule and learning with peers.
On the other hand, the part-time course, also known as the flex program, works best if you’re a working professional, parent, or simply have other full-time commitments. With a part-time schedule, you have the freedom to set your own hours. The flex program is designed to be completed in approximately 40 weeks, with the student dedicating 20 to 25 hours per week working on the course.
Students who are able to spend more hours a week on the program may finish the course in a shorter amount of time. All students are given a maximum of 60 weeks, or about 15 months, to complete the program.
Since the part-time program is flexible, you’ll learn from recorded lectures, although you can still interact with your instructors and classmates over Slack and in Figma. Opportunities may also arise for students to attend live workshops from time to time.
What Will You Learn from Flatiron School’s Product Design Course?
Flatiron School’s Product Design consists of five phases. The first two phases teach the basics of research, user experience (UX) design, and user interface (UI) design. This is followed by studio projects designed to put your acquired skills to the test. Finally, you’ll have access to job search support after graduation for up to 180 days to increase your chances of getting hired.
Phase 1: UX Process
- Ethical Design. Learn how to design products that foster accessibility, inclusivity, and trust. Are they easy to use? Do they protect the privacy of users? Do they build empathy and benefit everyone, especially underrepresented groups?
- Foundational Research. Learn how to get to know your users better to design products that better respond to their needs. Uncover patterns in their behaviors, identify their pain points, and leverage your insights to design a product that puts your users first.
- Ideation and Innovation. Learn to visualize and communicate your ideas to stakeholders through your sketches. Create a prototype or a sample version of your product.
Phase 2: UI Process
- Visual Composition. Learn about the building blocks of design—fonts, shapes, lines, texture, balance—and how to combine them to create a cohesive visual experience.
- Typography and Color. Improve the readability and accessibility of your product’s interface to communicate your message better.
- Interaction and Animation. Learn to design animated interfaces to make your product instantly more appealing and interactive.
- Product Design Framework. Create a framework that will serve as your roadmap to turning your idea into a working product.
- Usability Testing. Make sure your product works well by testing its ease of use and functionality.
- UI Kit. Build a UI kit that contains critical user interface assets so you don’t have to start your design process from scratch and ensure consistency in your design.
Learn how to design a product from scratch as you assume the role of a project owner.
- Microinteractions. Pay attention to detail and create subtle cues that keep your users engaged.
- Data Visualization. Gather, organize, filter, and turn streams of data into actionable insights.
- Communication. Learn to communicate your ideas to team members and stakeholders and ensure that your design aligns with product requirements.
- Web Development. Learn to code in HTML and CSS to create responsive web designs.
- Portfolio. Document your design projects from end to end and showcase them online using Webflow.
- Career Development. Master the art of storytelling as you present your designs to an audience. Learn how to build connections with other design pros and practice your job interviewing skills.
Career Coaching Services
After you graduate from the program, you’ll have access to up to 180 days of one-on-one career coaching to prepare you for the job search. Your career coach will help you optimize your resume, teach you how to present yourself and communicate your skills during job interviews, and coach you in building a strong professional brand.
You’ll also gain access to Flatiron School’s vast employer network, boosting your chances of landing a job faster.
Flatiron School Product Design Course Tuition Cost
If you are interested in the Product Design program, Flatiron School costs $16,900, with a required $500 deposit. You can pay in various ways: upfront, via student loan, or in 12 zero-interest monthly installments. Certain payment options are only available in select markets. Visit the school’s Tuition and Financing page for more details. Flatiron School also offers several kinds of scholarships to qualified students.
Start Your Career in Product Design
As tech becomes more prevalent in our lives, from mobile apps to software, the need for skilled product designers will also continue to grow. Flatiron School’s Product Design course offers a unique take on product design and provides exciting employment opportunities for students. When learners complete the program, they will have the skills to work in several areas of design like product design, UX design, UI design, and visual design.
Joshua offers this advice for those interested in taking the Product Design course at Flatiron School: “Whatever you have done up until this point is not a waste. It doesn’t matter if you’re transitioning from another job that has nothing to do with design. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush or if you don’t consider yourself a creative person. All of your experience up until this point, you’re going to use and leverage in your new career.”
Take his advice and register for a Free Intro to Product Design lesson at Flatiron School.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.