I wrote a shitty article about this one and only ever published it on my website’s never before seen blog. I lost that article. Here is one from chat GTP3: I hope you hate it – ben
from chatGTP with feigned frustration:
“As an industrial designer deeply invested in the field of tangible product creation, it’s increasingly frustrating to witness the rampant misappropriation of the title “product designer” by those in the digital realm, particularly web designers. This trend not only undermines the integrity of our profession but also confuses both clients and the public about what a true product designer does.
Industrial design is a discipline rooted in the physical world, encompassing the creation of everything from consumer goods to machinery and vehicles. Our work requires a comprehensive understanding of materials, manufacturing processes, ergonomics, and user-centered design principles. We sweat over prototypes, iterate tirelessly, and collaborate closely with engineers and manufacturers to ensure that the end result is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional, reliable, and delightful to use. Our designs often have a profound impact on people’s lives, shaping their experiences and interactions with the physical world.
On the other hand, the digital realm of web design, while undoubtedly important, operates within a fundamentally different space. Web designers focus on crafting user interfaces and experiences for websites and applications. They deal with pixels, wireframes, and code, harnessing their creativity to ensure smooth navigation and engaging visual aesthetics. There’s no doubt that their skills are essential for the modern digital landscape, but it’s simply not accurate to label their work as “product design.”
The blurring of these distinct disciplines becomes particularly problematic when it comes to job postings. When I see a job advertised for a “product designer” and discover that it’s actually a position for a web designer, it’s like ordering a steak and receiving a salad. It’s not what I signed up for, and it’s misleading to anyone seeking a genuine industrial design role.
Moreover, this trend perpetuates a lack of appreciation for the depth of knowledge and expertise required in industrial design. The years of education and hands-on experience we undergo to master materials, manufacturing processes, and the intricacies of physical form are vastly different from the skill set required for digital design. This distinction deserves to be recognized and respected, not diluted by a catch-all job title.
To address this issue, both the industrial design and digital design communities must collaborate to define clearer terminology. Embracing titles like “industrial designer,” “product designer,” and “digital designer” can help differentiate roles and clarify expectations for both employers and job seekers. Recognizing the nuances of each field can lead to more accurate job descriptions and better utilization of the unique talents that each discipline brings to the table.
In conclusion, the misappropriation of the “product designer” title by digital web designers in job postings is a disheartening development for those of us who have dedicated our careers to the art and science of tangible product creation. It’s not about demeaning the importance of digital design, but rather about upholding the integrity and specificity of the titles we use. Let’s work together to ensure that the term “product designer” accurately reflects the depth and breadth of skills that true industrial designers bring to the world.”
(a lying sac of digital 💩 that hasn’t designed a single physical product a day in it’s non-existent life)