Sunday, October 18, 2009

Job Descriptions Reveal Education Needed for Designers

Below is a job description for a position seeking a designer to work as an Information Architect. It occurred to me that the description, not unlike many design job descriptions, illustrates two important points about design education. One is that designers do a lot of things other than make things look pretty. The other is that design education is a solid foundation for general education because it includes a wide range of knowledge, skills and abilities.

Here is part of an actual job description under the category

* 4+ years working as an information architect or interaction designer including experience designing organization, navigation, and search for, complex consumer websites and simpler marketing microsites
* Versed in user-centered design methods and techniques
* Experience conducting competitive reviews that led to strategic insights and recommendations
* Excellent verbal, written, analytical and process oriented skills
* Experience working on multiple projects simultaneously
* Prepare IA documentation: use cases, interaction models, site maps, wireframes, workflows
* Ability to work collaboratively on multi-disciplinary teams and with clients
* Thorough understanding of common web and digital interface conventions
* Experience working beyond the web site with emerging mediums: mobile, social, gaming, kiosk
* Proficient in InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Visio, Microsoft Office
* Understanding of Flash, HTML, DHTML, JavaScript and Content Management Systems
* Varied client and/or agency experience a plus

Have your students look at a few job descriptions for positions they might like to have when they are older. Show some design job descriptions to your school guidance counselor so they take what you do more seriously.

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