In the past, when someone asked me what my profession was, I would usually say Product Designer. They would immediately ask me what kind of product. Furniture, airplanes, radios, headphones, sex toys? Embarrassed, I would clarify that I meant digital products—“you know, like websites and apps.” To which I would receive a look of confusion.
“I like to call those things products because they make me feel important. But usually, I just work with pixels and make-believe stuff,” I would further explain.
Now I just say I’m a designer.
This hasn’t avoided questions, though. I still have to clarify that no, I don’t design interiors, clothes, or lamps (but I would love to!)
I often wonder what would happen if I got to design physical products coming as a screen product designer. Would I follow the same human-centered process or would I try to design pixel-perfect chairs?
Here are some comics exploring this idea.
Note: After each image, there’s a text version of the comic. This is so that they’re a bit more accessible, in case you wonder why the redundancy.