Design Career Trends for 2022

Are you looking for a design career that doesn’t fit into the classic graphic designer mold? We put this list together just for you. If you’re looking to change careers or maybe just add further knowledge to your current one, knowing what jobs are in high demand can help you plan ahead.

The advancement of technology has brought on a wide array of design careers that go above and beyond. The fields of Human-Centered Design and Design Thinking have spread into all aspects of design, and most career paths in the future of work are based on that. 

Some of the most interesting option

Let’s take a look at what companies are looking for when it comes to filling design positions in 2022 because ultimately that’s where you’ll need to look at in terms of professional development:

Product Design and User Experience (UX) Design

Product designers tend to be bundled up with UX designers because the roles are similar in a general capacity, but are different in terms of scope. You’ll need similar skills for both roles; design thinking, ideation, wireframing, prototyping, and testing. 

The difference lies in the questions you ask about the process and how to better deliver. The product designer concentrates more on the product aspects that fit with the brand, the cost, and the manufacturing capacity. The UX designer works more closely with the usability of the product, how users react to it during user testing and if it helps the user. 

Both designers look for solutions to a problem but the product designer has a wider, overarching vision about the product in the market, while the UX designer is looking at the usability details.

In some cases, one person can do both jobs and in others, they can work together towards a common goal.

User Interaction (UI) Design

UI design is an easy transition from graphic design with an added dose of Human-Centered design and design thinking. User Interaction designers take care of the way interfaces look and feel. They take into account the work of the product designer and UX designer and create the visual rendition of what they want the product to be like. 

A UI designer needs skills in color theory, visual hierarchy, composition, and interaction parameters. In the digital space, they can work on website and app projects. For physical products, they’d need skills in industrial design as well.

Full-Stack Design / Unicorn Designer Status

Up until quite recently, a full stack — or unicorn — designer was someone that could design and code. Now and into the future, a full-stack designer is more than that. This is the type of designer that startups want, one person that can do the job of many, or manage other entry-level designers in different fields. 

To get a position as a full-stack designer you need to have well-developed skills in at least UI design and front-end development (HTTP, CSS, Javascript). You’ll need knowledge in UX design with the open-mindedness of always learning more skills. The idea behind a unicorn designer is that they are always improving their skills and expanding their knowledge.

Information Design

Information design is an easy leap from graphic design, you just have to learn to analyze and visualize data. This means creating infographics but also museum displays, city, and urban wayfaring. The role of an information designer is not as glamorous as a UX designer but you’d be surprised at how this position is growing. 

More and more companies want infographics, and fewer of them want simple ones created from a premade template. If you add on a good dose of journalistic knowledge, you can do information design for media outlets like Bloomberg, The Guardian, or South China Post. 

Motion Graphics and Animation Design

Many graphic designers like to expand their knowledge with motion graphics and animation. The amount of knowledge and practice will influence the skill of either motion graphics or animation. A motion graphics designer creates visual interactive movements for apps and websites as well as moving design elements. For example, mini interactions and animated icons.

Animation designers fit more in the realm of filmmaking and storytelling. To get into this field you’ll need to practice creating animations in different styles. Beginners in the field start with flat-style animations to learn the principles of animation. Many animation designers perfect the flat style technique and others move on to learn 3D animation like in Pixar movies.

Game Design

Game design is a huge field and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you have UX design skills and maybe an artistic background, you can easily start a career in game design. Start creating simple app games and move your way to more advanced designs until you get to the realm of augmented and virtual reality. 

Learn about storytelling, what people do to escape their day to day and how they enjoy time along and with each other. There’s quite a bit of psychology in the art of game design. If the game you design isn’t engaging, people won’t want to play it very long. 

Experiential Design

Experiential design is not a new field in design, but it sure is an important one. Take graphic design, creativity, interior design, UX design, architecture, and accessibility design, put them together and you’ve got an experiential designer. Their job is to design spaces where people move around, interact with and have experiences. These spaces range from retail stores to schools, parks, and airports. 

They usually work alongside architects and engineers to reach the same goal, a space that is enjoyable for people while also being functional. Experiential designers need to have good knowledge of accessibility and that’s what companies are looking for now.

Advancing Your Design Career Path

Where do you want to go with your design career? The trends on this list are what startups, companies, and corporations are looking for, so this might give you a good idea for investing in your professional development. 

Graphic design, in a classic sense, isn’t what it used to be anymore. You won’t advance in any design field if you’re stuck in your once-learned ways. The key is to be open to evolution; in your creativity, in your curiosity, and your work. Never stop learning, no matter what career path you choose.