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What Do Industrial Designers Do?

Author : Muskaan Jain

Updated On : May 25, 2023


Summary: Industrial design is a creative field focused on designing functional and visually appealing products. With an industrial design degree, you can pursue careers as an industrial designer, product developer, or UX designer. Salaries vary based on experience and location. Industrial designers work in design consultancies, manufacturing companies, or as freelancers. It's an exciting career for those passionate about design and making a positive impact through well-designed products. 

Have you ever wondered how your favourite products are designed? Who is responsible for creating the sleek and functional gadgets, furniture, and everyday items we use? Enter the fascinating realm of industrial design! In this article, we'll delve into what industrial designers do, the career options available with an industrial design degree, the average salaries they earn, where they work, and the tasks they tackle daily. So, let's dive in and explore the exciting world of product creation! 

What Do Industrial Designers Do? 

Industrial designers are creative problem solvers who blend art, science, and technology to design products that are both visually appealing and user-friendly. Here are some key tasks that industrial designers handle: 

1. Research and Ideation  

Industrial designers begin by researching user needs, market trends, and technological advancements. 

2. Concept Development 

Once armed with insights, industrial designers move on to developing concepts. They sketch, create digital renderings, or build physical prototypes to visualize their ideas. 

3. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Prototyping  

Using specialized software, such as CAD tools, industrial designers translate their concepts into detailed technical drawings. They may also create physical prototypes to evaluate ergonomics, user experience, and material suitability. 

4. Material Selection and Manufacturing Considerations 

Industrial designers carefully choose materials that enhance the functionality, durability, and aesthetics of the product. They consider factors such as environmental impact, sustainability, and manufacturability during the material selection process. 

 5. User Experience and Usability 

Industrial designers prioritize user experience and usability. They conduct user testing, gather feedback, and iterate on the design to optimize the overall experience and meet user expectations. 

What Can You Do with an Industrial Design Degree? 

Obtaining an industrial design degree opens a world of diverse career opportunities. Here are some popular career paths you can pursue: 

1. Industrial Designer 

As a designer, you'll be involved in the entire design process, from research and ideation to prototyping and manufacturing. 

2. Product Developer or Engineer 

In this role, you collaborate closely with industrial designers to transform their design concepts into functional products. You focus on the technical aspects of product development. 

3. User Experience (UX) Designer 

Industrial designers often have a keen understanding of user needs and behaviours. With additional training or experience in user experience design, you can specialize as a UX designer. 

4. Furniture or Automotive Designer 

As a furniture designer, you'll create innovative and functional furniture pieces that meet both aesthetic and ergonomic requirements. 

5. Entrepreneur or Freelancer 

This path allows you to take on a variety of projects, collaborate with different clients, and have creative freedom in your work. 

Get Inspired: Work That Made a Difference 

Here are 3 works of art backed by industry designers that made a huge impact on the audience: 

  1. Tata Swach 

The Tata Swach is a water purifier developed by Tata Chemicals, a subsidiary of the Tata Group in India. It aims to provide affordable and effective water purification solutions, particularly in areas with limited access to clean drinking water. 

The purifier utilizes an innovative technology called "Swarovski," which uses rice husk ash as a filtration medium. The Tata Swach is compact, lightweight, and does not require electricity, making it suitable for rural areas. It has made a significant impact by offering an accessible and sustainable solution for clean drinking water. 

  1. Dyson Vacuum Cleaner 

Designed by James Dyson: The Dyson vacuum cleaner, developed by British inventor James Dyson, revolutionized the cleaning industry. Dyson's innovative approach involved utilizing cyclonic separation technology, which replaced the conventional bag-based filtration system. This breakthrough design not only improved suction efficiency but also eliminated the need for disposable bags, making it more convenient and eco-friendly. 

  1. iPhone (Apple) 

Designed by Jonathan Ive, The iPhone, created by Apple Inc., revolutionised the smartphone industry. Jonathan Ive, the former Chief Design Officer at Apple, played a crucial role in shaping the iPhone's iconic design. His emphasis on sleek aesthetics, user-friendly interfaces, and seamless integration of hardware and software set new standards for mobile device design. 

These are just a few of the many game-changing industrial designs. The design industry is growing rapidly, and these designs are playing a leading role in shaping the future of design around the world. 

Top Industrial Design Colleges, India 

When it comes to pursuing a degree in industrial design in India, several top colleges offer excellent programs. Here are some of the leading institutions known for their quality industrial design courses: 

1. National Institute of Design (NID) - Campuses in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, and Bengaluru.  

2. Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI) - Campus in Mumbai 

3. Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay – Campus in Mumbai 

4. Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology - Campus in Bengaluru 

5. MIT Institute of Design – Campus in Pune 

These colleges provide students with a comprehensive education in industrial design, combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience. Aspiring industrial designers can choose from these esteemed institutions to embark on a rewarding career in the field of design. 


Industrial design is an exciting field that combines creativity, problem-solving, and technical skills to create innovative and user-centred products. From research and ideation to prototyping and collaboration, industrial designers play a crucial role in shaping the world around us. With a degree in industrial design, you can embark on a rewarding career, exploring various industries and making a tangible impact through the creation of well-designed products. So, if you have a passion for design and a desire to improve people's lives through innovative products, consider pursuing a career in industrial design. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Industrial design is a field that involves the creation and development of product designs that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and user-friendly. Industrial designers combine artistic creativity, technical knowledge, and an understanding of user needs to design products that improve people's lives. 
Important skills for industrial designers include creativity, problem-solving, sketching and visualization, knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes, proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software, teamwork and collaboration, and an understanding of user experience and ergonomics. 
With an industrial design degree, you can pursue various career paths, such as working as an industrial designer, product developer or engineer, user experience (UX) designer, furniture or automotive designer, or even starting your own design studio or working as a freelancer. 
Industrial designers can work in design consultancies or firms, manufacturing companies, in-house design departments of larger companies, or as self-employed freelancers or entrepreneurs.
The time it takes to become an industrial designer depends on the educational path you choose. A bachelor's degree in industrial design typically takes four years to complete. If you decide to pursue a master's degree, it may take an additional two years. However, keep in mind that the duration can vary based on individual circumstances and the specific program. 


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