In a world where smart phones and tablets abound, the job prospects for app designers is very good indeed. IT professionals -- including web designers and developers -- experience a rate of unemployment that is far lower than other industries, but that doesn’t mean the job is for everyone. If you’re looking to work as an application designer, you might start out by seeking a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in computer science or another IT-related field, though many designers and developers are also self-taught. But whether you gain the expertise in the classroom or you do it on your own, here are some of the skills you’re going to need for the job.
Naturally, app developers will need to be skilled in computers. That includes navigating computer software and hardware, as well as using coding languages.
To develop apps that matter to people, app designers need to be able to access data quickly and efficiently, and then analyze what that data means for consumer products and processes.
Creativity and Innovation
Once they’ve gathered the data about user’s habits and needs, app designers need creative skills that can turn that hard data into an idea that will work well for users.
Graphic design skills
Apps need to be visually appealing in order to catch users’ eyes and help them use the apps most efficiently. Thus, app designers should have skills in graphic design.
An attention to the little details
Designing apps requires a strict attention to detail. If even the smallest detail is entered incorrectly, the entire app may not work, or will have bugs and crashes that require a careful eye to fix.
The ability to focus for long periods
Writing code or designing graphics can be a tedious process, and often one that requires the designer to stick with a task for long periods of time without stopping. Thus, app designers need to be able to persevere and concentrate on a task until it’s complete.
Patience, patience, patience
When things don’t go right or an app doesn’t behave according to its design, the designer will need to tap his attention to detail -- as well as his sense of patience -- in order to make things work.
Written and verbal communication skills
While they may spend a majority of their time on a computer, app designers don’t work in a vacuum. Thus, they’ll need strong written and verbal communication skills to share their ideas with others. What’s more, they’ll need to use communication skills to design user interfaces that make sense.
If an app designer is working as a freelancer or in a start-up environment, she’ll need to tap into sales skills in order to sell her idea to larger companies or directly to customers.
Customer service skills
If the designer is developing apps for clients or customers, customer service skills will help him work efficiently and successfully with others. What’s more, customer service skills can be essential when the app isn’t functioning correctly and the customer needs assistance.
With all of these skills in place, you’ll be well on your way toward a very successful career as an app designer.