Industrial designers develop and prepare products for manufacture. They are particularly concerned with those aspects of products that relate to human usage and behaviour, and product appeal.

Industrial designers are also known as product designers.

They explore solutions to meet marketing, manufacturing and financial requirements and arrive at the optimum design of a product. They consider both functional and aesthetic aspects and pay particular attention to ergonomics, those factors that relate to ease of use and human behaviour.

Product designers prepare models and prototypes to demonstrate and test products. They prepare drawings and illustrations of products to assist in the decision making process and support marketing efforts.

They select components and materials, resolve assembly and manufacturing details and produce digital and documentary instructions for others involved in the manufacturing process. They organise and oversee tooling to prepare for production and develop and oversee subsequent adjustments and refinements to the product.

Industrial designers often work as part of a product development team. While other specialists such as electronics designers and mechanical engineers work on circuit boards and mechanical mechanisms the industrial designer may be working on the overall structure of the product, its appearance and the way in which the user will operate it.

It is common for product designers to be employed within manufacturing companies. For manufacturers the development and maintenance of product lines is a core requirement rather than an occasional need. Many industrial designers, however, work for businesses that consult to manufacturing companies, especially those companies that don’t maintain internal research and development facilities.

The term industrial or product design can be used to refer to the development of any product type for manufacture. However there are types of products, such as textiles and furniture, that have designers who specialise in their development.

ANZSCO (2006) occupation code 232312.

What you’ll study

  • Design Theory & Practice
  • Communication Skills
  • Manufacturing Materials
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Design History
  • Design Software Applications
  • Computer Aided Design & Manufacture
  • Presentation Techniques
  • Ergonomics
  • Project Management
  • Business Management

Where you’ll work

  • Manufacturing Companies
  • Design Consultancies
  • Designer/Maker Workshops
  • Research & Development Departments
  • Self Employed

Other areas you’ll find work

  • Animation Studios
  • Special Effects Studios
  • Computer Games Development
  • Exhibition & DisplayIndust