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What Is Digital Design?

Digital design covers a range of niches, and can be a rewarding career. Learn all about this path.

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What Is Digital Design?


September 29, 2021


Francesco Romeo

If you’re asked to proffer an answer to this topic it’s only normal for you to think of digital design as some sort of web design, UX or UI design. You will also think of graphic design, or you can decide that you want to be more specific and think of animation.

Well, with these kind of thoughts, you have the basic knowledge of digital design as it comprises all that was stated above.

Digital design is a general term for several disciplines and niches. It basically involves mapping out the feel and nature of several contents that individuals interact with on a digital platform. People that carry out digital designs are referred to as digital designers. These individuals do way more than graphical designs, they are specialised in creating unique designs for devices, considering several key factors like user interface, aesthetics, and user experience.

Every niche under digital designing, strictly involves the major practices of digitally designing what individuals can see on the screen, but the major niches under this general term comprises more interactive elements to carry out activities. With rapid technological advancement, digital designers have to continually upgrade their skills to make sure that the content they design has a great impact on users.

It’s easy to mix up graphic design with digital design. Well these two terms are dissimilar in a couple of ways. Let’s walk through the differences between graphic design and digital design.

What Distinguishes Digital Design from Graphic Design?

Although digital design is often mistaken for graphic design, there are several major distinctions between the two disciplines. The distinguishing factor is the medium through which they function. Graphic designers utilise both print and digital media in carry out their operations. They also specialise in creating graphics for different channels such as video banners, event flyers, and email-marketing.

Digital designers on the other hand, work strictly with digital content. A more detailed description about this dissimilarity is that individuals engaged in graphic designing focus mainly on specific graphics like logos, brochures, infographics, merchandise, and other visual assets. Individuals specialised in digital designing build Digital experiences by making use of sophisticated techniques like user testing, wireframing, and storytelling.

Despite these dissimilarities, these two niches have a wide overlapping skill sets. Most individuals that engage in digital designing are able to carry out operations of a graphic designer, and quite a number of graphic designers see themselves as digital designers. Both niches have masteries of standard tools used to create digital assets, tools like Adobe XD, Sketch, they also both have a strong knowledge in the fundamentals of designing, talking about topography and colour theory.

What Are the Different Types of Digital Designers Available?

Digital design to graphic design is seen as a well-trodden career path, and it’s one that every individual should try considering as the world becomes more digitised.

There are different types of digital designers available, let’s walk through some of the common ones.

  1. Web Designers: specialise mainly in website layout and visual designing including PDFs, standalone pages, and landing pages. This also comprises interactive elements, but this type of digital designers create mockup files that are not in any way dynamic, for their developers instead of an interactive one that looks quite similar.
  2. UX Designers: focus mainly on usability and functionality of digital products. During the process of designing a product, UX Designers tend to advocate for their operators at every stage, effectively conducting user testing to make sure that they’re designing a unique product that’s not only enjoyable but also accessible for all users. UX Designers’ deliveries include user flows, wireframes, and prototypes.
  3. UI Designer: these type of designers are concerned about the looks and feel of consumers’ product, with absolute focus on the interface’s visual elements. UI Designers work closely with UX Designers, together they help build on the foundation which they had firmly laid to revive digital interface. To achieve this, UI Designers make use of topography, colour, and shapes. To maintain absolute consistency across all products, UI designers create UI pattern libraries and style guides.
  4. Product Designers: the role of product designers is quite similar to that of UX designers. However, product designers are capable of going beyond the basic of UX designers, user experience. They tend to focus more on the brand and business, showing how the digital product is supposed to work, the cost of production, and ultimately the scope of the product that the company wishes to portray. Product designers answer these questions adequately.

How Can You Become a Digital Designer?

Digital designers are needed all around the world hence, the reason for their high demand. Taking this path, there are a number of roads you can take. The niche you pick depends on what interests you, what’s profitable and what skills you possess.

Do you see yourself as someone that loves visual art? Someone who loves to work with typography and colour? Do you enjoy talking to stakeholders, or consumers, trying to sort out their needs? You need to study yourself by checking for all of these traits in yourself.

All niches relate to digital designing share the same fundamental principles, and once you understand these principles and the tools required, you’ll start noticing how these principles function across the different niches available. Luckily, the internet is filled with several courses, tutorials, and blog posts that can help you get a full understanding of different techniques and tool in digital designing. To get yourself acquainted with this profession, start by simply incorporating habits like reading blog post on digital designing and also watching YouTube tutorials on digital design. To get better, most digital designers heavily invest in upskilling and reskilling since there’s always something new to learn in the digital world.

Final Thoughts

Digital design is a multifaceted field, and with so many innovation happens around the world, it’s hard not to find your place in this field. Whichever field you decide to specialise in, one thing is certain, digital designers will always be needed, and there has never been a better period to build on your digital designing skills than now!

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