It’s not a coincidence that web designers in the US are in the top 10 percent of the workforce, according to a new report from Next Big Ideas.
The report shows that people with design degrees are also the most likely to work in tech, with a median wage of $75,000, well above the median wage for full-time workers.
Designers also tend to be the most creative in their work, and are also among the most socially engaged, with 82 percent of them having a Facebook account.
Here are some of the things designers can learn from the survey.
Don’t just design, build.
Design is about more than just the design, says Robert Covington, author of Design Patterns: An Architectural Approach to User Experience.
You also need to build your users’ needs into your design, and make them feel connected to the product.
If you have to pay, ask for it.
“Pay is a key motivator, but it’s not the only one,” says Covingwood.
“In fact, designers should ask for less than a dollar.
Paying more is a form of entitlement.”
Make it fun.
It’s important to make it fun, says Covey.
“Designers need to be able to make their work entertaining and interesting.”
Find a mentor.
“Most people who are in design are people who have been working with computers and software for a long time,” says Mark Kornblum, founder and CEO of Kornbrunner.
“But they may not have had a mentor before.”
Kornbrand is a design veteran with experience in the fields of graphic design, business and marketing, and the media.
Create and share your work.
When you create something, make it available for others to see, says Korn, and use social media to promote your work and get feedback.
Work from home.
The study suggests that many designers work from home, and some choose to live on their own.
This is especially true for people with a background in design, who have to travel to design events and conferences.
“The idea of a design studio in a remote location is not for everyone,” says K-Vasna Pasternak, founder of DesignBoom.
But it can be great if you want to keep your job while pursuing other interests.
Choose the right project.
If your goal is to design a new product, it’s important that you pick a project that matches your skills and interests, Pasternk says.
This can include, but is not limited to, a new app, a website, a mobile app, or a website redesign.
“A lot of designers live in their offices, and that can lead to loneliness and isolation,” Pastern.
“Working remotely can be a great way to reconnect with your community.”
Work with people who can design in different industries.
“There’s so much diversity in the design world, so if you have design experience in another industry, that’s great,” says Pastern, who adds that designers should work with people of color, people with disabilities, and people from ethnic backgrounds.
Get your job done.
“If you work hard enough, you’ll be rewarded,” says the Next Big Trends survey authors.
“I hope you’ll take this challenge to your next job.”