Teenager, Jolaoluwa Olatunji discusses product design and how he wants to solve problems

Omoleye Omoruyi
Jolaoluwa Olatunji
Jolaoluwa Olatunji

As many of us know, the tech space is quite diverse, and we have people like Jolaoluwa Olatunji who spread this gospel by taking up professional roles like Product Designing – a field that exists to improve the user experience or happiness.

With interactions during designs…it’ll look like a full product without coding. That is the most basic part of development. That is why I chose Product Design.

Jolaoluwa Olatunji

But, Jolaoluwa may not want to do Product Designing long term. You may argue that to be a professional in any field; you may have to spend 10,000 hours doing that same thing. Our tech teen likes to test different waters, so he moved from Web Development to Product Design.

Before the transition, his parents allowed him to do what he wanted, but “it was hard convincing my mum I didn’t want to go to school but to start a career in the tech space.” He also had to convince people that he wasn’t going into scamming.

Jolaoluwa Olatunji
Jolaoluwa Olatunji

What else pushed Jolaoluwa Olatunji to Product Design?

It allows me express my designs,” he says. Jolaoluwa Olatunji started Product Design in March this year, although he started writing codes in December 2021.

Meanwhile, by definition, ‘product design is the process designers use to blend user needs with business goals to help brands make consistently successful products. Product designers work to optimise the user experience in the solutions they make for their users—and help their brands by making products sustainable for longer-term business needs.’

Read also: Ronald Dosunmu; building a tech career worth emulating at 17

There are keywords in the definition, some of which Jolaoluwa highlighted when he says he put academics on hold because he “wants to build stuff, solve problems, and make people’s lives easier. That is my contribution to the tech space.”

Like a professional Product Designer, Jolaoluwa is helping SpacialNova and ECC define product goals, create product roadmaps and, ideally, help the brands release successful products. 

Basically, a product designer creates a product that solves the problems of its users taking into account both customer needs and business objectives.  

The roadmap for Product Design is shorter than Web Development, and that is one other reason I chose it,” Jolaoluwa says.

Read also: Want to be a tech bro? Here are 4 high-paying tech careers to consider

‘There are a lot of things you can do in tech’

That is how Jolaoluwa Olatunji puts it when we ask him to act big brother to other teens like him who want to be players in the tech space too.

Make your research. Find the aspect of tech that matches your lifestyle. If you are someone that likes writing, there’s storytelling, and digital marketing. It’ll be easier to balance work and life when you are in a role that matches your lifestyle.

Jolaoluwa Olatunji
Jolaoluwa Olatunji
Jolaoluwa Olatunji

You can consider Cloud Computing, Blockchain Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity in your research. These are high-paying jobs. But there are others like Machine Learning, Web Development, Data Science, Content Production, Digital Marketing, and a host of other tech roles you can pick up.

Jolaoluwa argues not to limit yourself but to choose the best fit.

How to become a Product Designer

I started with Udemy and I completed the course, unlike many other people. I also tried out Side Hustle.”

He says what made him get better was consistency and “people you can show your designs to. People who will not just call you ‘agba, big guy’. People who will criticise your work.”

He adds that communities like Gen Z Techies (a community for techies across Africa) are indispensable, but “you need to stay slow and look up to the people who are doing great stuff. Get close to them and learn from them. It is a good environment for interaction and learning. Also, you need someone to criticise your work.”

He also says newbies need to know what learning method between physical and virtual works for them.

If you decide to develop a design career, the first question you should ask is, “What qualifications do I need to be a product designer?” Also, you need to understand these:

  1. Know what responsibilities designers have and their methods to cope with them.
  2. Understand the design process well. Create a system you use to solve design problems effectively.
  3. Build a portfolio that shows you know how to find a solution to the problem.

Watch the full video here:

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