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Design Career Stories: From Front‑End Developer to Product Designer

Welcome to Design Career Stories—a new series where we explore why and how both new and seasoned designers like you found their way into design. Get perspective, advice, and guidance through their stories!

Today, meet Juan Carlos Díez Rodríguez, a Senior Designer at ING and Design Mentor in Dribbble’s 12-Week Product Design Course. Get inspired by Juan’s career story as he shares the pivotal steps in his career and offers advice to new product designers entering the industry.

JCDiez JCDiez 👨🏼‍💻Writer at @uxdesigncc 👨🏼‍🏫Senior UX Designer at @ING_es 👨🏼‍🎓Computer Engineer by @urjc

Why did you decide to become a product designer?

I believe that design allows you to help people in multiple ways—whether it be through a digital solution, a physical artifact, or any other way. This transformational capacity engaged me from the very beginning.

These are good times to be a designer. There’s a global recognition of the role and the value that designers bring to the table. This creates opportunities for everyone and enlarges our community.

Product design
Design by Juan Carlos Díez Rodríguez

How did you launch your product design career?

My background is purely technical. I started my journey to Product Design as an engineer. I studied computer engineering in my twenties, and my first professional role was as a front-end developer.

During my time as a front-end developer, I started getting closer to the product design team and began collaborating with them on some small tasks like designing icons and small UI components.

I started getting closer to the product design team and began collaborating with them on small tasks.

Step by step, I discovered that design and helping users was my passion. So I went all in to become a designer. I studied the foundations and basics, I read multiple books, and I practiced until I mastered the craft.

Now, I love to share my journey and skills with the community to inspire and empower others to become designers.

Product design mentoring
Juan's live mentorship session in Dribbble's 12-Week Product Design Course.

Advice for new product designers

Everything is a process and learning never stops—whether you’re new to design or an experienced professional. At the beginning of your career journey, there are a lot of things to take in. Design is vast and you can choose multiple options for your career (Research, UX, UI, etc.) so it can be overwhelming.

It’s ok to feel overwhelmed but it’s also important to embrace it and explore different areas of design to find whatever moves you forward. I’d also suggest talking with professionals from different roles to check if the path you’re choosing complies with your expectations. At the end of the day, you want to love what you do on a daily basis!

Launch your product design career

Inspired to kickstart your product design career? Get mentored by Juan Carlos and other top product design mentors in Dribbble’s 12-Week Product Design Course. Graduate with a whole new skillset, an interview-ready portfolio, and the inside track to hiring managers looking for new product designers.

Enroll now to save 25% on the next course cohort starting June 6!

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Launch your career

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