#1 Identify a Need in Strong User Experience
Today products are focused on User Experience. Customers evolved and expect products to fit their needs in a simpler and more intuitive way.
We have no patience for long loading pages or complicated installation processes. Even new hardware products such as our TV remote are better designed for easy use. The apps we use every day such as Waze, Movit, Google search – all contain just a simple input line. We are used to multitasking and even if we miss-press a button on our mobile, while starting the car and talking to a colleague, we get impatient. User Experience (UX) plays a major role in our perception regarding a product and even became a norm we expect.
There are also products that are less UX oriented, such as back office softwares like ERP or Billing. There are also examples to hardware products that are less User Experience focused such as car tires, electric wires, smoke detectors…
We have to know whether our product is UX oriented. If UX is a major concern in our product’s success, as Product Managers, we have to be ready to make an effort for great UX.
#2 Gain a Deeper Understanding of UX Process and Collaterals
UX expert’s place in an organization varies, UX expert can be part of R&D or under the Product Manager. It can be an in-house task or an outsource. Generally the collaterals that are provided in the process are the same. A deeper understanding of the UX process by the Product Manager would define better ways to generate and use these outputs.
The Product Manager is dominant in the Product Strategy and Product Definition dimensions. Product Definition is when the UX expert should be able to get input from the Product Manager. The UX expert should be able to give feedback, validate or modify the Product Definition. Even if we are developing a software for a specific client’s need, we still have to take UX issues into account. The Product Definition process should involve a multidisciplinary team, and in this case a User Stories document is the right choice.
A User Experience expert is more dominant in the Product Achievement dimension, this is when the UX expert should present output to the Product Manager after refining Product Definition. Product Managers should understand the process and provide feedback. In addition, there is much value in UX expert’s output in terms of Product Marketing. Wireframes, can be used for better sales engagements and product launch. If our product is a mobile application, for example, and we are able to demonstrate some screens for the buyer before development is done, the buyer can visualize our software’s functionality and can provide feedback and even commit to buying the product (before it is fully developed).
Think how your User Experience expert can help you in the process of defining and developing a product, and how can you leverage UX output for achieving product excellence.
#3 Establish a Fluent Two Way Communication Channel
UX expert and the Product Manager need to work together, with two way communication, both have to be able to convey feedback each to other for a better product creation process.
Another way to look at this, is that in some situations, the UX expert can be a mediator between the Product Manager and the Development team. It can be by translating customer and user needs to a detailed product UX specifications that makes the communication between the Product Manager and R&D more detailed and clear.
Value your UX expert, use their expertise for a better managed process, and for better multidisciplinary communication in Product Achievement dimension.
Interested in UX management for Product Managers? Join our workshop in 9,10,15 of May 2016. Click here to read more.