10 Tips for Product Managers to Work Better with UX DesignersEric Merlin
In a perfect world, the clients, the project managers, and the UX designers are all on the same page about every step of the design process. Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s far from reality.
The clients don’t understand why the design doesn’t look like that one great site they saw and don’t get why it takes so long to do some weird client onboarding thing.
The project managers just want to get this project over with as fast as possible and give UX designers more work to do in less time. Here are 5 tips that will help PMs and UX designers communicate better and achieve better results.
Listen and learn
Don’t know much about UX design? Ask your coworker to give you a quick rundown on what it takes to create a functional design. This will help you asses the deadlines better and explain everything to the client.
Define the objectives
Placing a task that reads “We want a website that looks like this” is not telling your UX designers anything. You need to give them the inputs: the target audience, competitor analysis, SWOT analysis of the company, list of features, etc.
Plan the time with some slack
Remember that UX design is not just about making a quick mockup. It’s about learning who the users are and how they’re going to interact with the website. This may require more than five minutes of planning. Take that into account when you’re planning the deadline.
Take up the ideas
Since UX designers are doing tons of research to develop a great design, they may find something the business owners have missed. If your UX designers came up with a bright idea, share it with the customer, they may need that knowledge.
Bargain about edits
The thing UX designers hate the most are edits of perfectly fine websites. Sometimes, the UX designer is wrong and the editorial should happen. Sometimes, the client operates on outdated ideas about design, and that edit would only be detrimental.
“You as a PM shouldn’t bow down to every client’s wish. You should be there to help both sides understand what is a legitimate edit and what isn’t,” explains Peter from custom writing.
One of the most common communication problems between designers and managers is a lack of understanding of responsibilities. Both specialists have a common final goal. Plus, in some issues tasks may intersect. Therefore, to avoid disagreements, prior to starting work on the project, determine the responsibilities of each.
Most often, the product manager’s competence extends to:
- Planning and monitoring tasks.
- Market and competitor analysis.
- Creation, implementation and promotion of the finished product.
- Development and control of the implementation of the product line.
- Creating a pricing policy and promotion strategy.
- Communication with teams, partners and customers.
UX designer performs:
- Data collection and CA analysis.
- Creation and implementation of models/prototypes.
- Development of user scenario design.
- Making recommendations on the colour palette, dimensions of the elements and fonts.
- Development of the concept and style of the application.
- Application user testing.
Respect the results of work
It often happens that the designer makes a proposal, and the product manager criticizes him. Indeed, adding another button may seem inappropriate. However, is this proposal suddenly justified? Unreasonable criticism demotivates.
The truth is that many projects crashed due to the fact that users did not understand how to use the application. Therefore, if you are in doubt about a designer’s proposal, ask for an explanation of the need to add an element.
Better to do A / B testing. It will most clearly show what is more convenient for users: the presence of an element, or the absence.
Help each other
A UX designer can ask a ton of questions, which often gets on your nerves. However, a good leader takes into account the value of each employee for the final task and the success of the project as a whole.
The usability of the user interface greatly affects brand loyalty. Therefore, the designer can ask a lot of questions. All in order to understand the end-user and his preferences better. You help team members and increase your chances of success by answering questions.
Therefore, never ignore this. It is important that team members know that they can receive the necessary answers timely from the leader.
Take into account the vision of others
Teamwork is curbing your own ego in favour of collective success. Most of all, this is noticeable in how someone else’s point of view is perceived. UX designers are creative individuals. Their thought process is different from the vision of project managers. And this is normal.
The designer thinks visually. The product manager focuses on budgets, KPIs and overall engineering. However, both have a common goal. Therefore, listening to someone else’s opinion on some issue, try to put yourself in the person’s place. If necessary, ask to explain the position.
Recognize: you are not a user
This recommendation is a bit similar to the previous one. However, the mistake is most common among experienced product managers. Some experts evaluate the effectiveness and relevance of solutions to their own taste, believing that they understand the end-user sufficiently. But you are not them.
Neither the product manager nor the UX designer can say exactly what the business customers need. Therefore, it is best to ask the users. Testing an idea or prototype with innovation will bring much more benefits to the business than the ability to listen to yourself.
It can be difficult for people with systemic thinking to find a common language with creative individuals. But this does not reduce their significance in the project. The best thing a project manager can do to establish communication is to treat each member of the team the same way. And the UX designer, too.
It is this person who makes the brand aesthetic to the user. Remember – this is a professional. Respect the results of the work of the designer and be open to new experiences.