Working in agile methodologies empowers the product production in a very fast velocity. Therefore most likely we jump some steps along the way to launch the product to the market as soon as possible to get people’s feedback.
But wait, as Product Owner you are super good with communication skills you are dealing with sales, marketing and dev teams. Meanwhile you also need to work with designers but looks like you don’t speak the same language. I am here to help you. Along the way as a designer and working with multiple teams I realize where these gaps are. I’m stating some key points to you so it will ease the conversation.
Sell the Vision
As a product manager you always start your initial engagement with your vision. A product vision should be dream like, tell what the ideal product is. Yes, that one that doesn’t even sound possible. It’s time to get designers excited and understand where you are coming from and where you wanna be. It will be up to the designers to lower the bar and saying what’s not possible to design.
You are probably thinking that reasearch is a long process and you won’t have an initial budget to run one. Gimme one sec! There are many ways to conduct user research, by this I mean it can be short of long. Be honest with your time scale and designers can help you to propose the best one for you. I am a big lover of online surveys and they can be ran quickly and 5 replies are enough to see a trend. The results will help you to identify priorities and key features for your product.
Personas and their scenarios
It is also a designer responsibility to engage with your potential clients so they will help you to understand what will be the markets desire to use your product. If you jump this step you most likely end up in a cycle to review design mockups about colour and layout and all that should be decided by your potential user. The UX – User experience of the product relies here at this stage. The designers are responsible for the product interaction with users. To the outside world and its needs. Give the team a possibility to have chat with potencial or existing clients of your product.
State the problem
Oh boy! This one is a big one. I had customers that they say they don’t have a problem because they already found the solution. They just want a colourful and engaging design. What they really meant by that is they think designer will only cover the aesthetics. The interface.
As a designer we are problem solver oriented people. We need to state the problem so together we can come up with solutions and decide what will be the best design solution for your product. This is a team job to be done.
Allow one meeting be creative and come up with multiple solutions for your product. This is a multi cross disciplinary exercise that means it’s good to be a maximum of 8 people with different backgrounds: Marketing, Dev, Designer, Copywriter, Stakeholder. Pick one feature for your product and explore how each individual would solve it and present to the team. You can vote, mix different solutions to come up with the final version. Try the crazy eights exercise. This helps the team to be aligned and to make sure you are not mistreating the feature because everyone comes from different backgrounds.
Hurray! You got your MVP out and you can’t wait to see how people will enjoy the product you designed together. Is important that you measure the success and the engagement of the app. The designers will benefit from an observation how people are interacting with your product. That benefits exploring new ways of the interface to do the same job. This definitely help to explore layouts, colours and understand what is not really working from the design / interface. Invite someone in to your office and let the designer observe how people play, desire from your product.
Your product is a life cycle that means you will need to iteract on the features and the design from time to time. What the market is desiring now is probably not desire anymore in 6 months time. Get the opportunity to review your product features with the design team. The design team is also responsible to understand what is the market demands and you should work together on that.
Let me know your experiences and thoughts
I hope this tips will help you to understand what designers do on there field. If you enjoy this post and have more questions about what designers do and what are there responsibilities I would love to know and answer your questions. Maybe as my next post.
My aim is to bring business and design together. No matter what technology you use.