There’s no denying the fact that the user experience you provide through your product will be a defining factor as to whether you succeed in what you set out to achieve or not. Even if your product does the most amazing thing that changes the world, if nobody enjoys or even can use the product, it’s not going to be used.
However, while you may believe that this kind of knowledge is best left to the unicorns and UX wizards of the world, why are we talking about product managers and their role with user experience design?
The truth is, a product manager or product management team with UX design principles in mind are going to be so much more successful when it comes to all other areas of the product project, especially in terms of marketing, allocating business resources and long-term strategies.
Today, we’re going to explore eight of the core design principles all product management leaders should know, helping you make the most of the product management process.
Research on your customer needs and wants could save you a ton of money. So, conduct studies, ask your customers, scout social media. See what people are complaining about with other similar products and fix that in your products. This is the best way to get a good head start on the product design.
When it comes to app design, simplicity goes a long way. People like to be comfortable when using an app. Place buttons where they are easy to reach. Group similar actions and actions in similar areas. People like to interact with apps and software that’s easy on the hands – long processes, typing, clicking too much all make your customers somewhat frustrated.
“Understanding what works and how the interaction process works can save so much time when it comes to different departments communicating, as well as you being able to provide meaningful feedback to your teams” explains Tina Goodwin, a product manager for Academized and State of writing.
For example, if you’re using a website like Amazon, you’ll notice pretty much every process you could care to carry out can be completed in just three simple clicks. This includes buying products, leaving a review on products, or contacting their customer service teams.
You have to understand that having too many options on the screen at once is overwhelming for the users. So many things and questions to think about and so much work to do.
This is where workflows step in to make the job easier for the users and more profitable for you.
Separate any complex tasks or forms into step-by-step workflows. Let there be only one option on the screen. Think Facebook Ads which have a great process that isn’t overwhelming at all, not even to the users that know nothing about Facebook ads. MailChimp has this as well.
Have you noticed how certain buttons and elements are always placed in the same area? This is true throughout many different apps, websites, and software. For example, the menu is always on the top of the website or on the sidebar of an app. Turn on the button on the TV remote is always in the upper area.
This may seem mundane, but it is, in fact, one of the most basic principles of design. Sure, your product is different in many ways than all of the others. But some design elements are the same as everywhere else. So, why make it complicated for the user? Place those common elements in the most obvious, familiar places. This is what makes your user experience miles better – users can feel at home there because of these features.
While we’ve already spoken about you can create the ideal user and create case studies for your teams to work too, it’s important a project manager has the ability to communicate with actual users and understands how their minds work and why they say what they do.
This is especially important during testing phases where actual beta users will be giving feedback to you. Within an understanding of the deeper levels of how things work, you won’t be able to interrupt their feedback into tangible results.
Nowadays, it’s easy to remember that a seemingly minimalist approach to product design and digital media is the best way. People don’t like to feel overwhelmed with what they’re interacting with and want things presented in a simple and easy to understand way.
A good way to remember this is that less is more, and white space is your best friend. You don’t need to fill every single pixel of the screen with imagery or information, and we see far too many product managers trying to share everything they possibly can with users in the hopes of making a sale.
However, any good UX designer will know this is not always the best approach to take. You need to give people room to breathe.
While you may be designing your product for a local audience, perhaps a certain niche of people who are in a specific job role or country, or even a town, it’s easy to get caught up with pleasing this target market and you end up blocking out potential customers in other areas or industries.
While we said it’s important to focus on your target market, it’s equally important to give your product the opportunity to succeed in other areas. This means being mindful of the language you’re using, especially when it comes to things like metaphors that is subjective as to whether people will understand them.
“Also, leave room in your design if your text needs to be translated to another language and needs more room, don’t put text in images, and use descriptive feature names so everyone can quickly understand what it is they’re reading” shares Nick Taylor, a tech editor for Australian help and Paper Fellows.
No matter what, the design you choose for your product or service is essential in terms of branding and how your creation is presented to the world. You probably have an idea on how you want this to work, but with basic design principle knowledge, you’ll be able to articulate this idea clearly and concisely.
This again improves communications levels among your team, allows for higher rates of creativity and better feedback and improvement-related conversations.
As you can see, there are lots of design considerations that a product manager or product management team should be aware of. By making sure you’re aware and educated in these areas, you can dramatically boost the success rates of your team.