Question 1 - "Can we increase the click-through rate on this button? "
Question 2 - "How can we make sure users know about this sweet new feature and that it's easy to use?"
Which question, do you think, is more appealing for a product designer? Question 1 is data-oriented and is about increasing a product metric. Question 2 is about ease of use and user experience.
For designers, Question 2 will be a more interesting problem to solve.
Julie Zhou (ex VP Design @Facebook) shares multiple examples (like the questions above) to make a compelling case - to have a fruitful PM-designer partnership, a PM should "speak the language of designers, stop talking about metrics and start talking about users."
Today, I share five recommendations to make the PM-designer relation super successful:
- Speak the language of designers, stop talking about metrics and start talking about users. Designers prefer working in the mindset of a user. Therefore, they understand user problems better than data problems.
- Understand the designer's skill set and apply it to the right problems. Visual designers make things look good. Interaction designers make things easy to use. Do not swap one for the other.
- Encourage collaboration among designers, as that amplifies the design quality. Designers who solicit feedback from other designers produce better results than those who work alone.
- Don't suggest solutions, but define the problem clearly. Designers need the freedom to create solutions. Do not bias their ideas with artless mockups.
- Designers put in a lot of heart into the details. Recognise that details matter.
As Alina Wheeler says, "Design is intelligence made visible." You, the PM, should appreciate and leverage the intelligence to create incredible designs.