Written by Jonathan Bond Follow me @jrbond
Many frameworks offer ways of making sense of this thing we call product design. This is my version of a framework and process. In my experience when the product process goes well it is when a team (pm, dev, ux, and content strategist) trusts each other, truly collaborates and focuses on real problems. The team is dedicated to producing outcomes, not outputs. More successful teams that I have worked with really have each other's back and a keen sense of camaraderie.
When all these elements are present the work goes much better. This may sound like nirvana, but I have experienced this in different degrees at every job. Some teams were stronger in some areas than others. Through it all my personal goal is to help build an awesome team so we can build awesome products.
The relationship between PM and PD is critical for the success of the product and by extension the business. As with any relationship, there must be trust and respect for the distinct roles and responsibilities. My hope is this relationship is developed into a full product partnership. Working together in a way that we are in constant motion from discovery to building to learning and back again. In my view many of the areas of responsibility of the product designer and product manager overlap. Some of these responsibilities are unique skills and or the domain of one or the other. Even those unique areas can be supported by the other. The result of all this is to better discover the right product to build.
Diagram from Melissa Perri article: https://medium.com/@melissaperri/labeling-ourselves-17218fd4456f
Of course, none of this gets done without the development team. Having a relationship with dev partners is so critical. In my experience, that relationship can also help with better product ideas. This is not just about the feasibility or the functionality but better ways to solve the problem. There is a passion for many developers to improve the product. For example, I have moderated user studies in one room while in the other developers are quickly fixing the problems in real-time. Creating a space were dev partners can see and feel firsthand the user friction can make all the difference.
Having worked with two fantastic content strategists in my last two jobs has been amazing! Sadly, many companies do not have this benefit. Now I cannot see myself working without this partnership. When I kick off a project it always starts with words. CS helps to affect the experience to maximize customer understanding, trust, and perception of value.