In this age of massive consumption the world has been flooded by products.
Products have penetrated markets, public space (advertising) and our minds (everlasting desire). Products lead economic progress and cause crises (e.g. the whole issue of bank loans sold to people). Products are so deeply rooted in modern culture that we’ve hardly noticed that we’ve become products ourselves (e.g. social media).
Care is an inseparable part of the human-centric product development process, which is responsible for the greatest products ever made.
Many of the best companies in recent years have been established and run by great Product Managers. Mentioning Steve Jobs again would be too easy. Instead, think about Larry Page from Google, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey from Twitter, Kevin Rose (Digg), Caterina Fake (Flickr) – these extraordinary people created amazing companies around their amazing products. They understood their users and their team. They were able to deliver stunning design, technology and marketing.
Design was never as important as today. Products win or lose because the merciless market judges their user experience as amazing, or a terrible misunderstanding. That’s the completely new era that we all need to face. That’s the new age. The Age of User Experience Design.
In the Age of User Experience Design you either have the guts to take UX seriously, or you lose everything.
And even further down the road – techies ruled. Internet startups that survived the dotcom bubble of 2000 were run by tech bright minds. Think of Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, eBay’s Pierre Morad Omidyar, Max Levchin and Luke Nosek of PayPal, David Filo from Yahoo – these guys know how to code. And in even more contemporary times developers struck again: Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) shaped the social media with their tech expertise.
YouTube, Airbnb, Flipboard, Square, Pinterest, Etsy, Path, AboutMe, Slideshare – all these well designed, successful products were co-founded by designers. Can your products afford to ignore this trend? Do you want this trend to be ignored?
The difference between ”today” and ”yesterday” is simple: today the only way of achieving a great product is through a great design. For your consumers your design is your product and your job is to make sure the product will provide a stunning experience
The Best Product managers who follow:
Value User Experience Design
The best PMs today understand that there’s nothing more important than crafting a great experience for customers. User Experience Design is the job of the whole team guided by the Product Manager.
The best PMs truly understand their customers. Talking to customers, actively participating in usability testing, researching – today that’s not only the job of a UX Designer/Researcher. A Product Manager has to absolutely understand customers and help his/her team build a great product based on this knowledge.
Craft the vision
Great Product Managers thoughtfully craft the vision for the whole product. More importantly, they can take a complex vision, simplify it, and communicate it – making it easy for people to understand and relate to.
Great PMs are amazing communicators. They connect dots in the team to draw lines in the product. They know how to talk to people and they’re not afraid of even the toughest conversations. They ask “Why, Who cares & So what?” and help everyone in their team to understand what the road to a great product is like.
Understand the whole
The best Product Managers understand the whole. They’re able to magically review the product from afar to see how it fits the big vision. They’re unicorns that have a strong background in many fields. Design, Marketing, Engineering, Statistics, Sociology, Psychology, History & so on. Always curious and eager to understand, learn and share their view of things.
Are leaders of multidisciplinary teams
Product Managers have to be great leaders. What does this mean? They make everyone around them better. They inspire, guide and mentor with one clear goal: the product must deliver an unmatched experience for consumers.
Build relationships that matter
Product Managers are probably the most “human humans” in every team. They care for people and they’re eager to build strong relationships. The best among PMs are absolutely honest. They don’t build relationships for the sake of meeting the deadline. They really care.
In the Age of User Experience Product Managers are more important than ever. In this experience-centric world that actually understands the value of a great product, the bar is higher than ever and only great PMs can help the whole team jump high above it. The top PMs are setting new records.