Tag Archives: product management

UI design product management

Managing Success. The Role of Product Manager.

In our user-centered world, people’s requirements are extremely high and companies have no other option than trying to give only the best products to them. But how can the companies define if their product responds to the requirements of its target audience and make sure it’ll be successful? Who’s responsible for this key part of the workflow? The answer is a product manager.

 

Even though product management is a core part of the workflow in many companies, meaning behind this position can get people confused. First of all, it may be difficult to understand the essence of the “product” part. We are used to seeing “products” as something that is sold to people, so product managers may be confused with merchandiser, sales manager or other person responsible for purchases. Moreover, it may be mistaken for a job of project manager because sometimes they do have similar responsibilities. Today, in our article, we’ll clear up the essence of a product manager and their role in the workflow of web and mobile development and design companies.

 

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Who’s a product manager?

 

Typically, it is a person who is in charge of the general success of the product. A product manager makes sure that all aspects including business model, positioning, branding, and marketing of the product come together and, what’s more importantly, they ensure it meets users’ needs. Their primary concern is the target audience of the product, the business needs and measurement of the future success.

 

However, the role of product management varies depending on a size and a type of a company. For the web and mobile companies, a product manager is the one who builds the extensive network of relationships between customers and all the parts of the team including development, design and marketing departments to identify the goals, roadmaps and the requirements for the product. Their responsibilities include setting the strategy, the communication with customers, and defining the set of basic features. The main objective of a product manager is to create a product that users will love.

 

Product manager vs Project manager

 

It is sometimes thought that these two jobs are identical: they can be mistaken because people don’t see the differences between a product and a project. Let’s figure it out. A product is what a company provides to the users and it doesn’t matter if it’s a tangible thing or a service that they provide such as design. And, speaking of a project we usually mean a plan that includes work stages, expected outcome, responsible parties, fixed terms and budget. The project is accomplished when the outcome is provided, while the product keeps existing (hopefully) far long after the project is complete. In many cases, product is the result obtained from a particular project.

 

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According to this, we can say that the prior objective of a project manager is managing the team of specialists to complete all the stages of the project on time and under budget, while a product manager aims at managing and creating the competitive product that will work after the project is complete.

 

You can find more detailed information about a job of project manager in our article Project Management. Design Process Backstage.

 

Why do IT companies need a product manager?

 

Today the importance of product management is higher than it’s been ever before because of the focus on creating user-centered products. Nevertheless, many companies doubt whether they need to hire a product manager or it would be enough to have a project manager who will lead the team. For better understanding of the key role of a product manager in a workflow, we suggest looking closer at the tasks and responsibilities that a product manager usually takes on.

 

User/market research and analysis

 

In one of our previous articles, we’ve already discussed the role of user and market research in the process of mobile application development. User research means getting deeper into details of core target audience to understand their preferences and psychological peculiarities, the influence of different factors like colors and creative performance ways which could engage users and make them active. Marketing research means exploring the market segment, primarily in the perspective of creative solutions used by competitors. The success of final result depends on how these stages were worked out, so it may be useful and beneficial if they are accomplished by the professional product manager.

 

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Product strategy

 

Product strategy is a plan that organizations follow to achieve desired outcomes.It helps to structure the goals and the ways to achieving them. The product strategy usually consists of a set of chosen activities and milestones to be complete which are typically illustrated as a phased timeline that starts with the current stage and goes to the specific point in the future. The aim of a product manager is to create a solid product strategy that will help organize activities, establish the connection between the product and the company strategy, and clearly identify the steps that should be taken to achieve the business goals.

 

Features for MVP

 

Just to remember, MVP is a product with the set of minimal functions and features which are logically completed and sustainable providing the most important and basic functions for the core target audience. This means that the basic version of the product, able to fulfill key operations solving target audience’s problems, is created as live and starts real functioning as soon as possible.

 

Product manager’s responsibilities include setting priorities in all the processes of creating a product. Based on the research results, they need to choose only necessary features that respond to the actual needs of core target audience at the moment.

 

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Communication with clients

 

At the early stages, product managers build communication with the clients in order to identify their goals for the future business. When the product is being created, product managers usually write short reports daily which may be filled with graphs, charts, or updated suggestions. In this way, you can build trustworthy relationships with your clients and create the competitive product. Certainly, in some companies these are the responsibilities of project managers. Nevertheless, a product manager knows more about the specific features of the product, that’s why it may be more effective if the reports on the product development (not a project’s progress) are made by product managers.

 

Presentation

 

Research and analysis process aren’t over after a product has been developed. Product managers keep searching for new ideas and the updates on the target market. That’s why regular meetings and presentations about the findings may be quite useful for the successful outcome.

 

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We should note that in many digital agencies, UI/UX designers carry out user and market research by themselves to get deeper understanding what they need to do. Nevertheless, global product strategy planning can be hardly related to the field of designers’ specializations. Marketing, business strategies, economics and communications are forte of a product manager who may know little about design but be able to maintain the product presentation and promotion effectively.

 

As you can see, product management can make the connection of the product to the clients and users tight and efficient from the earliest stages of its creation. However, in any case the decision on involving a product manager into the process is highly individual. It depends on numerous factors, including the budget, complexity of the product and the goals behind it.

 

Recommended reading

 

Here are some more articles we could recommend for those who would like to get deeper into the topic:
 

Behind Every Great Product. The Role of the Product Manager
 

Who Needs Product Management?
 

Why Companies Need Full-Time Product Managers (And What They Do All Day)
 

Transitioning from User Experience to Product Management
 

The User Experience Guide Book For Product Managers


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

ToonUP design by Tubik Studio

Tubik Products: Feel the Way of Outsource Clients.

Design is always the story of creative process for a particular purpose. However, the story itself can be written in a hundred of different ways and styles. It can be done individually or become the result of effective teamwork. It can be simple or complex. It can be narrow and specific or multipurpose. It can be outsourced or fully accomplished in-house. There are tons of shades for this story and all of them influence the final result that goes to users.

 

Here in Tubik Studio we have had the lucky opportunity to create a considerable number of design stories, all so different but all so definitely bright. It gave us the opportunity to feel all the benefits and pitfalls of design provided in terms of outsource partnership. To go further and get even closer to final users, to feel all the pains of our clients and all the variety of steps needed for creating an efficient product out of thin air, we have decided to make the next step and launch our own digital products. Extended design practice we have got through the years encouraged us to dive into all the path of product creation, testing, promotion and analysis to obtain that precious knowledge that will enable us to be even more helpful for our clients all over the world.

 

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No doubt, full-scope product design is not the way to start light-headedly. First of all, we had to analyze how design provided in outsorce differs from product design provided in-house. Let’s look over some insights together.

 

Outsource design

 

Being a team with a broad portfolio of outsource projects and having studied experience of our clients as well as plenty of successful product companies, we have marked out the following points needing consideration.

 

In outsource design process you are given a particular design task. That means you are able to concentrate on design tasks only as the strategic decisions are mostly made on the customer’s side. In practice, however, this disclaimer works a bit differently: creating design solutions solving users’ problems and bringing profit to the customers, designers can and often should influence the strategy of the product progress on the market. Anyway, all the final decisions and small or big changes of the product strategy are made by the customers team as they bear the final responsibilities and all the alterations or suggestions should be made in tight collaboration with the side launching the product.

 

In outsource design you work on the task you are assigned for, you are not a chooser of the strategy and not a decision-maker if this product is needed and if the idea behind it is good or bad. You have to study how to like and love any idea you have to work with because it is the only way to create good result and by the way to earn money. That is not in your scope of work to get into deep layers and tell the client that this idea will not work — your task is to make it work. That is what you are paid for.

 

In outsource design you need to have good skills of getting dip into the business goals and correspondent wishes of your client. In fact, if you are lucky you get a clear task supported with outlined target audience of the final product, perhaps marketing plan and ideas on client’s stylistic preferences. In other cases, you will get just a general line containing highly blurred task like «I want you to design a social network for drivers» and that is the part of the job to get all the details of how the clients sees it. It can be done by designers, sales and project managers, but whoever the doer of this vital job is, it is the only way to make the process of collaboration on the stage of design smooth and resultative.

 

—  In outsource design you aren’t always provided with the opportunity to communicate with stakeholders and influence their decisions. You are hired to accomplish a particular scope of works. It has to be mentioned that for many designers it is a benefit as they start work with a particular task in mind and do not need to get involved deeply at predesign or post-design stages. However, there also can be projects at which after launch of the product designers are later given additional tasks on maintenance and alterations of the existing product.

 

Design Studio Tubik

 

Product design

 

— In product design accomplished in-house all the scope of stages from ideization up to sophisticated testing and maintenance is done by one team. This means that designers get more chances of being involved into all the phases of strategical decision-making upon the product which is even more creative and analytical job but at the same time requiring more diverse skills and much higher responsibility.

 

— Full-scope in-house product design goes much further than actual design tasks. It includes all the creative cycle, with complex of tactic and strategic plans, ideas on commercialization and promotion, budgeting and content marketing, product philosophy and full-scope branding and so on and so forth. It means that the team will need diverse specialists that will establish solid foundation of specific skills strengthening design and bringing effective product into life.

 

— In product design the creators are the stakeholders. This certainly means deeper involvement of all the participants into creative process and at the same time more responsibilities.

 

Product design is the domain of higher financial and creative risks. In outsource design, especially when the process is already tuned and clear, the earnings can be more predictable and flexible in budget planning of the company.

 

— Product design suggests deep concentration on one project and one aim for a long time while outsource projects can be different and support the feeling of refreshment. Should be said,  none of the ways is better or worse, they are just different and sometimes what is one designers’ meat is other designer’s poison according to the individual peculiarities of nature and creative approach.

 

To sum up, in outsource design you are a vital part of the product creation and support while in product design you are actually in the heart of all the processes being not a part but the whole story. In outsource design you are a sort of hired executive while in product design you are a stakeholder with all the responsibilities of this not-so-easy job.

 

Broadening the horizons: Tubik upcoming products

 

Considering all those issues, we have decided to know it first hand: the work was organized in several direction so that our team could obtain as broad experience of full product cycle as possible and it could bring us even closer  to the pains, problems and pitfalls which our clients tackle on their way. We have set the purpose to create products helpful for their target audience and adding some social value as well as giving us comprehensive experience of full path of goal-centered design.

 

So, the directions in which we are working over the digital products are:

— content

— entertainment

— business

— education.

 

The first two of the mentioned points are actually represented with the products by Tubik team we are happy to announce. «Content» direction is presented with recently launched website Design4Users and «Entertainment» direction is presented with an application ToonUp which is really close to its release.

 

Design4Users

 

Design4Users Tubik Studio

 

Design4Users is a blog devoted to diverse design issues solving users’ problems. It is organized via the basic categories such as «Branding» «Product» «Print» and «UI/UX» and plenty of more detailed tags in the mentioned domains. This resource was started with the aim to provide designers, customers and all those who are interested in this sphere of human activity with a wide variety of useful and interesting content supported with attractive and functional design. The blog is designed, developed and curated fully by Tubik studio team.

 

Tubik Studio design team

 

ToonUp

 

ToonUp is a brand new alarm application for iPhones designed and developed by Tubik team. At the moment it is being prepared to release and its live version is coming up very soon. In this case, we have set the purpose to combine functionality with entertainment and support the product of everyday use with stylish graphics, which have been recognized our house specialty by great deal of clients, and gamification elements. If you would like to get updates about its release and sweet bonuses from our team, welcome to sign up here or keep up with the news on its Facebook page.

 

toonup application tubik studio

 

In our next articles and case studies we will tell you more about the creative process for these products and unveil some considerations on product design features, issues and requirements. Follow the news!


Welcome to see designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

Welcome to Design4Users