Get involved in Product Decision Making: David Mulholland

Are you a product designer that feels locked out of product decision making?

By improving collaboration with product managers, you will become your PM’s favourite product designer and be a stronger part of decision making. Here are five ways to make that happen:

Get involved early on: Design and strategy are not separate, they are symbiotic – A great design is the result of a great strategy. The earlier you get involved in the product development process, the more influence you’ll have on the final product. Collaborate with the product manager on product strategy, product discovery and definition to ensure that the final product aligns with the user needs and business goals. By getting involved early, you can make sure your designs are considered from the start and that the final product meets your vision for the product.

Understand the product manager’s perspective: Take the time to understand the product manager’s goals and objectives for the product. This will help you design solutions that align with their vision. By understanding their perspective and the market they are trying to target, you can create designs that are more likely to be successful.

Communicate effectively: Regularly check in with the product manager and keep them informed about your design decisions and progress. This will help them understand your design rationale and provide feedback more effectively. Clear and effective communication will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your designs align with the product manager’s vision.

Be flexible: Be willing to adapt your design to meet the needs of the product manager and the business. This will show that you are a team player and that you are willing to find solutions that work for everyone. Flexibility is important for any designer, and it’s especially important when working with product managers.

Seek feedback: Ask for feedback and be open to constructive criticism. This will help you improve your design skills and will demonstrate to the product manager that you value their input. By seeking feedback and taking it into consideration, you can make sure that your designs are meeting the needs of the product manager and the business.

Collaboration is the key ingredient for creating a recipe for success in product design. By understanding the product manager’s perspective, communicating effectively, getting involved early on, being flexible and seeking feedback, product designers can improve collaboration with product managers and create products that are usable, functional, solve real-world problems for customers and achieve the desired business outcomes.