Over the last several years, I’ve noticed a shift in the adoption of User Experience within organizations. This is encouraging, but might also require UX professionals to consider the skills and the roles that we bring to product teams. There are two key factors that are now impacting the way UX professionals work with product teams.
First is the adoption of new project-management methods, as well as the integration of UX deliverables into those methods. Early in my career, most software and Web projects followed a waterfall methodology, which is still common in manufacturing industries. The difficulty I frequently encountered with this approach was that it rarely allowed sufficient time for the integration of new knowledge. UX research often got squeezed out because it didn’t directly add business value. Often, from the beginning of a project, a product team essentially had to know exactly what they would deliver at the end of the project. The team’s inability to deviate from the original plan undermined the iterative nature of most UX design approaches. Read More
Product development is complex, so it’s important to have a plan. Your product roadmap serves that purpose and lets you plot the journey ahead and ensure your entire team is aligned.
While it’s crucial to have a well-defined product roadmap at the outset of development, many companies do not have a good system in place for proper project planning. In fact, last year’s Pulse of the Profession report showed that 58% of survey respondents failed to grasp the full value of project management.
A product roadmap can help clear up any confusion and outline a project’s trajectory. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” If only more of us in software development had that same mindset. Read More
In an ever-changing field such as User Experience, it is sometimes good to step back from the whirlwind for a moment and get back to the basics. This is especially true today, when design trends are leaning more and more toward service design rather than product design. Often, users no longer want just a product. They want an entire ecosystem that supports and enhances their experience. Thus, they’ve raised the bar. Today, for companies to achieve their business goals, we need to meet users’ high expectations, which are higher than ever before. We need to deliver an ideal user experience.
In this column, I’ll discuss how User Experience and Product Management (PM) can work together to deliver ideal experiences and create empowered, successful, loyal users. Read More