5 Design skills every product manager should have


A professional who manages the creation of products for a business or brand is known as a product manager. They are in charge of leading a multidisciplinary team that creates and releases a product. The word “product” can be used to describe a service or thing that is offered to customers and can be virtual, physical, or both.

To become experts, product managers (also known as PMs) also study anatomy — the anatomy of a company’s goods. But PMs are capable of more than just using their technical expertise. The most prosperous also constantly improve their interpersonal abilities to create better team members and more effective work procedures.

Product managers must constantly strive to improve in a constantly evolving and frequently complex field. Let’s examine the hard and soft product management talents you require to advance your skill set:

1. Performs Thorough A/B Testing

What works and doesn’t work for your product is determined by the product manager. You could go with your instinct, but there’s no way to tell if taking a different path would have resulted in a better outcome. Instead, you should create an A/B test to determine whether your options outperform their alternatives. With the correct experimentation, you can find out how successfully your features or design decisions attract consumers and save what works while getting rid of what doesn’t.

Testing enables you to evaluate various UX and UI improvements that result in higher conversion rates, completion rates, or whatever it is that you want to motivate consumers to accomplish. To ensure accurate findings, your exam must be adequately planned. A strong hypothesis that contains a quantifiable objective to gauge success is a hallmark of a successful experiment.

2. Advanced user research skills

The greatest product managers are able to communicate the demands, wants, and pain points of their consumers to other team members (often in the form of personas or storyboards). It follows that a Product Manager must have good research and empathy abilities. They must be able to research and interview customers, synthesize the information, and draw conclusions from these discussions. This is vital in teams of all sizes; to keep the product moving in the right direction, the product manager needs to be the voice of the client.

A UX researcher evaluates user feedback, monitors analytics, and guides the team in terms of future improvements regardless of whether the product is an MVP or an established system.

A UX researcher is expected to comprehend the business concept within the framework of a user’s wants while discussing objectives for a new product or service. A UX researcher involves users at the same time for surveys and interviews. Both devotion and empathy are necessary.

3. Ability to recognize good design

Although you don’t have to be a talented visual designer yourself, you must be able to spot excellent design. You can only build your taste by observing a lot of design, both excellent and bad, and by reflecting critically on what you like and don’t like. You’ll eventually develop your own intuition and develop the ability to guide your team properly.

Taste is a difficult concept to describe, and team members’ differing ideas may result in tense debates. However, if you are a trustworthy arbitrator of quality as the “owner” of the goods, it can be quite beneficial.

4. Basic Interaction Design Skills

A good product manager should be able to identify the objectives of their users and base product features on these objectives. Beyond that, it’s critical to explain the user’s journey across the various screens and pages of the product and to describe the overall information architecture of the website. As teams grow, the UX designer will likely assume this set of duties, but the product manager needs to have the industry expertise to provide relevant criticism.

It’s also beneficial to be familiar with usability principles and common design patterns when you’re the de facto UX designer to avoid constantly reinventing the wheel and frustrating users. Common design patterns are generally accepted layout solutions to frequent user behaviors, such as search, login, settings, and more.

5. Knowing Virtual Design Elements

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You can communicate with the designer more successfully if you know and can explain the fundamental components of visual design. You’ll begin to comprehend the compromises involved in visual design and how the UX team chooses its options. It is always preferable to discuss design in terms of typography, hierarchy, legibility, alignment, etc., rather than simply stating that the text is too small or the shape of the logo does not look right if you want to give better feedback about visual design or simply want to be taken seriously as a product manager.

The whole point of product managers knowing and being adept at fundamental design principles is that they can, when necessary, provide useful input to the UX designer. Feedback ought to be relevant to the customer or the product. Only when a product manager’s input improves the product will they gain the respect of the UX designer. A strong product manager would also avoid micromanaging the UX team for the obvious reason that they are more competent than he is at what they do. By facilitating the process and properly comprehending the customer’s needs rather than acting as a bottleneck, they make the work of the UX team easier.

Originally published at https://www.onething.design on Feb 7, 2023



Onething Design - UI UX Design Agency

Specializing in the field of interaction design, we’re a global UI UX design studio that assists brands across industries in sustainable digital transformation.