Skills
Product management is no simple feat. To be a great product manager, one should be familiar with the different aspects of product development, from engineering to design, so that each encounter with every team is productive. When working with a designer, it is important to know the basics of design and speak the language of the design team while at the same time showing them that you are aware of your boundaries and that you are there to work with them and not overstep someone else’s turf.

Here are a few skills every product manager needs to know about design:

Good Taste

Taste can be subjective, but a product manager with an ineffable quality of taste can recognize great design. A product manager does not have to be a great visual designer, but you do need to be able to have an eye for impeccable design. If you want to develop your taste, it will be helpful to look at lots of different designs, both good and bad. This develops your ability to be critical about what you do and do not like, and why. As you continuously expose yourself to various designs, you will eventually develop your own instincts and be able to lead your team in the right direction.

Expert User Research Skills

It is vital that a product manager has a clear and deep understanding of their customers. It is important that a PM is able to accurately communicate the customers’ pain points, desires, and needs to the members of their team. In short, a product manager should have strong research and empathy skills. They need to be able to interview and research their customers, process data, and gather insights from their conversations with the customers. For a product manager to be able to keep the product moving in the right direction, they need to be the voice of the customer.

Basic Interaction Design Skills

One of the responsibilities of a product manager is to effectively describe their users’ goals and determine product features based on these goals. One of the things you need to be able to do is describe the overall information architecture of a site and discuss the user’s journey through the different screens or pages of the product. Usually for larger teams, the UX designer is the one who undertakes these responsibilities, but the product manager is expected to have adequate domain knowledge to share insightful feedback.

Basic Knowledge of Visual Design Concepts

Being familiar with basic visual design vocabulary enables product managers to effectively communicate with the designer and better understand the tradeoffs and decisions they make. When talking with a designer, the conversation will lead to a more fruitful outcome when something like “increasing the size of the logo” is detailed in terms of contrast, hierarchy, and whitespace.

There is indeed so much expected of product managers, and the only way you can emerge victorious in this highly critical role is to be equipped with all the skills needed to collaborate effectively with all the teams you work with to come up with a great product. Think you need to develop more skills? Sign up for a product management training course. Definitely a good investment for any product manager!

Michelle Gonzalez has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on product management training such as those offered by ProductSchool.com.

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Product management is no simple feat. To be a great product manager, one should be familiar with the different aspects of product development, from engineering to design, so that each encounter with every team is productive. When working with a designer, it is important to know the basics of...

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