Product and design can often feel at odds.Product is pushing to release very lean versions of features or products, often at the expense of an optimal user experience, whereas design is pushing for the best user experience at all costs. Regardless of the situation knowing how to collaborate effectively with your product design team and product team is vital. By following a few basic tips and guidelines you’ll be able to link everyone together seamlessly.
First things first, set clear goals and expectations. Before you start working together, it's important to have a clear understanding of what you're trying to achieve. This will help you to focus your efforts and make sure that you're all on the same page.
Communicate regularly. Communication is key to any successful collaboration. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your design team and product team, and be sure to provide feedback regularly.
Be respectful of each other's expertise. Product designers, product managers, and engineers have different skillsets and areas of expertise. It's important to respect each other's contributions and work together to create the best possible product.
Be flexible and adaptable. Things don't always go according to plan, so it's important to be flexible and adaptable. Be willing to change your mind and make adjustments as needed.
Celebrate your successes. When you achieve a goal, be sure to celebrate your success. This will help to build morale and keep everyone motivated.
It’s very easy for things to get lost in translation when you’re just moving things along in waterfall fashion without actually looking at them together. Things like synthesizing research insights or making an important product or design decisions are best done together and begins with establishing the following practices from the start, these include:
Use the right tools. There are a number of tools that can help you to collaborate more effectively with your design team and product team. These tools can help you to share files, communicate in real time, and track progress.
Set up regular check-ins. It's important to set up regular check-ins with your design team and product team to discuss progress, identify any challenges, and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Be open to feedback. Be open to feedback from your design team and product team. They may have insights that you haven't considered.
Be willing to compromise. Sometimes you'll need to compromise with your design team and product team in order to reach a consensus. This is part of the collaborative process.
By now we know that the Product managers and UX teams are expected to work seamlessly in the best interests of the product. The product manager-UX designer relationship is just like any other and it requires constant nurturing. Here are some additional considerations to keep in mind when collaborating with your team.
• Involve your design team in the early stages of product development. This will help them to understand the user's needs and to create designs that are user-friendly and visually appealing.
• Provide regular feedback to your design team. This will help them to refine their designs and to create something that you are happy with.
• Be open to new ideas from your design team. They may have insights that you haven't considered.
• Work with your product team to ensure that the designs are technically feasible. This will help to avoid delays in the development process.
• Celebrate your successes with your design team and product team. This will help to build morale and keep everyone motivated.
Don’t forget that communication is the key to success. Lack of communication leads to making a lot of assumptions. When assumptions don’t meet with reality, there’s going to be a lot of friction and frustration. Without frequent and transparent communication, it’s going to be hard (if not impossible) to discover the right thing to build, which is ultimately your shared goal.
In part, here are some additional tips that can help you to collaborate effectively with your product design team and product team:
- Be a good listener. When your design team and product team are sharing their ideas, be sure to listen carefully and ask questions to make sure you understand their point of view.
- Be respectful of different opinions. Not everyone will agree on everything, but it's important to respect each other's opinions and to work together to find a solution that everyone can agree on.
- Be willing to compromise. Sometimes you'll need to compromise in order to reach a consensus. This doesn't mean that you have to give up on your ideas, but it does mean that you need to be willing to meet in the middle.
- Be positive and encouraging. A positive attitude can go a long way in helping to create a collaborative environment. Be sure to praise your team members for their contributions and to let them know that you appreciate their hard work.
One common link to all of these is that it is important to have fluid and systemic communication.Ensuring product and design form an effective communication does not happen automatically. It takes aligning the teams in ways tailored to everyone’s needs and strengths.
By following these tips, you can create a collaborative environment where everyone feels valued and respected. This will help you to create great products that meet the needs of your users.