I was recently asked by Good Experience to present a webinar on Product Design: Bridging the Gap between Product Management & Development, an article I wrote for Pragmatic Marketer magazine. Here it is (basically)…
Product Design is the bridge between Product Management and Product Development. Product Management quantifies the problems, writes requirements, and validates the solution; Product Design analyzes the requirements, designs the solution, and writes specifications; and Product
Development builds the solution, tests and fixes bugs, and writes documentation.
While Product Management is focused on the market and the customers’ business needs and Development is focused on the customers’ technology needs, Product Design is focused on the customers’ end-user needs. Product Design focuses on the users’ experience and their interaction with the technology.
The customer is the person who decides whether or not to purchases the solution, while the user is the person who uses the solution. For enterprise software, the customer is usually someone in upper or executive management interested in finding the best way to bring efficiency to their operation while the user is typically a company employee more interested in completing their daily assignments as easily and effectively as possible. The customer is looking at the overall workflow of their organization and how specific software solutions might improve it, while the users tend to emphasize the software’s ease-of-use.
For this reason, Product Management, Design, and Development work together to understand the market, customer, and users’ needs, and design and develop technology solutions that meet these needs.