Product Management & UX — How Do They Work Together?

When it comes to the successful delivery of new products to the market, both product management and user experience (UX) play important roles.

When it comes to the successful delivery of new products to the market, both product management and user experience (UX) play important roles. Working together, these two functions each play a central part in ensuring that the product being delivered is of a high standard and ultimately meets the end user’s needs.

Before we dive a little deeper into the key ways in which product management and UX work together to achieve this goal, let’s first look at the definition of these two roles and some of the fundamental differences between them.

What are Product Management and UX Design?

As you’ve just discovered, both product management and UX design are related to successfully delivering great new products to the market, with each role being an essential component of product development. Here’s an outline of each role, and what they specifically involve:

  • Product Management

Product management focuses primarily on the business side of the product — from development to market positioning and pricing. A product manager — or UX Product Manager — aims to ensure that customers’ needs are met at both the design and development stages, and is ultimately responsible for the product’s overall success.

  • UX Design

UX design is chiefly concerned with the customer’s (or user’s) perspective and end-to-end experience of the product. A UX Designer is tasked with understanding the customers’ challenges when using the product and subsequently designing an effective, intelligent solution that helps to resolve those challenges.

Differences between Product Management and UX Design

Although both are crucial to the success of the product being delivered, product management and UX design are separate roles, with some fundamental differences separating the two.

While a Product Manager deals with the business aspect of the product and is responsible for the product’s success, a UX Designer deals with the end-user’s experience of the product and is chiefly responsible for the success, or usability, of the product’s design.

Product managers need to have a high-level understanding of the product design and user needs, as well as some UI/UX for Product Managers, while UX Designers take on an extremely focused understanding of the design and user needs in order to solve end-user challenges.

Finally, to maintain the need for a high-level understanding of all aspects of the product, Product Managers coordinate with relevant stakeholders and departments in order to define the product’s overall requirements. UX Designers define the layout of the product and how it will best operate, as well as running usability studies.

How do these two roles work together?

While product management and UX design are certainly separate roles with some differing priorities and goals, the two share several commonalities — and in fact, need to work together to achieve the best possible outcome for the product.

Ultimately, both roles work hard to ensure the product’s success through extensive research, detailed thought processes, and some tough decision-making for what each believes to be the best choice for their product.

So, how do the two roles work together to achieve a successful product? In a broad sense, the UX Designer solves particular problems or challenges described by the Product Manager or UX Product Manager. Put simply, the Product Manager details, organises and defines the “what” — and the UX Designer executes the “how”.

  • Product Managers

Ideally, Product Managers should work collaboratively with UX Designers to gain a good understanding of the product’s end-users. Working together this way, the Product Manager benefits from the expertise of the designer in terms of usability studies and product design, while also ensuring that everything is largely in order.

  • UX Designers

Similarly, UX Designers benefit from this arrangement by gaining an understanding of the business aspect of the product, as well as an overall recognition of the many factors that Product Managers need to consider in terms of the product and its delivery, including overall UX product development.

Tips for working together successfully

Here are a few simple yet effective ways that Product Managers and UX Designers can work positively together to ensure the best possible outcome for their product:

  • Have a good understanding of each other’s role

This may sound like an obvious tip, but due to the similarities — and slight overlap — between the two roles, there can sometimes be confusion as to what each person is responsible for. Yet, navigating these ambiguities, and having a clear understanding of each other’s key responsibilities, will ultimately help lead to a successful product.

  • Keep communication lines open

Talking through issues and user flows regularly and openly will help alleviate any misunderstandings or confusion along the way. Designers need some guidelines and basic information from the Product Manager to understand what needs to be done — in fact, the ability to communicate well is among the most important digital Product Manager skills!

  • Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture

At the end of the day, both the Product Manager and UX Designer want the same thing — the successful delivery of an awesome product. It’s important that both roles always keep this bigger picture in mind, along with keeping an open mind in terms of collaboration.

Learn Product Management and UX design with Harness Projects

Looking to upskill, or start an exciting new career as a Product Manager or UX Designer? At Harness Projects, we offer comprehensive courses in both UX design and product management, including career launcher and upskiller courses in UX design, and upskiller courses in product management.

Our Real Project Learning is designed to unite and empower both individuals and industry and will equip you with the skills needed to adapt and thrive in rapidly changing product and UX product development environments.

Whether you’re looking to upskill your digital Product Manager skills or delve into UI/UX for Product Managers, you’re bound to find the ideal course for your needs with us. Keen to learn more? Read about our real project learning approach, browse our product management and UX design projects, or check out our informative blog.

Have questions about any of our courses? Simply get in touch with us today. We’d love to help, and will be sure to get back to you within 24 hours!