Post by Juned A. Ghanchi
User experience has already become an integrated and key element of product development. As a product manager in a software or app development firm you often come across various aspects that demand considering UX elements.
You often need to reach out to the UX designer about different aspects that in your opinion could be better.
Well, in a modern development environment actually such bits and pieces of idea sharing have no place. You need to work together with the UX designer and work as a team.
In spite of the crucial role played by the UX designer in the development process, many product managers fail to get the best out of them. This is why it is essential to know how you can work closely with UX designer from the experts. Here are some important tips.
Have a Clear Idea
When you work with UX designer closely, you don’t need to give them diktats, but you can just explain the idea of what you want. When you need to make an app with specific UX attributes as directed by the clients, you too should have a clear idea of the UX design you want from your designer.
When it comes to the several internal intricacies of the design like the choice of colour and font, you can leave such things to the UX designer. But how the UX design should help the app in driving engagement is the subject of the project guidelines. You need to give a direction and a clear idea of the design and how it’s going to serve the app.
Have clear answers to the following questions before explaining the UX design to your designer.
- Who will use the app
- What is the project budget and how the design needs to work within constraints if there are any?
- What are the design and development schedule and the UX designer need to meet the deadlines and milestones?
How many iterations and changes during development and design can be accommodated?
Give Priority to MVE over the MVP
Minimum viable product refers to the approach of building an app with basic and most elementary features and leaving room for further value addition with subsequent updates. The approach is popular because of faster development, cost benefits and flexibility to make value additions over time.
Now from the point of view of the UX designer, delivering a minimum viable experience (MVE) should be the objective. When a product manager allows the designer to give priority to a minimum viable experience, the focus shifts to the user experience first. This actually makes the product more customer-centric and audience-specific.
Make a Schedule
If you are a product manager, you have a schedule for building and unrolling the product, and as a result, you get stuck up with too many tasks corresponding to the development process. But unfortunately, often the work process of the designers in an app development company deserves better flexibility.
US designers often need very rigorous focus on creating various elements, and this is why unlike product manager they cannot shift their attention between things. At the same time, designers need to make themselves available for discussion and meetings.
Make a schedule that works for both so that both the product manager and the designer can put their time and efforts on user research. Having close alignment of the designer and developer can help an app product dispelling distractions and minimising frictions.
Track User Activities with the App
For redesign projects with existing apps, tracking the user activities with the app allows excellent opportunity to create value. There can be issues concerning the flow of a particular user action, or there can be some pain points like repetition or difficulty in accessing contents. By simply tracking user actions and their sessions a lot of valuable and actionable insights can be drawn to develop the product further to ensure a better user experience.
There are analytical tools like Google Analytics that allows useful metrics like drop-out rates, action sequence etc. But often these ready to use metrics are not enough to track detailed user behaviour and activities to get a clear idea about how to go about the UX redesign.
An experienced designer who has worked on several projects with a clear focus on user interactions can easily decide about the particular actions and areas that need to be tracked closely. For more detailed analysis and tracking user behaviour, expert tools such as MixPanel and Keen can be utilised. These tools offer APIs that allows very detailed tracking of user actions right within the app.
Don’t Undermine the Details
In an app project, even the so-called trivial things can have a serious impact on the output of the development and design exercise. A small change in the UX design can be so popular and useful that it can be embraced by future designers as a trend as well.
For example, the search button across apps and websites is now presented with a simple sign of “looking glass”. Earlier, the search function used to be a standalone button grabbing nearly an inch of screen space. Such little tweaks really matter for the UX to be crisp and user-focused.
As a product manager, you should always encourage the UX designer to get into minute details and deliver a better output. Allow unconventional approach until that can easily connect the users and always make way for minor design tweaks to produce a significant impact.
UX design continue to play a pivotal role in the app development, and product managers always have to make flexible space for the designers to deliver their best output. The UX designer and product manager should work as a dynamic duo to ensure the ultimate intended result.
Juned Ghanchi is the co-founder of IndianAppDevelopers, a mobile development company which offers to hire app developers India for mobile solutions. Juned has 10 years of experience in online marketing, especially in the tech sector.