Aurelius Podcast: Episode 25 with Michelle Fitzpatrick on Product Management and User Research at Intercom
Episode 25 highlights:
- Product management at Intercom
- Choosing the right problems to solve for your customers
- What user research looks like at Intercom
- How Michelle and the product team at Intercom chooses which projects to work on
- Where does UX design start and Product Management end?
Episode 22 highlights with Peter Morville:
- Peter’s new book “Planning for Everything” and what led him to decide to write a book about planning
- What we can learn from the U.S. Marines about planning better design and research projects
- Peter’s framework of S.T.A.R.F.I.N.D.E.R and how to use it for better planning of your ux, design and research projects
- How Agile development process can help...and hinder your design and software project planning
- Are you OVER-planning? How to determine if you are and if so work at getting better at improvising
- Tips for convincing your stakeholders to do (or do more) user research
- Systems thinking and how it applies to UX design and product management
- Ways to be more self-aware in the design, features and decisions we make in our work as UX designers, researchers and product managers
iA002 episode highlights:
- The technology stack that we built Aurelius with and how it’s evolved over time
- Understanding common development terms to better communicate design ideas
- An inside look at how Joseph and Zack make decisions about the product and the company
- Behind the scenes views and opinions on making technology upgrades and feature prioritizations
- How we build Aurelius like Wyatt Earp
- Melissa’s approach to product strategy
- Setting good strategic goals for our product and user experiences
- The difference between shipping features and shipping GOOD features
- How to do user research to actually drive innovation
- Case study examples from Melissa on how she used user research to increase user acquisition
- Using product and UX goals to tie up into larger company vision and strategy
Can I get a show of hands from how many people have ever had an awesome idea shot down due to politics or flimsy opinions?
Yep, I’ll bet you’ve been in client or stakeholder meetings finding yourself hit with a bunch of questions and critique about the decisions or recommendations you’ve made. Heck, you might even have a great story to tell and well thought out reasons for why you did what you did. Yet, there you sit, watching all that great work get flushed down the drain right before your very eyes by the highest paid, or the loudest (or both!) person in the room. Often, the discussion turns to things about the product or service that fly in the face of customer needs or even our own company objectives. Watching well crafted ideas get argued away in a single meeting is like squabbling over what to have for dinner while the house burns down around you.
Here’s the good news: killing politics and emotions in your design or product strategy doesn’t have to be an impossible task. By setting clear, well defined goals for your strategy, you can easily sell great ideas, decisions and recommendations without banging your head against the wall.
Download the free 4 point product strategy goal checklist, and we’ll walk through how to use it right here in this post. When we’re done, you’ll be on your way to building a brilliant design and product strategy that solves the right problems for your company and its customers.
Episode 7 highlights:
- Jeff's definition of product strategy
- Bringing clarity to the process of building a product strategy
- The difference between brand and product strategy, and how they work together
- The single biggest factor that holds most companies back from having a great product strategy
- Building a product roadmap and strategy that actually works
- How to empower your teams to solve problems instead of only building features
- Who owns the product strategy? Product managers or UX Designers?
Have you ever found yourself having worked very long and very hard on a product roadmap presentation for your senior management only to find that it didn’t have the impact you’d hoped?
How could this be? We had every resource, milestone, deadline and feature detailed to the letter. Yet, that meeting didn’t go the way we wanted, and we sure as hell don’t feel any more confident in the direction our product is going.
A product roadmap was supposed to fix our strategic problems and get all the stakeholders aligned. After the meeting, we go and make new updates to the roadmap and get ready for the next meeting. Several months go by and we realize, we’ve spent nearly all our time updating the roadmap or plan, but haven’t actually made any progress. Worse yet, someone eventually asks “did we talk with customers about this?” and that’s when it hits you… we may have a flawless plan to go and solve the wrong problems.
Product roadmaps give you “what” but not the “why”
I’d bet good money that if you have spent any significant time building product roadmaps, you eventually came to a point where you realized “this isn’t working”. You’re trying your best to get people on board with the design and product recommendations you’re making, but the roadmap just isn’t doing the trick. You make edit after edit and still, the senior management and design/development teams feel no more confident that we’re doing the right things. That’s because a product roadmap is a plan not a strategy.
Episode 6 highlights:
- Some history of Adaptive Path and how they got into design and product strategy
- Pitfalls to avoid when making a product and design strategy
- How to be more than a UX design "stylist" or "executionist"
- The role of UX and design in business strategy
- Differences between UX and product management
- Design like a lawyer and get everyone on board with your decisions and recommendations
How do you know you're building the right products and features? Is there anything more frustrating than planning design and development efforts with no real understanding of our customers or how we're helping our business?
Episode 4 highlights:
- How we know we're building the right products and features
- Using the "jobs to be done" framework in design and product management
- How Twitter used UX design critiques to determine they were solving the right problems
- Presenting design decisions to your team vs. presenting to stakeholders
- "Having a seat at the table" and what that looks like as a UX designer
- Helping your company value UX design at the highest executive level
- Measuring the success of UX design and product management