Who is a designer? It is person who creates tangible or intangible objects, such as consumer products, processes, laws, games and graphics, etc. So he creates not only visible side but also the whole process. But if we talk about main people in the company usually we do not call to mind usual interface designers. In big companies there are special people who manage the process of creating and development of the product.
Manager is a person who makes business planning, gathers and generalizes common information and makes analytics to take take business decisions. These decisions must lead to successful results. Other way the work of a manager is useless. So if we are talking about product managers we mean a person who is responsible and attentive to command work and cooperation inside the company. He is communicative and get along with developers, designers and marketing team. He is leader by his character, he proves his opinions after listening all points of view and taking general decision.
As for his skills product manager must know two disciplines, product planning and product marketing.
Product Planner skills of Product Manager:
- superb linguistics skills;
- competency in crafting market requirements;
- mastery of the market requirement’s structure;
- profound comprehension of customer’s needs;
- deep understanding of the product delivery process.
Product Marketer skills of Product Manager:
- superb planning and process skills;
- competency in conceptualiazing the abstract;
- mastery of marketing techniques and tasks;
- profound comprehension of psycho-social behaviors;
- deep understanding of the marketing lifecycle.
It is rather big variety of problems which product managers solve. But still they are mostly theoretical and he doesn’t create anything by his own hands. Lets find out what skills modern UI/UX designer should have:
General skills of UI/UX designer:
- analytical and at the same time creative thinking;
- facilitating meetings, brainstorming, critics;
- communication and command work.
- understanding of subject field and market;
- finding out and tracking of interface and product metrics;
- building and testing of product hypothesis;
- statistics, analys and visualization of big data capacity;
- user research and analytics;
- understanding and description of users (characters, screenplays, customer journey map, etc);
- search of invites and demands;
- checking of design solutions.
Informational architecture and interface design:
- design of structure and navigation;
- design of interface screens and their interactive prototypes;
- interaction design out of interface (service design);
- description of principles of interface work and patterns.
- basic skills: composition, skills, typographic, chromatics;
- iconographic and illustrations;
- animations of interface and motion design;
- making guidelines;
- visualization of database;
- identity and branding;
- font design.
- work with data sources;
- setting up the work environment for testing and launching of services;
- optimization (productivity, displaying in different browsers etc.).
Content strategy and copywriting:
- making content strategy and planning.
- expert reeview;
- formalized quality testing.
Marketing and PR:
- publications and presentations;
- mobile app promotion.
Managing of projects and products:
- planning of project work;
- organization of team;
- UX-Strategy Building.
Of course one person cannot do all this work but I think UI/UX designer should know at least half of this skills. The more skills you possess the more opportunities you have.
As to details of work of UI/UX designer I can give you one example. While creation of the product every designer should think about the future users of this product. He thinks about every step of development of the product. But at the end every stage of every team which is responsible for the certain part of the process will test the whole work you’ve created.
So in my point of view product manager have little bit restricted field of knowledge except of the case they take decisions on the hight level, not taking part in simple processes. I think that product designers, simple UI/UX designers have more opportunities for further personal growth. Product designers have wonderful career prospects – leading design team, product management, designer-founder of the company (Airbnb, Mailbox, Tumblr and others) and even CEO of large corporation (Luxus, Kia). It is possible if you broaden your skills from day to day and take responsibility for the product you made. Of course with responsibility you have more risks. From that moment you become not only a UI designer who do not think just make someone thoughts real but who also becomes a thoughtful personality, creator of the product.
Written by Julia Bondarenko.