As a product manager, you’re responsible for developing and delivering products that meet the needs of your target market. But to be successful, you need more than just an understanding of the market and your customers. You must also be able to take those customer insights and turn them into a design that will ultimately solve their problem. And that’s where having strong design skills comes in.
Let's explore five must-have design skills for product managers. From user experience (UX) design to visual communication and more, read on to learn what skills you need to succeed in this role.
What does a Product Manager do?
Product managers are responsible for the strategy and vision of a product, and they work with cross-functional teams to ensure that the product meets the needs of users and the business. They are also responsible for managing the product roadmap and ensuring that features are delivered on time.
A product manager typically has a background in business or engineering. They must have strong analytical skills and be able to think strategically. They must also be able to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical stakeholders.
Design Skillset For Product Managers
1. User Research
User research is one of the most critical skills for product managers. It allows you to understand your users’ needs and pain points so that you can design products that meet their requirements.
Many different user research methods exist, including interviews, surveys, focus groups, and user testing. The most important thing is to choose the suitable method for your specific project.
User research can be conducted at any stage of the product development process. However, it is crucial early on when you are trying to define the problem that your product will solve.
If you want to be a successful product manager, then you need to be able to conduct effective user research.
2. Stakeholder Management
Product managers must understand and manage the expectations of multiple stakeholders with competing interests.
This requires expert communication skills and the ability to develop relationships and build consensus.
The product manager must be able to see the big picture and make decisions that balance the needs of all stakeholders.
They must also be able to effectively manage changes and conflict while maintaining a positive attitude and keeping the team focused on the goal.
As a product manager, you will be responsible for solving various problems that may arise during the development and launch of a new product. To be successful in this role, you must have strong problem-solving skills.
Some of the most common problems that you may face as a product manager include the following:
Design flaws that need to be fixed
Schedule delays due to unforeseen issues
Cost overruns due to unexpected expenses
Problems with the product itself after it has been launched
To effectively solve these types of problems, you will need to be able to think creatively and outside of the box. You must also be able to adapt quickly to changes and come up with solutions on the fly. Strong communication and negotiation skills are also essential in this role, as you will often need to work with various teams to find the best solution possible.
4. UX Design
As a product manager, you must have a strong understanding of UX design to succeed. This means that you will need to be able to understand the user’s needs and wants and then translate that into a design that is both user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.
It would help if you had a strong understanding of UX design principles, such as usability, interaction design, information architecture, and user research. You should also be familiar with the latest trends and tools in the field.
In addition, it would be beneficial to have some experience working with designers and developers to create prototypes and wireframes.
5. Visual Design
Product managers must have a keen eye for visual design. They need to see the big picture and understand how a product's elements fit together. They also need to be able to communicate their vision to designers and engineering teams.
Product managers must have strong layout, color, typography, and iconography skills. They should be able to create wireframes and prototypes to communicate their ideas. They must also be familiar with design tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch.
In addition to strong visual design skills, product managers must also understand usability principles. They need to know how users interact with products and what they are looking for in a product. They also need to be able to create user flows and prototypes that help visualize the user experience.
How to learn these skills as a Product Manager?
Product managers must be able to wear many hats and have a wide range of skills. They need to understand design, user experience, engineering, and data. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with all members of a product team.
Apart from reading and other forms of research, you can also understand design as a product manager by enrolling in our latest course, Design for Product Managers on ProApp. So download ProApp today to get started with becoming the wizard of the product management world.
Rajat is an industry veteran with 10+ years of expertise in the Design industry. He is a software engineer by education who successfully and profitably runs a Digital Design Agency as the CEO at ProCreator for 6+ years. He has trained more than 100 designers and scaled his bootstrapped business to a team of 50. He takes care of product thinking and leads the strategies at ProApp.