Having a strong understanding of UX principal is essential for any product manager who wants to build a successful product; for me, the most important one is UX research.
In 2020, I was awarded a scholarship for the UX/UI design boot camp by the tech school Ironhack and the fashion platform Vinted. I had a three months newborn baby at home, but you don’t get this opportunity twice in life. So I decided to go for it!
They were months of long work hours where I learned to apply the design thinking framework. Our Sprints were five-day processes for research, understanding pain points, ideate potential solutions. Each week, my fellow boot campers and I devised viable solutions for our users’ problems, built prototypes, and tested the designs with our future customers. At the end of the week, we reached the inescapable deadline where we had to pitch our ideas to the class.
Why did I decide to take this boot camp? Because I wanted to focus on what was truly important for customers and stop assuming what their best solutions would look like. I wanted to put the customer first and steer the design process around their needs and the best possible flow of interaction with the user.
This was something sensitive to me, as I learned through my career that you can have a HUGE marketing campaign budget and use the best growth hacking techniques, but if you have products that customers don’t love or that don’t resolve their problems or frustrations, all your attempts are destined to fail.
Here are some ways how my UX research skills gained during this boot camp impact my product strategy:
- Understanding User Needs: UX research can help you gain a deep understanding of your users’ needs, goals, and pain points. This knowledge can inform your product strategy by helping you identify areas where your product can provide value and where it may need to be improved.
- Identifying Opportunities: Through user research, you may uncover new opportunities for your product or identify gaps in the market that your product can address. This can help you refine your product strategy and prioritize features and functionality that will drive growth.
- Validating Assumptions: As you develop your product strategy, you likely have assumptions about your users and their needs. UX research can help you validate these assumptions and ensure that your strategy is based on accurate information.
- Improving User Experience: By conducting UX research throughout the development process, you can identify areas where the user experience can be improved. This can inform your product strategy by helping you prioritize features and functionality that will enhance the user experience.
- Measuring Success: UX research can help you measure the success of your product strategy by providing data on how users are interacting with your product and how it is impacting their behavior. This can help you make data-driven decisions about future product development and strategy.
- Understanding user preferences: Ux research can also help you to identify user preferences for a particular design, layout or copy, you can use this information to make your product more appealing to your users.
- Evaluating User Feedback: Gathering feedback using surveys, usability or others methods from users can help you identify patterns, and blockers that user are experiencing, for instance, users complaining about a particular feature. This feedback will inform your product strategy.
- Identifying Market Trends: UX research can help you to stay ahead of the competition by analyzing user behavior and feedback, you can determine what users are looking for in a product and what features they expect.
As a product manager is critical to be skilled in conducting UX research, analyzing data, and deriving insights into your product strategy to create value for your users and real impact in the business.