Usability Testing — getting the right results (and how it differs from User Testing)

User experience smackdown: Usability Testing vs. User Testing. Let’s start by making a distinction between the topic today, Usability Testing, and User Testing. Whereas User Testing pertains to earlier stages in a project when you are researching the validity of an idea, Usability Testing is “the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users achieve […]

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User Experience — how it intersects with Product Management

What’s the difference between user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) design? These two practices are distinctly different but how so is debatable. You could simply state that UI design concerns how a screen and its elements on a screen look, whereas UX design concerns how the user goes about interacting with the screens. […]

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Product Validation — identifying customer & problems before looking at solutions

Rather than creating Product Requirement Documents in a vacuum, modern Product Managers are employing an iterative approach to Product Validation by identifying customer segments, finding problems and then assessing solutions. These new processes have largely come from the startup world, but can just as easily be applied in bigger organizations. 5 steps to validate your […]

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Market Research — proper usage & shortcuts for getting the insights you need

Although a product manager can buy Market Research, making sense of the insights can be more time intensive than finding the information yourself. The good news is that product managers have accessible tools available that will often yield more practical insights than would a dedicated Market Research service. Use market research properly. The ‘problem’ with […]

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Proactive vs. Reactive — achieving the right balance of both

Predictive management not reactive management. Being a good reactive manager is to be admired. It means that you can calmly deal with surprises and quickly come up with solutions (rather than getting stuck looking for root causes). On the other hand, a person who practices predictive management might have been able to remove herself sufficiently […]

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Stand-ups — best practices, common pitfalls & should you even be involved?

5 Scrum Meeting Best Practices: Master the Daily Stand-Up. Stand-ups, alternatively known in agile development as Scrum Meetings, can be powerful if done properly. Fortunately there are relatively simple rules for being successful. Michael Lun outlines these which include sticking to three questions — what has been accomplished, what will be worked on and what […]

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Team Organization — experimenting with processes, PMs are products & knowing your domain

Product leadership rules to live by from my experience at Pandora. When joining Pandora, John Krawczyk was tasked with building and managing a large team dedicated to their advertising products. From this experience he defined six tactics for building this team, and by extension, building great products. These tactics should push you to organize groups around […]

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Managing Stakeholders — who they are, building trust & communicating effectively

Stakeholder management. The best place to start on this topic is figuring out what a stakeholder is and then identifying who in your organization fits the definition. Marty Cagan explains that anyone who has veto power to stop the launch of you product is likely a stakeholder. So this can go from the CEO all […]

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