User experience, as the phrase suggests, describes the experience that the end-user enjoys after buying a product or service. A good user experience is the primary differentiator between an ordinary and a great product. However, merely providing a good experience to the end user will not guarantee higher profits and better growth. To achieve this goal, the organization will have to invest in proper product management as well.
User experience can be described as a subset of product management, which covers a wide range of activities ranging from design, cost efficiency during the development process, effective marketing and branding, and quality after-sales service. However, it is important to note that the consumer will focus primarily on the UX offered by the product. Hence, a firm that does a good job managing the product without providing a good user experience is unlikely to enjoy sustainable growth.
User Experience and Product Management
Businesses and commercial organizations function in a dynamic environment buffeted by constant changes due to internal and external factors. The expectations and requirements of the end-user is one of the many factors that affect the evolution of the market. Effective product management involves ensuring the product is designed, developed, and marketed in accordance to the market conditions.
User experience focuses on satisfying the expectations of the end-user from the product or service. Needless to say, this aspect is vital in determining the overall success or failure of a product. While conventional wisdom suggests that customers prefer cheaper products, a solution that offers a quality user experience, UX, will enjoy high demand even if the firm follows a premium pricing policy.
While pricing is a part of effective product management, it is the experience of the end-user that enables the organization to implement such a policy. Modern organizations are now beginning to realize the importance of synergy between user experience managers and product management experts.
It is a misconception that such concepts are applicable to web-based service experiences alone. A product that offers good user experience and usability will always enjoy higher demand as compared to a product that does not score high on this front. Apple smart phones are considered as proof of how good UX can have a significant impact on product management policies.
Combining User Experience and Product Management
How can managers specializing in these two areas explore the symbiotic relationship to generate better value for the organization? Ultimately, user experience and product management depend on the needs of the customer. Emphasis on qualitative market research that goes beyond financial viability and focuses on the dynamic expectations of customers will facilitate creation of better quality products and services.
Further, organizations can come up with customized user experience management strategies when targeting different demographics and market segments. What constitutes a good tablet experience for a middle-aged user may not be impressive for a tech-friendly youngster. Holistic design and research, which is often considered as a part of product management, will, in such cases, have a significant impact on the overall user experience as well.
Thirdly, new developments like cloud computing, data mining, and big data predictive analytics can be utilized for better integration of UX planning and product management. Instead of treating the two concepts as completely unrelated or treating UX as a subset of product management, new technologies can help the organization create an integrated strategy without significant disruptions in its operations.
Formal recognition of these concepts is helping organizations convert hitherto intangible and qualitative facets of business operations into tangible and quantifiable inputs. Proper understanding of UX and PM will help the organization strike the right balance between improved synergy and operational efficiency.
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