PMs - Own your Product Design Process with these simple steps.

The product design process requires complex interpersonal skills, the Pitango UX team presents some tips for properly managing the process.

The product design process requires complex interpersonal skills, the Pitango UX team presents some tips for properly managing the process.

What are the best practices for creating and maintaining positive and efficient organizational culture? How to complete your tasks without getting into a beef with your counterparts daily? How to successfully manage the workflow while overcoming differences and disagreements? If you are a Product Manager working closely with UX\UI designers, these are defiantly some of the questions you are often asking yourself.

Creating an outstanding product is a meticulous process that demands teamwork, collaboration, and multi-disciplinary symbiosis. As a product manager, you will have to navigate the workflow facing numerous challenges to achieve the final goal.

As many PM professionals point out, healthy personal relationships with your counterparts, particularly the design team, are essential. In this article, our PitangoUX experts will share their take on the best PM-designer collaboration practices. They will provide key recommendations for building a sustainable and healthy organizational culture.

We are partners!

Treat the designers fairly, and include them early. Treat the UX designers on your team as partners, not as assistants. This mindset of teammates striving to accomplish a certain goal should lead you as a Product Manager right from the start.

Include the designers in the process as early as possible. Invite them to participate at the beginning of the UX mapping, and the customer needs decision-making process. Respect their insights and professional recommendations. The earlier your designers are involved in the process, the fewer setbacks and frustration your team will experience.

Make them feel valued and appreciated. Encourage them to share their vision, opinions, and concerns openly. Then effectively integrate the designers into the work process to secure high motivation and a mutual desire to succeed.

ux mapping

Let’s communicate

Open, personal and positive communication is essential to your success. Emphasize open, transparent, and direct talks with your partners. Invest time in developing genuine friendships and mutual understanding. Learn your designer’s perspective, terms, language, and thought process. Constantly maintain a proactive and responsive approach. Solve any conflict or disagreement at the earliest stage and never let it escalate and flare. Embrace the compromise while minding the key milestones that define success.

Although it might sound obvious, it is not. A lack of constructive and positive communication usually disrupts any work process and might lead to unnecessary tension and conflicts in your team. Therefore, it might be a good idea to choose a more humble approach and to get rid of any ego as soon as possible. Sustain these core guidelines during the entire work process, and we are confident you will accomplish your target with flying colors.

outcome-oriented mindset


Your teammates and partners look up to you, don’t let them down. As a PM, you are directly responsible for the success (or the failure) of a particular project, a client, or a whole UX portfolio. It doesn’t mean that the burden is solely yours to carry, yet you must establish an outcome-oriented mindset in your team to promote smooth, efficient, and constant progress.

Set clear goals and expectations. Define responsibilities and timelines.
Create an alignment in your multi-disciplinary team by setting clear objectives and key results. Makes sure that these objectives and results are measurable and feasible. Specify mutual success milestones and, by all means, avoid micromanagement.

Treating your partners as valued professionals (who they are) will gain their cooperation and respect, reduce tension and ensure an overall positive working experience.

When reality knocks on your door

Don’t let emotions get on your path to success. The PM-Designer relationship is not different from any other relationship. Disagreements are essential components of any work process, and the right thing to do is to harness them to improve the outcome.
As the Product Manager, you should embrace the compromise. Stay focused on the goal while balancing creativity, risks, budget, etc.
Even during times of differences with your teammates, keep it professional, never personal. Maintain a rational mindset and keep the emotions away.

Avoid these mistakes

Here are the successful Product Manager commandments you should copy/paste.

  1. Micromanagement – is a “creativity killer.”
    you need the designers on your team to be creative and open-minded. Trust your partners and let them do their jobs.
  2. Set a clear success path – It’s impossible to keep your team motivated and dedicated when they partially understand the project. Ensure that the whole picture is clear and everyone is on board.
  3. Neglecting or avoiding personal relationships – We can’t stress it enough! The personal relationships created on your team will define the success or the failure of a given task.

If you made it here, you are certainly on the right path. You must already be aware of the complexity and intensity of your position as a product manager, yet you are up for the challenge. These are some core principles kindly provided by our “PitangoUX” experts, and we strongly encourage you to follow their guidance.

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