I came across a couple of articles recently exploring the connection between user experience and product management.
First, Phil Dahnke over at UserZoom, they talk about how UX is everyone’s responsibility, particularly product management, in Can you be a successful product manager without UX research? One paragraph in particular stands out to me:
A successful Product Manager will champion the user and strive for a shared vision amongst the UX, UI and design teams based on their customer and user research. Sometimes this means changing direction and deviating from previous plans based on user feedback. Simply relying on the UX team to know what’s best for the product users can result in efficient products users might not like.
Or, to put it another way, the concerns of a UX specialist are a subset of the product manager’s.
Here’s another article: Is UX Part of Product Management, by Adrienne at Brainmates. Rather unsurprisingly, Adrienne comes down on the side of “yes.”
These articles are in the same vein as Eric Ries’ Lean Startup, which positions product management as the key role in understanding and acting on information about users. Or, to put it another way, to do the thing that the UX field has proposed as its main value proposition.
It’s food for thought about what sort of career trajectory you should take if you’re in UX and very interested in taking on more responsibility for building products.