How to develop product sense - Deepstash
How to develop product sense

How to develop product sense

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How Do I Develop Product Sense ?

How Do I Develop Product Sense ?

  • Product sense is not something you need to be born with. It's a learned skill, just like any other PM skill.
  • You do need to develop your product sense muscle as you move up in seniority, and there are four ways to do so.

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What Exactly Is Product Sense ?

  • Product sense is the skill of consistently being able to craft products (or make changes to existing products) that have the intended impact on their users
  • It relies on (1) empathy to discover meaningful user needs and (2) creativity to come up with solutions that effectively address those needs

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Building Product Sense

  • Building empathy: Observe people interacting with products.
  • Deconstruct everyday products
  • Improving creativity: Learn from great product thinkers
  • Be curious about changes in technology and your domain
  • Use product sense to drive user value and business impact

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Observe People Interacting With Products

Observe People Interacting With Products

  • Pay attention to micro details and ask yourself why people react to your product the way they do
  • Observe their facial expressions as they try various aspects of your product, and try to spot moments when they're hesitant, confused, excited, etc.
  • In those moments, ask open-ended questions to better understand not just how they feel but, more importantly, why

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Deconstruct Everyday Products

Deconstruct Everyday Products

  • Spend one or two hours a month trying out new products and deconstructing them to strengthen your intuition and identify common UX best practices and paradigms.
  • Observe yourself using everyday products to gain insight into people’s motivations and needs.

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Learn From Great Product Thinkers

  • Every detail about the user experience matters
  • Spend time understanding user problems and framing them in a way that sets strong constraints for the team
  • Understand why a problem exists and frame it clearly
  • Identify enough constraints that only a few solutions will be left, streamlining the decision-making process

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Be Curious About Changes In Technology And Your Domain

Be Curious About Changes In Technology And Your Domain

  • Changes in the industry create opportunities for launching new products that can address user needs in new ways.
  • There are two levels of emerging trends to keep track of: macro and micro
  • Macro: important platform shifts (e.g. web3, AR/VR, AI)
  • Micro: changes in regulations and new privacy protection laws
  • Keep an open mind about new technologies, don’t dismiss them as a fad

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How To Tell If You’re Getting Better At Product Sense

  • As you get better at it, you will: Notice subtle things about products and people that you would have missed before
  • Anticipate non-obvious user problems
  • Develop higher-quality hypotheses about product experiences to build
  • Contribute more unique insights to your team
  • Be right more often than not about what impact a change to a flow has on metrics

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