MVPM: Minimum Viable Product Manager(MVPM:最小化可行性产品经理)(下)

 MVPM: Minimum Viable Product Manager(MVPM:最小化可行性产品经理)(下) 产品 产品经理 产品方法论 设计 第1张

1. Know the design patterns of your product(知道你产品设计规范)

Most products develop design patterns over time, whether planned or not. Patterns are the consistent use of the same visual and interactive components in your product. All text on buttons are font-size 25px, all forms must be no more than 3 fields, every time an error happens we will make an explosion sound and send the user an email with the details — these are all patterns.

 MVPM: Minimum Viable Product Manager(MVPM:最小化可行性产品经理)(下) 产品 产品经理 产品方法论 设计 第2张

Knowing your product’s patterns are critical in understanding how users map your product in their minds, and how they can effectively be given new features over time. If you usually give users a green button saying “Add New Feature” when you launch something, and this time you switch to an orange button that says “Blow your mind”, you will confuse the shit out of people.

As a product grows, consistent use of patterns becomes even more important because they enable teams to work independently of each other but still build a product that feels cohesive.

Design patterns are also usually developed in harmony with technical patterns, like style guides and components, which are basically libraries of re-useable code that speed up teams because they don’t have to re-design or re-implement the same functionality again.

Fastest way to learn — Talk to your designer, they should know these patterns cold and (hopefully) be able to give you links to a style guide. Also talk to your front-end engineers, they can equivalently give you links to a pattern library.

How does this make you a better PM? — Plainly put, designing products on pattern is far easier and faster. They let you stand on the shoulders of design decisions your team made in the past, decisions that result in a product that’s easier for customers to use. If you ever need to break existing patterns - to be clear there sometimes good reasons to do so - be prepared with very good reasons why it’s necessary for the long term health of the product.

2. Know how to execute user experience research(了解应该如何进行设计研究)

PMs are supposed to be the voice of the customer. If you don’t understand your users, you will never build great products. From interviewing a single person face to face, to quantitatively analyzing millions of user actions, understanding the basics of good research are imperative to your job.

Fastest way to learn — Effective research is a very big field, so instead of sending you into the rabbit hole, I recommend you focus on understand the following:

  • Understand Sample Size and how to calculate statistical significance

  • How to normalize your sample and why that’s important

  • How to ask unbiased, non-leading questions in surveys and interviews

  • How to synthesize results and avoid bad conclusions

How does this make you a better PM? — By consistently and frequently testing your product with customers, you can take away a lot of the guesswork (and risk) in product development. Before a project even starts, you should be testing to validate that the problem you think you’re trying to solve really is one. While you’re designing and building, you should be testing that the product’s design is easy to use and is likely to solve the customer problem. After launching, you should be validating that the problem was solved for the customers you wanted to solve it for.

3. Know how to prototype your ideas(学习如何将你的想法变成原型)

Prototyping in this context means being able to create visual mockups that can effectively express your ideas. They need to be good enough so that you can:

Communicate a product concept clearly

It is incredibly difficult to communicate a product experience verbally or in writing. A prototype, something people can see and preferably interact with (you can do this without code), is 10x more effective.

There are two reasons for this: first, it forces the articulation of the product in terms of what customers will actually interact with, and second, because humans naturally think visually, a prototype levels the playing field so that everyone on the team can speak the same language and give their points of view effectively.

Unblock a team when design is behind or absent

In most projects, it is important that the product’s design is ahead of development. Designers try to “stay ahead of the devs” because the switching costs for developers is much higher once they start building the product in a particular direction.

Because so much of product design is iterative and done in parallel with the build, when there’s a setback (e.g. user research says the design is not effective) design can quickly fall behind. It’s in those situations that a PM must be able to roll up her sleeves and be a “design intern” for the lead designer, helping to push pixels and ship mockups so the engineers can continue the build.

Fastest way to learn — I won’t spend time justifying this, but just start using Sketch, it’s like MS paint and Photoshop had a baby and it’s awesome.
快速学习方法:我不会花时间来证明这个,但只要开始使用Sketch(推荐墨刀),它就像MS paint和PS的宝宝,非常棒。

How does this make you a better PM? — By prototyping and showing people what you’re thinking instead assuming they understand, you will get better feedback from your team on your ideas, and reduce the risk that mis-communication leads to wasted effort. Also, it’s nice to be able to actually produce something tangible once in a while.

4. Where you shouldn’t focus(你不需要关注的地方)

Don’t focus on being a great visual designer. Your ability to make a slick looking interface is redundant and disempowering to someone who’s spent a career learning the deep craft that is product design. Unless you’re design savant (to be clear there are some), you also probably just think you’re good, and you actually suck.


I don’t want to trivialize learning all this stuff. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of time, so tackle it bit by bit and enjoy what you’re learning. I hope this helps you be a little more efficient in your quest to be a great, if minimally viable, product manager.