As the calendar turns to December, I am reminded that this is the month when my new book is being released by New Riders. So in the days leading up to it being available, I thought I better do a bit o’ blogging about it!
The book, Digital Product Management, was written this past summer. The idea for it came about last winter as I was thinking about everything that I had learned since writing my two previous books about mobile app and mobile web design. Since that time, I continued to focus on mobile quite a lot, but in a much different way: less on mobile as an end itself, and rather as a means to help people do things that are important to them.
One of the biggest lessons I learned was that managing mobile product design wasn’t mostly about getting a deeper understanding about mobile platforms, technologies, and design approaches. Those things are important, of course, but they’re not nearly as important as gaining a deeper understanding about how and why people use mobile devices in the first place. Because believe it or not, 99% of people aren’t nearly as fixated on mobile technology and design as we designers and developers are. Most people just want to live their lives, get things done, communicate and share ideas, and make progress on stuff. Whatever that stuff may involve: work, leisure, education, family, or friends.
Sometimes what can help them is a web site. Or maybe it’s an app. But what’s the difference? And does it matter?
There’s a variety of different reasons why a mobile app or a responsive web site might be a better financial or technical solution. But regardless of the reasons, what is truly paramount is the focus on the human problems you are trying to solve. And having confidence that the problems you are solving are actually real problems that your customers want you to solve, and are not just fictional justifications for the work that you think is fun to do.
Moreover, managing a site or an app as a product means that you adopt a key perspective on your work: it is never done. Certainly, you want to actually finish projects and get improvements completed and released to the people who use what you are designing and building. But managing your work as a product means continually circling back to customers (and your customer support folks) and continuing to ask the question, “How is this working for you now? Is there anything else to improve?”
Invariably, the answer is yes!
If this work of continually improving what you design and develop sounds appealing to you (especially if you want to pick up some tips about how to track improvements, and how to demonstrate to your boss or clients that you are helping their organization or business be more successful), please stick around to read more blog posts leading up to my new book being available!