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Product Managers are eating UX roles

Sharing actionable tips from my agency, enterprise, start up, and life experience with a design and developer twist.

Today I am going to talk about a shift I’ve been seeing in the design and product industries, and what it means for the UX design role. There is a tweet by Ravi Mehta that breaks down a matrix of a Product Manager. What is interesting is the Product Architect side:

If you’re a UX designer, you’re already, most likely, doing more UI design than user experience research and strategy. If you’re a Product Manager you are, most likely, doing more research, strategy and acquiring more user experience competencies.

Designers are taking umbrage to the thought of another role taking their responsibilities away and feel relegated to producing UI design. Is this an outrage? UX Designers and Product designers are dying on their hills.

The UX design role will be gone in 5 years

Remember the “Information Architect” role? That’s what the UX Design role will be in 5 years.

Product managers have been picking up:

In Ravi’s diagram, the Product Architect role includes fluency with data, voice of the consumer and user experience design. Understanding and fulfilling customer needs is core to a UX researcher and designers role. Ravi’s post is from 2020. Since then I have seen more discussions by product managers who have been picking up more of the UX toolbox skillsets.

PMs fundamentally understand the value of surveys, questionnaires, user interviews, user testing, analytics and metrics. They understand that there needs to be a balance between qualitative and quantitative research results which clear up pain points, empathize with users’ needs, and drive positive customer sentiment. They understand that UX designers need all of this information to create wireframes, user journey maps, prototype ideas, and plan information architecture. In an every changing world where research driven results and UX best practices are well documented, wouldn’t the next logical step for a successful PM be to pick up these skill sets to create innovative products?

There are already companies who are refining and perfecting UX design. We laugh now at this technology, because it’s clearly not there yet, but we’re only in the beginning. As a UX designer, what makes you think these generative AI tools will not be yet another skill set PMs will add to their toolkit?

How do we deal with this situation? Continue to educate. I say continue, because we were always doing this. Whenever UX practitioners are working with other stakeholders we would indoctrinate best practices. I believe that is where we’ll continue to be of value.

That’s it for now! See you online!

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