Kick-Butt Design (vs. Butt-Ugly Design)

Michael Shrivathsan who blogs at “Michael on Product Management and Marketing came up with five tips to help Product Managers and Product Marketers create products with “Kick-Butt” design.

The five tips are summarized as :
  1. Start With the User Interface – Right after gathering and prioritizing high-level requirements, get to the User Interface (UI) design. Do this before you complete your marketing requirements (MRD) and product requirements (PRD) documents.
  2. Work Closely With UI Designers – If UI is so important, it follows naturally that Product Managers should work very closely with UI Designers to achieve kick-butt design.
  3. Pay Attention to Details – There is no such thing as “low priority cosmetic flaw”. Cosmetic flaws are high priority. Very high priority. Often, they are easy to fix to boot.
  4. Simpler is Better – Keep your product, and its design simple – as simple as possible.Design for the 80% use case. Do not fall prey to “Featuritis” – more features are not always better.
  5. Be Brave – Because most folks in your organization would want to water down the design to make it more like competitors’. A superset of features seen in competitive products. Be brave – just say “No”.
Michael goes on to say “I fully understand that none of these five tips are easy to practice. Heck – if they were easy, everybody will be designing kick-butt products!”
Michael’s tips are ones that are very applicable to our community as great design knows no borders. The sad thing is that in many organizations, business analysts and product managers are segregated or isolated from UI and UX designers. In fact, the silos are sometimes so tall at some companies that these two constituencies never talk.
This discussion also reminds me of my days at Oracle (pre-Peoplesoft/Siebel acquisitions) where development relegated user interface to a relatively low priority. Some of the user interfaces were so bad that many people joked that Oracle created a new design acronym called the BUI or butt-ugly-interface.
Read the rest of Michael’s post at the following link:
Five Tips for Creating Products With Kick-Butt Design by Michael Shrivathsan

http://michael.hightechproductmanagement.com/2006/11/five_tips_for_creating_product.html

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