Product Management vs. Design Part 1 & 2 #62

Part 1


Part 2

While product managers and designers usually have well-defined roles at established companies and agencies, roles at startups are less defined, requiring each employee to wear many hats. The average early-stage startup is made up of one or two engineers; many also have a product manager, but few have a full-time designer.

These observations raise several questions:
- Why are there more product managers than designers at early-stage startups?
- How can product managers and designers work with small engineering-focused teams to create engaging and usable products?
- Can a research-centric UX process work in the high pressure environment of light speed release cycles?
- At the end of the day, what are the key differences in what a product manager and a designer bring to the table at a startup?

Designer Al Abut and product manager Dan Olsen will be debating these points and more.

Al Abut is an interaction and visual designer specializing in building applications and websites for technology startups, with an emphasis on usability and collaborative team prototyping. He brings a unique understanding of how to bridge the gap between design and development and is currently exploring the intersection between agile programming and user-centered design on small teams with short timelines. More info at http://alabut.com.

Dan Olsen is CEO and Founder of YourVersion http://www.yourversion.com, a real-time discovery engine that won the People's Choice Award at TechCrunch50. Dan has 18 years of high-tech experience, a technical background, and a Stanford MBA. He worked at Intuit for 5 years where he led product management for Quicken and launched an online brokerage. Dan also led product management at Friendster. Before starting YourVersion, he consulted to many startups, including Box.net, YouSendIt, Xing, and Epocrates. Dan is a regular speaker at tech startup events such as the O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo. More info at http://www.linkedin.com/in/danolsen98.