UX and product management - cover

UX and Product Management: Building a Strong Collaboration for Success

Design, Product
10 min
Jul 10, 2024

We all remember those times when we were assigned a project at school and had to divide responsibilities and the scope of work. When the team worked together and shared tasks equally, they were brilliant at project presentations. But if someone had to do the hardest things and someone was waiting for the result, it was never a successful story. This also applies to digital product creation: collaboration is the key.

The most significant roles in this process are user experience (UX) designer and project manager (PM). Two minds are always better than one, so we will discuss the importance of partnership between these two professionals here.

UX and Product Management Roles

UX designers translate user needs and pains into digital product design solutions. They advocate for customers and start with research using various methods, such as interviews, questionnaires, surveys, card sorting, usability testing, and others. The main goal of a UX professional is to ensure that the product has an attractive yet intuitive and user-friendly design.

Product managers are more concerned with organizational aspects and focus on achieving business goals. They learn market requirements, cooperate with stakeholders, create a product vision, and work with all the teams to bring the project from point A, which is the idea, to point B, which is its successful realization.

Why Care About UX and PM Teams’ Collaboration?

Despite different scopes of work, UX designers and project managers have the same goal: to deliver the best product that satisfies customers’ needs and is profitable from the business point of view. Efficient communication and joint work set transparency regarding the progress and vision towards which the team takes course.

Product management will direct designers toward the perspective and relevance of the product based on market search. UX professionals will share end-user expectations and solutions to meet them. However, working together can allow product development to be approached from different angles and ensure its success.

Poor Collaboration: What Does It Lead To?

The study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group has revealed the following consequences a company will face if collaboration between teams is not the priority:

UX and Product Management: Poor Collaboration

  • Products that don’t fully cover user needs
  • Discouraged employees who don’t know where they are heading
  • Decrease in revenue
  • More spent costs on redoing the tasks because of lack of communication
  • Conflicts between the teams

So, a simple but complex element like product management and UX collaboration can be a crucial element that your team lacks.

Benefits of Strong UX and Product Management Collaboration

Encouraging user experience designers and product managers to work together creates trust between teams, sets a positive atmosphere, and ensures product success. The following arguments confirm that.

Strong UX and Product Management Collaboration

Aligning the Product Vision with User Needs

When looking at the project idea, the UX designer and product manager will see it from different perspectives. For instance, the first one will analyze how to logically organize buttons on the screen, what ways customers will come, and how the navigation will help people achieve their goals. The latter will create a strategy and timeframe for development processes, identify the necessity of features, and research if they will lead clients to make a purchase.

That is why designers and project coordinators must abandon their one vision of the product and take a holistic approach to product creation.

More Efficient Product Development Process

Building a digital product consists of various technical and organizational tasks. Often, companies focus on the high performance of every team separately without putting them together and forgetting about the final goal. Collaboration, especially in related fields like UX and PM, unites those professionals, and they start to think more globally than just within their daily tasks.

Improved User Experience and User Satisfaction

Users don’t see the “inside kitchen”. They know the result: an appealing application with a clean design, useful features, and affordable prices. The more positive factors they find, the higher their satisfaction will be. This consistency throughout features and product value is only achieved when two teams of UX designers and project managers work jointly.

Better Product Adoption and Success

Creating a high-quality product is not enough. You have to turn clients into users and show them how worthwhile your offer is. This happens when people browse your product, find it, and make first clicks. Even if you deliver top-notch quality, but your commercial wording sounds too pushy, people won’t try the app. So as not to make designers’ efforts be in vain, project managers need to work out on united solutions.

Cooperation Challenges

Misunderstandings can also occur between cross-functional teams, such as UX and product management. These are the most common ones that happen during their cooperation.

 UX and product management: Cooperation Challenges

Pursuing Different Priorities

UX designers focus on delivering the best solutions to satisfy customer needs. PMs aim to meet business needs and set a strategy for promoting the product in the current market. This distinctive feature can make finding common ground challenging.

Lacking Clear Communication

It is a misleading belief that communication inside the team is more critical than with other departments. Companies often don’t prioritize meetings between different specialists, thinking they have little in common. However, communication drives progress as it clears concerns and builds a logical line between processes.

Different Work Environment

The specifics of workflows for product managers and UX designers differ. The management teams follow a more structured approach with clearly defined deliverables. When designing, teams work on repetitive cycles, prototyping, and testing.

Building a Strong UX and Product Management Partnership

These recommendations will help build a solid communication ethic between a product manager and UX designer.

Start to Collaborate Early and Often

Encourage UX designers to take part in strategy planning from the beginning and project managers in user research. By knowing why the product is built, designers can better identify the target audience and their needs. Product managers can set clear goals by learning who will use the app.

To encourage frequent communication, use these methods:

UX and Product Management Partnership

  • Regular check-ins
  • Team meetings and team buildings
  • Implementation of communication and team management platforms
  • Joint reports and presentations
  • Celebration of small achievements of each other

Set Clear Responsibilities

The user experience and product management collaboration idea is not about doing all the tasks together. The distribution of the relevant scope of work still applies to those roles, but they have to enlighten each other about progress and further steps.

The best technique for encouraging cooperation is not to set boundaries between departments. Instead, show your teams the power of clear communication and respect for each other’s responsibilities.

Set Common Metrics and Goals

The most typical mistake the teams make is setting separate goals and competing with each other. As the final purpose is to deliver a high-quality product to the right audience, UX design and product management departments should learn to identify deliverables that cover business and user needs. And when the step is completed, why not gather together and celebrate small achievements?

Encourage Teams to Stay Always in Touch

Building a successful project starts with clear communication. To engage teams in regular interactions, use communication and team management tools like Slack, Asana, Chanty, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Trello, and others.


Collaboration across teams measures the success of the final product. The roles of UX designer and project manager are no exception. Their scopes of work differ, but they want to achieve the same result. So, enhanced collaboration and clear communication can foster development processes and lead to an outcome where both users and company owners are satisfied.

When looking for a perfect match among UI/UX agencies, the level of cooperation between teams can be a decisive factor in their performance. The project is in good hands if the professionals know how to collaborate while doing their jobs well.

You can expect this from choosing our agency. We understand the importance of well-established processes between departments and clear communication. That is why our clients are always satisfied with the result.

by Ivan Klyzhenko
UX Startup Advisor, Uitop

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