Building a strong product sense

As an early product manager in a mid sized company
How would you suggest going about building a strong Product sense?

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To me strong product sense = strong business sense (which should equal strong understanding of customers and their core problems). How are you doing on that front? Would it be easier to come up with people that could coach you in that at your company?

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I would start in two areas:

  • Deep understanding of your users and their common problems in your company’s area
  • Knowledge of common UX best practices and paradigms. This should include but not be limited to what your competitors are doing
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@marcosilva, what would you suggest for #2?

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A few things you can try:

  • An audit of your current user flows, including things like email that are outside of your product but essential finishing the flow
  • Product tear down of your competitors for common flows (You probably can’t do their entire product)
  • Have people pick a personal favorite product and do a tear downs of a flow. Like onboarding or a vital task
  • Find products that specialize in something you’re trying to focus on. So if you’re working on a scheduling use case you might try looking at a calendar app. Or see how scheduling is handled for doctors appointments, freelancers giving away free consultations or something like that

If you have a team you can ask folks to do one and then come back and share with each other

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And for myself, a tear-down is just walking through a flow as a user normally would.
An audit is more comprehensive so you might outline the different paths possible in a flow and highlight the logic or constraints (technical constraints, legal constraints, legacy constraints). You. might even outline the different end states that are possible, including error states and edge cases. This is much easier to do for your own product since you have that inside knowledge

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Thanks @marcosilva
I would start with tear downs of competitors and other great products

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