Should PM's design the wireframes

Recently as a part of the updated product development process, PM’s are supposed to design the wireframes entirely and then take it to the designers. Do you think this is a healthy approach to a good UX design?

Also I have a good sense of a design but am relatively bad at actually designing UX or UI so not very comfortable with it either. What should I do?


Not only will you alienate and create friction with your design team, it makes no sense for you to work on something that you recognize are “relatively bad” at.


Additionally, this just seems like a very CYA maneuver by someone on the UX team disguised as an exercise in efficiency. Why should the root of any blame for a bad design begin with the PM’s of all people in this situation, because of the way the process is designed? What is the guarantee that any of the resulting wireframes are double-checked by UX in this scenario?


I actually did but the manager was more interested in saving the time of designers by avoiding too many back and forth. Apparently, if we provide wireframes as a part of requirements, they can get the designs finished sooner. I am still thinking of a more holistic way to resolve this. Maybe start with providing very lofi ones


It’s very bizarre to me why your manager would like you, without experience, to create the wireframes when you have experts for that. Designers and developers own the HOW part of the equation. Product managers should be focused on the WHO, WHAT & WHY part. You mentioned back and forth. Maybe you should invest more on the original specs doc so that UX knows how to get to the point quicker? I think maybe you could spend some time thinking about improving communication instead of doing their jobs.

When PMs start doing wireframes, they get sucked into the rabbit hole of product design and development, and with that, any outward focus on markets and customers goes out the window as the PM becomes a slave to the day to day development process.


Exactly. Get the designer to do the design. You review and approve.


It sounds like the designers are not empowered where you work.


This is my first mistake I quickly recognized and even more quickly walked back and made sure to never do again.

Brand new PM and I made some rough wireframes and I immediately sensed the hostility from my UX team.



Wireframes are part of interaction model which is done by a UX designer.

And then using the model, the UI designer creates the mock-ups.

PM should define all the different user scenarios or use cases to be covered by the design and then tech team.


In an ideal world, what I say stands true.

However, not all companies have luxury of time and/or resources.

So, in that case either you can do it or the desinger. There is no straight answer to this or one size fits all solution.

Try and experiment with your team to see what process works best.

And if you feel comfortable to convey your thoughts or ideas via wireframes, then go for it by all means.

Just remember that wireframes are part of implementation and implementation is solution space. A PM should ideally be focused more on problem space.


i mean you can always sketch anything at any quality to help illustrate a point but it shouldn’t be a requirement - that’s a little odd.


Still I’d focus on describing the workflow and not the actual design.

I world only do it if we had some new small feature and the design just didn’t have the capacity to deliver mocks for it. Then I’d sketch it out for the developers to know where things should go.


Going against the mold and saying yes and no, don’t treat them as wireframes and go really really basic. I’ve let the design team know that I enjoy collaboration. Sketching out a design also helps me think through the UX flow of something we want to build.

I let them know that this isn’t the blueprint.


But in this case, should it be collaborative or I just make something and hope they do the right thing even if that means disregarding my wireframes? In the later case, my only concern is what if I design something sub optimal?


It’s not “what if”, you will design something sub optimal, just accept it. Although the answer to the post question is actually “no”, that is not ok, the comment above accepts that fact and the fact that you have to do it, since your company works that way… Since it is only a sketch you will present it will be definitely a collaborative work later on, as it should be. As a PM you have the best vision for the final product therefore your wireframe should be disregarded if there is a better one, if not you need to make sure the functionality remains even if that means imposing and disregarding some of that “collaborative” work, but the best way is to communicate with the team what and why should be that way


Embrace Design doing something different. Focus on empowering design. What are inputs you need from the user, what does the user need to know/learn. What expectations do we need to set to the user at this point. What is the output. What happens next. Frame it that way vs i want a table here and fields here. I need to know the users location at this step so i can provide them locations of local stores. It should prioritize the ones closest etc. the desired action is…


My approach is;

When we have a idea to put into a product I usually create a high-fidelity prototype with Axure just to show it to tech team & stakeholders and assess its viability.

After we get approval from the engineering teams we pass our user stories to the ux & ui teams. We also sent them the prototype and tell them this is what we could come up with; you have the freedom to design completely different or asses and improve ours viability within the product.

They usually create something completely different. and Better. But the feedback we got from them is ‘prototypes helps us better understand the functions of the feature because sometimes we can go out of the way with user stories’

This is why we create high-fidelity prototypes even in the Idea stage.

I’m not saying my approach is the best, it is most definitely repetitive and resource wasting. An Industrial Engineer wouldve killed me if I told this approach.

But it certainly improves the other team’s approach to the feature.


You don’t have a UX team then. UI designers yes. They basically make things pretty on that instruction. UX design and research requires understanding of the problem and flow. Product and UX work in the same team, product solves the functional requirement and UX brings in the experience of the user. Empowered product teams work collaboratively, some days I will mock up wireframes so that I can communicate an idea but my flow is very high level, I don’t spend the time thinking through in depth how the user will experience the interaction, UX does that but we solve problems together


Yea I think super low fi wireframes are well within the scope of Product Management in general, even if some roles do none and some do more. You need to be able to communicate visually at least at a minimal degree. Try balsamiq, a monkey could make wireframes with it.


I think you should stick to LoFi and make sure everyone understands ‘it’s just a concept’.

Then you satisfy the request, will probably get better at it so you can contribute more deeply later, and no one feels threatened.

I had a similar situation and I found that I was able to influence the end result more, the more I contributed tangible touchstones.


The others covered this in a way but ideally no you should not be.

By all means, create sketches or take screenshots to explain a point but the designers should, just like developers, be the experts in their field and should be doing it themselves. Ideally you have a Product Designer who can do the UX and UI for you and you can just feed them problems or hypothesizes to solve

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