PM vs Designer

Yelp / Other

Yelp Other

The Walt Disney Company, Yelp
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Nov 3, 2017 7 Comments

Seems like I’ve been hearing a lot about PM/Designer relationships lately, sounds like a tug of war and lack of respect sometimes. Why is this? Is this like this anywhere? As a designer I’ve also had my experience with certain PMs not taking a designers work seriously. Is it like this at every company?


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TOP 7 Comments
  • LinkedIn / Eng voyager
    Not true at all in my experience. I’ve always seen a huge amount of respect and appreciation from both to the others work. This may be anecdotal though.
    Nov 3, 2017 0
  • CapTech JJNl18
    This is a really good topic. I think at the end of the day you need each other to benefit the most, you can’t design without scope, and they can’t promise performance to business without good design. On one of my biggest accounts I have singled handedly grown great relationships with PMs of extremely bloated bureaucratic companies, and after you win their trust, there’s really not much that can stop you. We even faced budget cuts and still managed to continue to build a relationship with PM. I truly don’t think PMs need to be the ones to solve problems. They need to ask their team how to solve problems, and the more transparent they are and the less they try and “shield” their team from the better it is. Look for this in your relationships and ask questions. The more solutions you bring to them that are validated and work the more they will listen. Basically just continually let them know designers are trained professionals. If you make a mistake you also need to own up to it and don’t fight for weak ideas. The divide between good business performance and good UX is largely a facade - if you couldn’t tell that the entire tech industry has platform envy w/ Apple.
    Nov 3, 2017 0
  • Uber whybot
    Yes bc the PMs are incentivized to focus on business metrics and Designers are incentivized to focus on user experience and user benefit, and are generally in the field because of empathy. Their performance is judged differently.
    Nov 3, 2017 0
  • Kaneva Ballzy
    It helps if your PM isn't an idiot.
    Nov 4, 2017 0
  • Amazon / Other MiddleWest
    My experience at Amazon has been one of huge respect between SDM, PM, and UX. And with directors and VP’s, too. This may be anomalous, but I presently work with three different PM’s and 3 SDM’s and the interactions are fantastic. They ask for my opinion, push back vigorously when they disagree, and listen to my perspective and change course when my arguments are sound and valid. I’ve never dealt with anyone’s ego taking precedence over doing what’s best for customers while being technically feasible and providing business value (on this team anyway 🤗)

    I’d love to say this is because I’m so thorough and prepared, but I honestly think it’s largely because my colleagues are intelligent and committed.
    Nov 21, 2017 0
  • Kaneva Ballzy
    Most important relationship IMHO is UX designer and engineering manager.
    Nov 4, 2017 0
  • Google Jwisjdbeu
    I'm a UXer. I don't know about how ppl in other roles think. But I see a lot of mediocre designers have huge ego and self-respect. They think designers is the creator, is the god of the product. The think eng are coding nerds knows nothing but code. They think PM are dummy ppl provides no value. And both eng and PM are stupid because they can't implement designers beautiful design.
    Nov 4, 2017 0