We all need to be constantly exercising our muscles to become the better us. This is true for our body, our heart and for our mind. As product managers we need to be at the top of our game all of the time as a bad decision can cause serious impacts to our customers, our business and team. Too often we can get stuck doing the same thing and need a quick break to think differently and try to solve a different problem for a while to clear our heads.

Enter Product Management Exercises by Product HQ!

We decided to kick off Product Manager Workout Wednesdays to help give product managers a chance to stretch and work out their muscles. This will be weekly product management exercises to help you take a step back from your day to day and think about how you would do something different. We would love to have you share the results of your exercise so we can include the full process you went through to complete the exercise as one of the best ways to learn is to watch how someone else does it and pick up good tips. If you complete the exercise and want to share your finished results, shoot us an email and we would love to see it!

Product Management Exercise – Software User Interface Design

A big part of your product will be the actual front end that your end user will interact with. As a product manager you can nail the features but if you miss the boat on the user design, you may struggle to gain adoption as customers may not know how to use your product or in general not like the overall look and feel of the results.

With that said, here is your product management exercise:

1. Think about a specific software package you have used.

2. Take pen and paper and draw out the best you can the overall interface of the software 100% from memory (no cheating!).

3. Try your best to layout the navigation, the fields, the flow, and information you can remember about the interface you interacted with and include the details in your sketch.

4. Once you are done, take a look at your design and then load up the software itself. Take note in what features you remembered and which you did not. Are there things on the actual screen that you forgot about? Was there something specific about the design you remembered really well?

5. Repeat this process with a few different software packages and at the end of each write down your lessons learned.

What you may find as you complete the product management exercise is that there are critical design elements that stand out to an end user and others that can be removed and no one would notice. By using your own memory of different software you have used try to create a list of the design elements that were important enough for you to remember and draw and those that you were able to easily forget. Use this list to help you guide your product management of your own product by applying the standards.