How Zivame’s UX Design Team Enabled Multiway Product Discovery

Updated on 23 December, 2016

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How Zivame’s UX Design Team Enabled Multiway Product Discovery

This is the first in a five-part Guest Blog series by Udit Khandelwal, UX Director at Zivame.

If the users can’t find it, the feature does not exist! – Human Factors International (HFI)

I first heard this quote in a training session at HFI back in 2012, and you will always find it resonating with my way of approaching UX.

Product discovery is one of the most important aspects of any retail business, and if users can’t find the products you offer, they don’t exist. To enable seamless product exploration at Zivame, we developed a multi-way discovery strategy across our platforms. In this series of 5 articles, I will be covering levers used for featuring collections, product discovery and, offer communication at Zivame.

This is the first article in this series, and here I will be mainly covering items under Ice Breakers from the list of levers given below:

In This Series:

Ice Breakers *

  • Homepage Landing Cards
  • Homepage Hero Carousel
  • Featured Collections
  • Category Masthead
  • App Onboarding
  • FitCode™

On Demand

  • Heterogeneous Shop-Nav
  • Shop-Nav Featured Image
  • Offer Banner
  • Explore
  • Sticky Buttons in Shop-Nav
  • Shop By Experience

Recommendations

  • Contextual More Like This
  • Our Bestsellers
  • You Might Also Like
  • Perfect Fit Recommendation
  • LookBook

Hand-holding

  • Landing Page Offer T&C
  • Rule Based Offers on:
    • Category Page
    • Product Page
    • Cart
    • Checkout

Notifications

  • Mobile App Push
  • Web Push
  • Universal Notifications
  • Marketing Email
  • Transaction Emails Footer
  • Marketing SMS

Content Hooks

  • Content Infusion Cards for Landing Pages
  • Content Pages and Collections On Blog
  • Product Infusion on Content Pages

Intrusive & Desperate

  • Conditional Pop-ups
  • In-App Messaging

* Covered in this article

Each one of these serve a very specific purpose in the user journey and are used accordingly. Let’s take a look at them, one by one – while talking about the challenges in each case, and what we did to overcome the same. I will also talk about business metrics, wherever applicable.

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Homepage Landing Cards

Challenge

  • 45% of the web traffic on Zivame comprises of first time users
  • 40% of direct and organic traffic lands on Zivame’s homepage
  • Most of the above users have very little clue about the breadth of the products we offer

Solution

Not having an open horizontal menu and going with a mobile-first hamburger navigation was a very well thought-through and user-tested approach we started following with our new stack.

It came at a cost of not being upfront about our offerings.

Hence, it became critical for us to communicate the same, right in the first fold. The cards shown below serve exactly this purpose.

What’s interesting is that this approach was first conceptualised for the desktop, and later adapted for mobile, as shown below. In the desktop version,

cards occupy the top real estate on the first fold, whereas in mobile, they are right below the hero banner due to vertical space constraint.

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How to craft GTM Strategy for a Product?

Homepage Entry Cards and Hero Carousel

Homepage Hero – Mobile

When we were conceptualizing this, our executives envisioned it as follows:

Nobody who spends 8 seconds on my homepage should go away without knowing that Zivame sells lingerie, apparel and activewear. – Shaleen, COO Zivame

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…and I think we’ve done a good job at achieving the same via design. The positioning of the cards make them unmissable and the titles along with links set clear expectations about the individual categories i.e., Lingerie, Activewear and Apparel. Moreover, the fourth card allows for enough flexibility to put meta items which deserve a seat on the first fold.
P.S. This component is under development as I am writing this post, and will be released soon!

(Also Read: Shaping User Experience at Zivame: A Product Management Case Study)

Endeavour

It is difficult to figure which 4 things will go in each card, because every stakeholder in the company is looking for prime real estate for his/her property!
While data seems to be an easy escape route, where you could simply keep the most in-demand stuff on top, the business might have a conflicting direction. For example, Apparel itself contributes to merely 8% of Zivame’s revenue as of today, yet it occupies 25% of the top real estate.

A cross-functional collaboration with a fair amount of moderation from the executives of the company should give you the right answer. As my product manager puts it:

You have to be disproportionately kind to certain entities in order to ensure their disproportionate growth. – Vishrut Shukla, Sr. PM – Zivame

Homepage Hero Carousel

Challenge

  • This is the next prime real estate and the property is visual. It needs to represent the brand and a strict visual design language needs to be followed.

Solution

Frankly, this was an easy one to design, but a tough one to execute. We knew we were following big-bold-beautiful design language, and hence it was an easy decision that the banner must occupy 100% of the screen width and 100% of the remaining screen height. But that left us with 2 problems to be solved:

  • On  certain screen sizes, the banner would get cropped as we were going to use ‘cover’ algorithm.
  • When the banner stretches all the way to the bottom edge of the screen, users might get an illusion that the page ends there and there is nothing beyond that.

In order to solve the cropping issue, we defined the safe areas and tested it across multiple resolutions. After a few hits and trials, we were able to nail it.
We placed a chevron at the bottom of the banner to give a visual cue to the users that there is more beyond the banner. To keep it clean we decided to make the navigation arrow unidirectional, but also gave slideshow cues by putting dot-based navigation.

A heavy amount of cross functional collaboration went into getting up the right banner, with the right message up and stitch it together with the category page banners, keeping the user journey in mind. The above section displays an example screenshot, and below is how we defined safe area:

Safe Area for Homepage Hero Banner

Featured Collections

Challenge

  • Banners are good for grabbing attention, but in order to generate user interest and make users click with the right expectation, we need to tell them a bit more about the collection. However, real estate is limited and there is a lot of competition among different collections.
  • The earlier design of Zivame’s Homepage for Mobile used to sport an accordion of collections where each collection had an array of 10 products followed by a “See More” button after scrolling all the way to the last thumbnail. Data analysis revealed that more than 40% users who interacted with the accordion clicked on see more. This reinforces the point mentioned above. However, we didn’t want to use accordion because it was non-visual and text heavy.

Old Homepage – Mobile

 

  • Loading too many product images upfront negatively impacts the page performance. For every extra second of page load time, conversion goes down by a whopping 7%.

Solution

At the cost of an extra click, show the USPs as well as sneak peek of every collection. Apart from a product collage, we simply surfaced 3 critical pieces of information:

  1. Collection Name
  2. Description
  3. Signature Attributes

This not only invoked interest in the collection, but also guides the user into a journey of product discovery with a set expectation. The product collage can be technically optimised to be returned as a single collage image rather than multiple product images. Again, this version has been partially deployed on the current site, and the remaining is being implemented as I am writing this article.

Homepage Collection Banners (*in-progress)

Visit Zivame

Category Masthead

Challenge

  • Category pages are primary landing pages for paid traffic. Also, anyone who clicks on any of the collections/offer banners within the site, lands on a category page. Hence, it becomes crucial to stitch the user journey here and maintain the context.
  • Broader the category, more difficult it is for the users to make a choice. Hence, for certain cases, we might want to narrow down the user journey to a more specific subcategory and subsequently to specific products.
  • Certain categories are very special or new and the users need to be made aware of the USPs at the very moment that they land on the page.

Solution

The masthead consists of 4 main components. We came up with an approach where configurable components would  take care of the use cases mentioned above: simply putting a banner in the masthead and relying upon the creative banners, shop by, filter/sort toolbar and offer communication to do the rest.
I’ll talk about banners here, and will be covering ‘shop by’ and  offers later. We designed 3 variations or templates for the category banners:

  1. Single Banner
  2. Carousel
  3. Split Banners

Single banners work perfectly for narrow categories and talking about their USPs. Carousels and Split banners, on the other hand, are a great way to provide multiple banners within a limited real estate and are used to lead to subcategories.
When promoting any of these pages, digital marketing & creative teams make sure that the marketing creatives speak the same language and use similar images to stitch the user journey together.

Category Banner – Single

Category Banner – Split

Category Banner – Carousel

Now just like the homepage hero banner, these banners occupy 100% of the width available, however, height is constant. Hence, in some cases (or resolutions) we end up cropping the banner from the right. So just like the homepage, we defined safe areas and the creative team was asked to follow the same while designing these banners.
Below is an example of how we defined the same for a split banner:

Safe Area Definition for Category Split Banner

Caveat

This is not a mobile-first design and, following graceful degradation, on mobiles we fall back to a simple banner, or a swipe-enabled carousel. There is no split banner for mobiles.

App Onboarding

Challenge

  • You want to tell the users so much, but going beyond 4 cards during onboarding is an overkill. The space is limited, features are enormous, users don’t have time to read and despite all this, you need to make the app stick.
  • You don’t know who is browsing: a novice or an expert, an explorer or a navigator; and you have to design a fit-for-all onboarding experience

Solution

Rather than thinking about what we want to tell the user, we started to think the other way around → What  would users want to learn? With a quick dipstick research, we were able to figure users were mainly looking for answers to the following questions:

  1. What is this about?
  2. What can I do here?
  3. How to get started?
  4. What’s in it for me? How does it help me?

So the problem was simply reduced to 4 screens that could answer these questions. Hence we zeroed down on the following 4 screens:

What is it about?

How does it help me?

What can I do here?

How to get started?

The last screen is cleverly designed to promote the FitCode™ but the users are free to skip it and continue to shop.

Caveats

There are a couple of glitches, which we’re now correcting and I’d like to warn you about:

  1. The notification permission pop-up shows right on the onboarding screen. This is very irritating for the user and we are likely to get a minimal conversion here. What should be done instead – the notification permission should be sought after the occurrence of a certain event (say login, or order success, or accessing content etc).
  2. Web-engage messages (marketing popups) sometimes show during onboarding. Again, it’s a very bad experience and users are most likely to be non-receptive to any marketing messages during onboarding. We must take care that no pop-ups are shown on onboarding screens.

 

FitCode™

Challenge

  • Many women prefer buying from a physical store to buying online. One of the most common reasons for this is that they are not sure whether a particular product will fit them. They can’t try it online.
  • Different women have different body forms and there is no one-product-fits-all when it comes to lingerie. Hence presenting them with the product that suits their body form and preferences is crucial.
  • If you give them a form to fill their measurement and preferences, the drop-offs are high. Hence, whatever solution we come up with, needs to be effective.

Solution

Zivame’s Fashion Design team, along with the Product Managers, conducted extensive research, and deduced that women’s body types can be accurately described by bucketing them into 11 kinds of profiles.

Club these profiles, together with the measurements and preferences, and you should be able to provide the right product recommendations to the users. We call this FitCode™, which is derived by asking the users a set of questions (FitCode™ Quiz).
A version of this was designed, user tested, implemented and released on apps. While the users were getting the concept and responding to the quiz, there were 2 glaring issues:

  • High number of drop-offs
  • Some people thought the images that we had used to represent the profiles were creepy.

We figured that the quiz was designed in a way where we were asking users the difficult questions first, and this approach needed to change. We needed to get the users invested by asking them the easier questions first, and then the tougher ones. We also got our creatives changed and made them more abstract. They weren’t creepy anymore. Take a look at the screens below:

FitCode™ Quick Start

FitCode™ Step 3 – Measure Yourself

FitCode™ Step 4 – Describe Specifics

FitCode™ Results and Recommendations

Find Your Perfect Fit

I hope you found this article informative and insightful.

Study Product Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career.

If you are highly intrigued by what you read, you can enroll in the Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management offered by upGrad. The certification program delivered by experts will help you kickstart your career to be a successful product manager.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is meant by multiway product discovery?

Product discovery refers to the way a customer, who has arrived at a customer touchpoint for the first time - learns, understands and retains information about the product that the firm offers, enough to ensure that they will then immediately remember the brand the next time they have a repeat requirement. It should be the aim of all product managers to ensure that this happens within the first 8 seconds of the customer’s experience at the firm’s various customer touchpoints. In case the firm offers more than one product, the goal is to make this happen for all of them. This is basically what multiway product discovery is about.

2. Are there courses specific to product management for e-commerce firms?

No, there are no courses specific to product management for e-commerce. A few less scrupulous firms may claim so, but it would be wise to check their credentials before jumping in. Good programs for product management are not so specific, as it would be a disadvantage to the students. The aim of enabling one to become a good product manager is to ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to do a good job independent of industry choice, which would in turn enable them to switch between industries at later stages of their careers.

3. How do I become a product manager without an MBA?

To be a good product manager who can crack the toughest of interviews, the basic domain skills you need are a fair understanding of product technology, excellent knowledge of product design and designing customer journeys, and business management skills. Thus, it could be daunting for an individual who has sufficient technical skills and work experience, but no understanding of business management such as financial planning, budgeting, project management, marketing, strategy, and so on. The best way to develop these would indeed, involve pursuing an MBA. However, thanks to the demand of skilled product managers, one can also get into these roles by pursuing part time courses in product management.

Did you find this article helpful?

Udit Khandelwal

Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

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Explore our Popular Business Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Business Management Courses Technical skills: A PM is typically not required to write code to develop a product. However as someone whose core role is to solve problems using technology, a PM still needs strong technical knowledge to: Define how the product should function to solve the problem at hand Accurately define and prioritize product requirements based on the effort required to build them Efficiently communicate with the engineering team to brainstorm solutions, validating timelines and checking progress Also Read: A day in the life of a Product Manager – Making it all work There are a number of things an aspiring PM can do to build their technical expertise: Learn how to code – In all probability, you will not be required to code as a PM. However, knowing how to code will get you well versed with the terminology, help you understand the tech constraints and feasibility much more accurately, and help you communicate your requirements and collaborate far better with the engineering team. You can either pick up a book (like Beginning programming – for dummies, Coding – for dummies), or get on codecademy.com (or other online tutorials), or simply start googling (What is backend development? What are stacks?) to give you a start. You don’t need to be an expert, but it helps to know the basics. Talk to the tech team at your current employment – Another great way of learning to speak the tech language, is to try and engage with the tech team at your current job. Talk to the engineering guys; try to understand what they do, how the team functions, what is the typical software development process, what would they expect for a product manager to know. This can be a good point from where you can then start googling and reading about tech terminologies, as suggested in the previous point. You could also take their assistance in teaching you how to code – you could probably ask them to send you debugging assignments once a while, to get you accustomed to coding. upGrad’s Exclusive Product Management Webinar for you – How to craft GTM Strategy for a Product? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/panel-discussion-on-crafting-gtm-strategy-for-a-product.mp4   Top Essential Management Skills to Learn SL. No Top Management Skills to Learn 1 Consumer Behaviour Online Certification Financial Analysis Certification FinTech Certification Online 2 HR Analytics Certification Online Communication Courses Online Effective Communication Certification 3 Research Methodology Certification Mastering Sales Certification Business Communication Certification 4 Fundamentals of Journalism Certification Economics Masterclass Online Certification Learn SQL – SQL is a programming language designed for managing and querying data in a database. As a product manager, you will often need to play around a lot of data. Learning the basics of SQL will help you go a long way in your PM journey. It isn’t complicated and won’t be an investment heavy on time. Develop a technical viewpoint – Technology will be at the core of whatever product you develop as a PM. Starting to think about products with a technical lens will prove to be extremely rewarding in helping you develop a product vision. Every time you use an app, think about The technology that the app is using How is the app different from its peers on the technology front? What can you do to improve the app? You could run by your suggestion with the technical team at your office, over a casual chat, to know if have been thinking in the right direction – from a feasibility point of view, and getting their opinion on how they think about the app. Doing this exercise on an ongoing basis will definitely help you develop a technical viewpoint of looking at products. Stay updated on the tech ecosystem – Start reading about what is happening in the technology space. Start following Quora, Mashable,TechCrunch, Verge, Tech Insider, Gizmodo, and others. Read digital news. Have discussions about what is new, what is defunct and what is upcoming. It will help you in ideation, conceptualization and execution alike. Hack up a side project – And for the final and most effective hack, pick up a fun side project and try and build it from scratch. Could be anything from a simple photo app or a chat bot. Try and get others to use it. Building something from scratch for actual users to use will make you appreciate the intricacy involved at every step and go a long way in improving your technical knowledge. Our Top Management Articles Top 7 Career Options in Management To Choose [For Freshers & Experienced] Online Product Management Courses to Kickstart your Career Top 10 Career Options in Business Management in India 8 Crucial Business Management Skills Every Manager Should Have Future Scope of Management: Scope, Salary, Career Opportunities Career Options After MBA – Highest Paying Management Jobs 5 Key Skills Required for Successful Management Career & How To Achieve Those Skills? What is The Nature and Scope of Management? Importance of Management in Every Organisation – [A Complete Guide] As a PM, you will be interacting with the tech team day in and day out. You will be the sole point of contact between tech, design, business and users. It, therefore, becomes extremely important for you to understand the tech language so as to be able to play the role of a translator well. Practicing the hacks mentioned above while tweaking your daily schedule just a little bit is going to help you in enormous amounts in your journey of being a PM. Stay tuned for two more articles of the edition to learn about design and business skills. Till then, sharpen your tech skills and get closer to becoming a PM! Study Product Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Featured Program for you: Design Thinking Certification Program from Duke CE
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by Ravijot Chugh

04 Jul'16
UpGrad’s PM Program attracts IITs/IIMs/ISB students

5.83K+

UpGrad’s PM Program attracts IITs/IIMs/ISB students

We are thrilled to announce that our first batch of UpGrad Product Management Program launched on 30th July and is running houseful with students from top schools like IITs, IIMs, ISB, working at companies such as Practo, HP, Coca-Cola, Adobe, Intel, and others. The sheer diversity of the batch stands as a testament to the exponentially growing interest in the field of product management. 70% of the batch consists of students with over seven years of work experience. There is a healthy balance of professionals from technical and non-technical background, current and aspiring product managers and budding entrepreneurs. Our students hail from varied geographies such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Dubai and Germany. While the cohort has a mix of students with diverse backgrounds in terms of experience levels, geographies and work backgrounds, what binds them together is the common goal to start and successfully grow their career in product management. “Structured approach, live projects and mentorship from industry leaders are all which attract me to this program,” says Pulkit Jain, an IIM graduate currently working at Adobe. Kushagra Jaiswal, an IIT Delhi alumnus who is working on his own startup, feels this is a  “chance to learn something which is not frequently taught and the chance to network with the stalwarts of this line of job.” Explore our Popular Business Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Business Management Courses Read: Scope for Product management career and jobs Product management as a role has come to be one of the most critical ones in current times. There’s no better time to be a product manager in India than today given the booming Indian startup ecosystem.  With the growing number of startups and tech companies in India fighting neck-to-neck to have a competitive edge by launching a new product every year or by constantly improvising on the existing product, there is an increasing demand for PMs who understand the consumer behavior of Indian users. Product managers are the backbone of any product team who play an all-encompassing role of seeing the team through till the product launches in the most responsible and efficient way possible, no matter what they have to do. Neena Budhiraja, Director – Product Management at Ola, says that a product manager is the ‘CEO of his/her product’. Manish Jethani, Head Consumer Products at Grofers, who was the founder of food delivery startup Spoonjoy says “India is going online; even the older generation is rapidly adopting technologies like Facebook, Whatsapp, etc. Now that a lot of products are being made in India for Indian population, there is a gap in availability of people who understand the user behaviour and what needs to be built.” While the demand for this role is at an all time high, the skill-set required is scarce. This is largely because the product management is a nascent career option in India due to which a mentor ecosystem has not developed. Moreover, it is a role that needs one to have a deep understanding across diverse areas such as technology, design and business. To fill this huge demand and skill gap, UpGrad introduced an extensive five-month online Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management — a program that allows you to learn, develop and implement the necessary skills to be an ace product manager. It gives you a sneak peek into the experiences and anecdotes of leading product managers at Microsoft, Paytm, Practo, Myntra, Bookmyshow and other leading companies, inspiring you to hone your soft skills and understand the fundamentals of product management like user research, product design, product analytics and much more.   Top Essential Management Skills to Learn SL. No Top Management Skills to Learn 1 Consumer Behaviour Online Certification Financial Analysis Certification FinTech Certification Online 2 HR Analytics Certification Online Communication Courses Online Effective Communication Certification 3 Research Methodology Certification Mastering Sales Certification Business Communication Certification 4 Fundamentals of Journalism Certification Economics Masterclass Online Certification The UpGrad Product Management Program is a fantastic tool to have at your disposal to learn product management.  – Mangesh Dalvi, AVP – Products, Myntra This course gives you an opportunity to be mentored one-on-one by the product heads of leading technology companies such as Practo, Paytm, Microsoft, Goibibo, and Freshdesk, and learn through live Q&A with industry experts. It lets you get a hands-on experience by making you solve real product problems faced by the industry and thereby building your own product portfolio by the end of the program. Its special placement assistance program helps you showcase your product development knowledge to potential recruiters, thus helping you step into the shoes of a good product manager seamlessly. Here is what Punit Soni, ex-Chief Product Officer at Flipkart, has to say about product management in India: To know more about this program, take a look at the detailed syllabus here. And if you are floored by it, don’t be discouraged by the ‘bookings closed’ sign. The admissions for the next batch which starts on 15th October is already open. You can sign up for it at any time right here. upGrad’s Exclusive Product Management Webinar for you – How to craft GTM Strategy for a Product? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/panel-discussion-on-crafting-gtm-strategy-for-a-product.mp4 Our Top Management Articles Top 7 Career Options in Management To Choose [For Freshers & Experienced] Online Product Management Courses to Kickstart your Career Top 10 Career Options in Business Management in India 8 Crucial Business Management Skills Every Manager Should Have Future Scope of Management: Scope, Salary, Career Opportunities Career Options After MBA – Highest Paying Management Jobs 5 Key Skills Required for Successful Management Career & How To Achieve Those Skills? What is The Nature and Scope of Management? Importance of Management in Every Organisation – [A Complete Guide] Study Product Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Featured Program for you: Design Thinking Certification Program from Duke CE
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by Anirudh Challa

22 Aug'16
Do you know different Types of Product Managers?

9.41K+

Do you know different Types of Product Managers?

Product managers come in all forms and flavors. Product management, as a subject, is too vast and generic to fit a single description. Not only this; different types of product managers can also be divided into different groups based on their skills and specializations – the type of product they work on (B2B vs B2C, early, mature), or even at a higher level (whether they are builders, tuners, and innovators). If you are an aspiring Product Manager or have just started your career as one, you must be extremely confused about what is expected of you, which areas you should dive into and what are the things you should hone or work on. So, let me make it simple for you. A product manager is generally expected to work at the intersection of business, UX, and technology. Based on such a generic description, every Product Manager seems to have the same set of skillsets. So how do we classify them? In this post, I am going to classify some Product Managers (going by some of the greatest Product Managers of our times – as inspiration), based on what they bring to the table, a.k.a. their unique strengths. Depending on what your current skill-sets are, you can choose who you want to be like, or aspire to be, and build some really awesome things as a product manager. Check out our management courses to upskill yourself. Check out the video and Infographic below explaining different types of product managers! These are the Different Types of Product Managers: 1) The Tech Product Manager I know my rocket inside out and backward. I can tell you the heat treating temper of the skin material, where it changes, why we chose that material, the welding technique… down to the gnat’s ass. – Elon Musk is a product guy who has been a ‘techie’ throughout his life. He is the chief technology officer at SpaceX, a company that he founded to take on the multi-planetary existence of the human species. Marissa Mayer falls into this category as well. Explore our Popular Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Management Courses Pitfalls/Traps: These Product Managers try to solve engineering problems, which they are pretty good with. However, this means they can end up working as an engineering manager on the team, rather than a product manager. If this is the type of PM role you see best fit for you, you should focus on defining WHY you are building something, and WHAT you are building. You should leave the ‘HOW to build it’ for engineers. Advantage 1: These PMs work pretty well with engineers and it takes them no time to gain their trust and respect. Advantage 2: They can think through technical products (AWS, recommendation engines) pretty easily. Google/Amazon hires a lot of engineer-turned-product managers. What you should focus on next?: Building a good business sense and user empathy to see the big picture, and defining what products to build. Also, though not true for most, some may struggle with communication skills to get along with cross-functional teams. upGrad’s Exclusive Product Management Webinar for you – How to craft GTM Strategy for a Product? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/panel-discussion-on-crafting-gtm-strategy-for-a-product.mp4 2) The Designer Product Manager Steve Jobs made this category very appealing, didn’t he? Most people remember Steve as the guy who revolutionized six industries. Few people focus on the common thread that runs between those six industries – animated movies, digital publishing, music, personal computers, phones, computing tablets. Steve was the guy who could strongly sense the future needs of consumers and focused (with almost a crazy precision) on design and aesthetics in all these products. Brian Chesky, co-founder, and CEO at Airbnb, and Joe Gebbia (CPO, Airbnb) are other examples of designer Product Managers. Top Management Skills to Learn SL. No Top Management Skills to Learn 1 Consumer Behaviour Online Courses Financial Analysis Courses FinTech Courses Online 2 HR Analytics Courses Online Communication Courses Online Effective Communication Courses 3 Research Methodology Courses Mastering Sales Courses Business Communication Courses 4 Fundamentals of Journalism Courses Economics Masterclass Online Courses Challenge: Many coders idolize Steve Wozniak over Steve Jobs because Jobs didn’t write a single line of code. And this would be a problem when you are starting as a Product Manager because you haven’t been anywhere near the engineering as a designer. Their method of working is quite different from yours. So it becomes harder for both to work together. Same goes for this Product Manager working with other teams, like sales and operations. Advantage: You understand what a good product looks like. You empathize fairly well with the users of the product and understand the difference between stated preference and revealed preference. All these qualities help you make and design much needed, beautiful products.   What you should focus on: Building a business sense is pretty important as this will help you prioritize things. As a designer, you get pretty good at recognizing flaws in a product. Prioritization will help you define what to focus on. Where you should go: Instagram/Facebook/Apple/Tesla would love you.   3) The Business Product Manager Ever saw that fast-talking MBA kid who seems pretty well versed in terminologies of business, operations, and finance? Probably starting off with liberal arts, engineering or economics major and going on to learn elements of business by either doing an MBA or some such. Some people in this category actually learn about business fundamentals by working with/for a fast-growing startup, as well. They are pretty good at communicating with, and understanding, people around them. Ken Norton falls in this category. Pitfalls: Not understanding technology/design very well can lead to conflicts, and it takes hard work to build credibility with designers and coders. Advantage: These are good thinkers and are able to paint and see the big picture to lead teams. What you should focus on: You have a lot of things to do. Start by understanding how tech works and evolves over time. Develop an eye for detail and rigor. You don’t see many of these in product manager roles unless they get an MBA. Our Top Management Articles Top 7 Career Options in Management To Choose [For Freshers & Experienced] Online Product Management Courses to Kickstart your Career Top 10 Career Options in Business Management in India 8 Crucial Business Management Skills Every Manager Should Have Future Scope of Management: Scope, Salary, Career Opportunities Career Options After MBA – Highest Paying Management Jobs 5 Key Skills Required for Successful Management Career & How To Achieve Those Skills? What is The Nature and Scope of Management? Importance of Management in Every Organisation – [A Complete Guide] 4) The Data Product Manager A future role, I must say. With the advent of gaming apps, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the role of a Data Product Manager is also emerging. These Product Managers work on data products such as recommendation products, personalization, etc. They are pretty good at reading and finding patterns in data and since data is the key to decision-making in most meetings these days, they gain influence within many teams, over time. You don’t see many Product Managers right now in this category. Sebastian Thrun, who led the integration of big data into robotics, falls in this category. He is the founder of the leading ed-tech startup Udacity. Netflix, Amazon, and Google are companies driven by data algorithms and personalization, and they would love this kind of a Product Manager. Pitfalls: Focusing on data too much leads to losing sight of the big picture sometimes. Advantage: Being equipped with good analytical abilities can help you understand business, sales, and product equally well. What you should focus on: A good idea of user research will help you understand the ‘why’. Clubbing research and quantitative data can work wonders. You should also focus on understanding design elements well so that you can tell a good design from a bad one.   5) The Growth Product Manager Every organization has its own set of growth problems. Some find it hard to generate demand (e-commerce, content) at low cost, others find it difficult to meet supply once they have generated demand (Uber). Growth Product Managers work to solve these problems. This is a rather undefined role and varies a great deal from one organization to another. These Product Managers are generally very strong with data and communication. Further, business acumen helps them prioritize and solve the most important problems first. Chamath Palihapitiya, Head of Growth at Facebook, helped Facebook become the first social network to cross the 500 million user mark and reach more than a billion users. Pitfalls: Focusing too much on metrics leads to losing sight of the big picture here too. There are a lot of ideas you come up with while solving the growing problem for any organization, and the lack of quick experimentation and the right prioritization framework can lead to low impact work. Advantage: A well-defined growth problem gives you the kick to hustle and make a difference. Clear metrics can help you move in the right direction. What you should focus on – User research and psychology. This can help you most while taking the decision of what to build and why. Summing up, let’s list down some of the key and desirable traits of a Product Manager. It looks like you will need the following traits to become a great Product Manager: Good understanding of how the technology works Project Management Business Understanding UI / UX User Empathy & Research People Skills Data / Analytics The best PMs out there understand and work where the interaction of business, design, data, and tech happens. Project management and people skills are the most important aspects of being a good Product Manager since you are working with a lot of people, at any given point in time. That said, you don’t need to be well versed in everything when you are just starting off. So, if you were confused at the beginning of this post, hopefully, I have managed to diminish some of that confusion and some of you may even have figured out which role to aim for, depending on what your current strengths are. If you are an analyst/data scientist, you can learn elements of design and user research to move to a Data Product Manager role. If you are a ‘techie’, a tech Product Manager role would be easiest to mold yourself into. The same follows for a designer and a business person. Marketers tend to like the growth Product Manager role a lot, given the hustle it involves. I hope this post helps you gain some clarity in where you want to go as a product manager.  Don’t just be wowed by this article on Product Management, act on it! Looking to up-skill or sharpen your current skill-sets? Study Product Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. upGrad Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management is a great way to kickstart a career in this field. So, what type of Product Manager are you? 
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by Deepak Singh

24 Nov'16
Shaping User Experience at Zivame: A Product Management Case Study

6.85K+

Shaping User Experience at Zivame: A Product Management Case Study

This is a Guest Blog by Udit Khandelwal.  “The website is amazing and the session was awesome! I would love to come back for another round!” – Deepika called out while leaving for home after going through a usability testing session at Zivame. From that moment, Zivame was always going be the first choice for Deepika – a proud homemaker and entrepreneur. What did we do to invoke such surreal emotions in people who shop with us? Explore our Popular Business Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Business Management Courses Well, we involved users at each and every step of product design. In my article How I Changed The Way Women Buy Bras Online I covered how we leveraged user research to discover a new way of shopping for bras. Here, I am going http://notuser.com/how-i-changed-the-way-women-buy-bras-onlineto walk you through the journey wherein we managed to test the design with real users, obtained real insights and implemented course correction. Read: Scope for Product management career and jobs Top Essential Management Skills to Learn SL. No Top Management Skills to Learn 1 Consumer Behaviour Online Certification Financial Analysis Certification FinTech Certification Online 2 HR Analytics Certification Online Communication Courses Online Effective Communication Certification 3 Research Methodology Certification Mastering Sales Certification Business Communication Certification 4 Fundamentals of Journalism Certification Economics Masterclass Online Certification The Game Plan Challenge The resources were limited, the scope was huge and we had to keep churning incrementally enhanced designs. Endeavour The entire website was supposed to be designed and developed from scratch within 5 months. The last month was already reserved for all the testing, deployment and stability-related activities. So we had no more than 120 days to design and develop the new Zivame experience. I had heard this saying somewhere: No shortcuts today; I’m in a hurry – Swiss saying … and I thought, it was just the right time to follow it. We needed a game plan that involved no shortcuts because we couldn’t afford to go down the wrong lane. Hence, we decided to do the following after our early research was over: Lo-Fi Prototypes: Refine the sketches until we were done discovering the loopholes and until we had fixed all the broken flows. Our Top Management Articles Top 7 Career Options in Management To Choose [For Freshers & Experienced] Online Product Management Courses to Kickstart your Career Top 10 Career Options in Business Management in India 8 Crucial Business Management Skills Every Manager Should Have Future Scope of Management: Scope, Salary, Career Opportunities Career Options After MBA – Highest Paying Management Jobs 5 Key Skills Required for Successful Management Career & How To Achieve Those Skills? What is The Nature and Scope of Management? Importance of Management in Every Organisation – [A Complete Guide] Formative Tests: Use paper prototypes to test with whoever you could,whenever you could, even if it was on the lunch table. Hi-Fi Prototypes: Develop a high fidelity interactive prototype, as close to the final product as possible. Summative Tests: Test it with real users and obtain real insights. Beta Tests: One final round of testing, on the actual product, before we handed it over to the world. Iterations: Every test delivered some good news and some bad news (which was good news). We had to prioritize fixing bugs and making enhancements for every iteration. Lesson Usability testing is an ongoing activity that needs proper planning, time and resources. Formative Tests Challenge The initial design was completely untested and development teams were waiting on us. We had to give them something solid, real quick. Endeavor Low fidelity prototypes work beautifully when you want to fail faster. They help you discover flaws in design at an early stage and designers themselves are very open to making changes in the raw design. We did the same at Zivame. Once we were done with white-boarding, we quickly moved on to our tools to create different screens on the computer and took prints to create screen flows. upGrad’s Exclusive Product Management Webinar for you – How to craft GTM Strategy for a Product? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/panel-discussion-on-crafting-gtm-strategy-for-a-product.mp4 And then, we simply asked some folks from within the office (who closely matched our target persona Mahi Agarwal) to perform certain scenarios. Whenever they were stuck even for a bit, we knew there was a problem. More than often, they would even give us suggestions, which we took note of. We would then come back and discuss why the users were suggesting what they were, go to the root cause of the problem, and figure our own solution. Sometimes tests not only tell you what’s wrong with design, but they also reveal new opportunities. For example, it was during the formative tests we discovered that users were able to comprehend and interact with notifications. We took that as a green signal and design for a stronger, deeper integration of notifications. Lesson For testing, don’t wait for the final product; go ahead with whatever prototype you can afford and test with whoever you can find. Fail faster. High Fidelity Prototypes Challenge The website had more than 300 unique screens and screen-states. Putting together a click-through was a mammoth task. Endeavor We first set our goals and non-goals before building the prototype. This helped us reduce the scope of prototyping. eg. We wanted to test the new shop-by-experience feature, but were pretty sure we had followed best practices for the checkout, so we decided not to focus on that flow. Next, we evaluated 3 options for building the prototype: Flash – my personal favorite, I know I sound old-school! Marvel App – because everyone is going this way. Invision App – Marvel’s competitor. Now Flash was quickly ruled out because of the overheads involved. Marvel kind of worked, but had limited support for overlays, and my entire design was based on surfaces and overlays. Invision offered me better flexibility, so I went ahead with Invision. Lesson Scoping is critical; even for a prototype. Summative Tests Challenge The test had to be optimized to FAIL the design. Endeavour We decided to write down the script that we were going to use during the usability testing sessions. The critical piece here was to figure out exactly what to test and how. So I listed down my goals and non-goals, based on which I broadly figured out what was I going to test. Initial Mental Model – Expectancy Test Actual Usage – Free Exploration Test Navigation – Performance Test Affordance – Visual Affordance Test Task Flow – Performance Test Sentiment – Semantic Differential Process Once that was done, I quickly mapped a technique against each line item and then moved on to the modules that I wanted to focus on. After this I moved on to defining the task flow of individual scenarios. I didn’t write down the language of the scenarios as I didn’t want to sound stiff. I have shared the script below on Slideshare. View this on SlideShare Lesson Use a hammer for the nails, but a screw-driver for the screws. Recruitment Challenge Finding women (in India) who’d agree to participate in the testing of a Lingerie website. Endeavour We wanted women who closely resembled Zivame’s target persona Mahi Agarwal. We took to social media and made an announcement. We asked women to help Zivame in building a great shopping experience for women! A lot of women came forward and we received a good number of responses. Not only this, they also invited their friends to participate. And kudos to forward-thinking women like Deepika, Subha and Aastha, who went a step further and agreed to put a face to our participants. Deepika, Entrepreneur & Homemaker Subha, Blogger at dolphindives.in Aastha Chaudhary, Homemaker We were in a good position to screen and recruit our participants. Women who expressed interest, had to fill the participant recruitment form. After a quick screening, we shortlisted the participants and gave them a call to schedule the session with them. Lesson Finding real users isn’t that difficult. You just have to do it the right way! Suggested Reading Dragonfly Effect, Jennifer Aaker & Andy Smith Usability Test Sessions Challenge Talking to women about a website that sells bras. Endeavour On the D-day, we were well prepared with systems set up, printed copies of the script, the team was ready to perform their roles and the participants were to be greeted warmly. We started the sessions by making the participants feel comfortable. We began with some chit-chat and brief introductions. We emphasized how important their contribution was and asked them to not worry about hurting our feelings and give honest feedback. In order to avoid them sharing their bra size details with us, we made sure we told them to assume their size was 34C. I think they liked the idea. We made sure they believed: You are not being tested, we are! Invariably, every user would smile at this moment, and we knew, we had managed to make them comfortable. Throughout the session, we made sure, the focus was on the tasks (and hence on design) and not on the products.  That’s when we would begin the flow (as mentioned in the PPT). We discovered some pretty interesting things during these tests. To our surprise, none of the users had trouble figuring the ‘shop’ menu, which was a big change from our previous design. However, users were confused when they reached the sub-menu and we knew it needed to be simplified (which we did later). We also discovered a basic issue with title bars of our surfaces. Users were facing difficulty going back and closing the surfaces. Again, we resolved this issue in our next iteration. One of the key findings was about the sticky buttons at the bottom of the surfaces. We realized that sometimes the button used to break the user flow as users were clicking on it without reading the labels or they were misinterpreting the labels. We found alternates to such situations. All in all, the users proved to be very helpful! Lesson Users are humans, if you treat them well, they will be very helpful. The Bug Bash Challenge We needed to make sure if the final product was behaving as designed and intended, and we were running out of time! Endeavour There is always a fair degree of difference between the actual product and the implementation. When the Zivame beta product website was ready, we wanted to make sure that the product was behaving as expected. We wanted to see if users were comfortable interacting with the UI controls we had implemented and wanted to see it working in the real world. So, we opened it up for all the Zivame employees, and conducted a 3 hour bug-logging Marathon, which we called Bug Bash. We issued a coupon that would work only on the beta website for 3 hours and asked all the employees to make use of the coupon and log whatever bug that they faced in the Bug Bash Form. We divided them into different teams and announced prizes for the top 3 teams. The plan worked and we received 223 responses from different teams. It took us 2 days to go through the entire list and figure which ones were genuine. Most of the bugs filed were duplicate or known issues, but we discovered 12 new bugs (of which 3 were related to UI). This gave us a high degree of confidence to release the beta externally! Zivame Bug Bash Responses Lesson Testing never hurts and it can be done at any stage. Kudos to the women, who helped us all along the way in building such a fantastic shopping experience at Zivame! Study Product Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Featured Program for you: Design Thinking Certification Program from Duke CE
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by Udit Khandelwal

12 Dec'16
The Truth About Product Management : In talks with Hotstar PM Gaurav Shahlot

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The Truth About Product Management : In talks with Hotstar PM Gaurav Shahlot

Ever since I enrolled myself in UpGrad’s Product Management Program, I have been robbed of my weekends, developed bags under my eyes and have had cold fear struck in my heart with just two words – “Submission Day!” Then a day like the one earlier this month, makes it all seem worthwhile. We were privy to an engaging session on transitioning into a product role by Ravijot Chugh (Head of Products, UpGrad) and Gaurav Shahlot (Director, Products at Hotstar) at the UpGrad Mumbai office. The two of them took what seemed like a torrential downpour of questions and answered them all patiently and like experts that they are. Because of the sheer value that I derived from this talk, I wanted to share an excerpt of the interaction, so that some of the aspiring product managers out there can be inspired too. Read: Product management jobs and their career prospects. Q: What are some of the traits you look for while hiring a product manager? 1. A love for technology: You need a deep appreciation for the power of technology to solve real-life problems. 2. Passion for a delightful user experience: You need a burning passion for products that delight the user with their depth of understanding of user needs and insights. You also need to be the kind of person who is very excited about feature launches of your favorite products. For example, if you use, admire or follow Uber regularly, did you wait with bated breath for the latest upgrade of the Uber App? 3. Analytical and data-driven approach to problem-solving: As a product manager, you’ll be taking some very important decisions that will affect the direction the product takes in the future. So, it’s imperative for you to understand a problem, break it down into smaller pieces, and arrive at a solution quickly and accurately based on the available data.     Q: What are some of the common mistakes newbie product managers make? 1. Not launching a product until it’s too late: As a product manager, it’s easy to get very attached to a product since you’ve probably spent all your time and energy building it from the ground up. This might prevent you from launching the product until you consider it perfect. However, it’s critical that you narrow down a set of features that go into your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and launch the MVP. After the launch, you’ll be able to gather feedback from users and decide on the future course of action, based on that feedback. Explore our Popular Business Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Business Management Courses 2. Taking decisions based only on your gut and not on data: Some product managers tend to make decisions based on their gut feeling rather than data. The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that it’s not always easy to come by secondary data in India. While some decisions based on your gut might work at times, it’s difficult to analyze the reason why it worked or didn’t work. If decision-making is done based on a healthy combination of intuition and data, it’s possible to form a hypothesis of user behavior and have this hypothesis validated or invalidated. It also helps to course correct in a more structured manner. 3. Not having a concrete post-launch plan: Some product managers believe their job ends once they launch the product. But it’s just the beginning! It is imperative to have a post-launch plan in terms of getting the first 100 users on board, sieving through user feedback and analytics, strategizing the feature sets in version 2 and version 3, etc. 4. Not being able to prioritize: As a product manager, you’ll receive inputs from multiple stakeholders and there’s a tendency for some product managers to say “yes” to everyone. The time available is always constrained and you end up in a situation where you have several half-built features and nothing to ship. The only way to mitigate this problem is by prioritizing features and setting clear schedules against each feature.   Q:  What are some frameworks that you’ve personally used for feature prioritization? There are several theoretical models available for prioritization, but a practical approach that has worked for us is a metric which is a combination of value of the feature to the user and the complexity of its implementation. Once you’ve scored all features based on this metric, pick up the feature that has maximum value to the user and minimum complexity in implementation, first. Top Essential Management Skills to Learn SL. No Top Management Skills to Learn 1 Consumer Behaviour Online Certification Financial Analysis Certification FinTech Certification Online 2 HR Analytics Certification Online Communication Courses Online Effective Communication Certification 3 Research Methodology Certification Mastering Sales Certification Business Communication Certification 4 Fundamentals of Journalism Certification Economics Masterclass Online Certification upGrad’s Exclusive Product Management Webinar for you – How to craft GTM Strategy for a Product? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/panel-discussion-on-crafting-gtm-strategy-for-a-product.mp4   Q: How do you approach the idea of ‘value of the feature to the user’ quantitatively? There is some subjectivity involved in arriving at what is the actual ‘value of a feature to the user.’ One approach that we have used is to first set broad product goals based on the product vision, such as increasing content retention for a learner. A feature is then rated on a scale of 1 to 5 based on its contribution towards the goal. Image source: Pinterest   Q: Are there some pitfalls to getting into product management for a person with an engineering background? The role of a product manager should be to answer the “Whats” and the “Whys” of a problem. Being an engineer naturally sets you to offer answers for the “Hows” as well, which might not go down very well with the engineering team. A safe strategy could be to recommend an approach but leave it to the team to take autonomous decisions. Our Top Management Articles Top 7 Career Options in Management To Choose [For Freshers & Experienced] Online Product Management Courses to Kickstart your Career Top 10 Career Options in Business Management in India 8 Crucial Business Management Skills Every Manager Should Have Future Scope of Management: Scope, Salary, Career Opportunities Career Options After MBA – Highest Paying Management Jobs 5 Key Skills Required for Successful Management Career & How To Achieve Those Skills? What is The Nature and Scope of Management? Importance of Management in Every Organisation – [A Complete Guide] It’s a Wrap After this, we had an extremely insightful session by Gaurav on how to bag an interview call for a PM role, what to expect in a PM interview and how to crack the interview. This was followed by a short case study assigned by Gaurav where we had to solve a real-life problem with a strictly MVP approach i.e. what would be the minimum set of features you would launch your solution with? The problem statement was: “I’ve recently shifted to Mumbai and I work in an office building with 37 floors. I need to wait for 10 minutes for the lift every morning and evening. I want to reduce my waiting time in front of the lift.” We organized ourselves into groups, made presentations and got feedback from Gaurav. The solutions ranged from apps providing status of lifts in the building with a wait time for each lift to adding an optimization algorithm to the lift’s functioning. We also heard from Gaurav on how he’d have approached the problem. His recommendation was an app which allowed you to ask for the lift and get an ETA for the next available lift on your floor. You’d also get a notification when there was 30 seconds to go for the lift to arrive on your floor. It was a brilliant sneak peek into a day in the life of a Product Manager and we all came out of it feeling so much wiser! Bourbon biscuits, great people, engaging conversation – it was a well spent Saturday afternoon, indeed! Study Product Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Featured Program for you: Design Thinking Certification Program from Duke CE
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by Shruti Narayan

14 Dec'16
How Zivame’s UX Design Team Enabled Multiway Product Discovery

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How Zivame’s UX Design Team Enabled Multiway Product Discovery

This is the first in a five-part Guest Blog series by Udit Khandelwal, UX Director at Zivame. If the users can’t find it, the feature does not exist! – Human Factors International (HFI) I first heard this quote in a training session at HFI back in 2012, and you will always find it resonating with my way of approaching UX. Product discovery is one of the most important aspects of any retail business, and if users can’t find the products you offer, they don’t exist. To enable seamless product exploration at Zivame, we developed a multi-way discovery strategy across our platforms. In this series of 5 articles, I will be covering levers used for featuring collections, product discovery and, offer communication at Zivame. This is the first article in this series, and here I will be mainly covering items under Ice Breakers from the list of levers given below: In This Series: Ice Breakers * Homepage Landing Cards Homepage Hero Carousel Featured Collections Category Masthead App Onboarding FitCode™ On Demand Heterogeneous Shop-Nav Shop-Nav Featured Image Offer Banner Explore Sticky Buttons in Shop-Nav Shop By Experience Recommendations Contextual More Like This Our Bestsellers You Might Also Like Perfect Fit Recommendation LookBook Hand-holding Landing Page Offer T&C Rule Based Offers on: Category Page Product Page Cart Checkout Notifications Mobile App Push Web Push Universal Notifications Marketing Email Transaction Emails Footer Marketing SMS Content Hooks Content Infusion Cards for Landing Pages Content Pages and Collections On Blog Product Infusion on Content Pages Intrusive & Desperate Conditional Pop-ups In-App Messaging * Covered in this article Each one of these serve a very specific purpose in the user journey and are used accordingly. Let’s take a look at them, one by one – while talking about the challenges in each case, and what we did to overcome the same. I will also talk about business metrics, wherever applicable. Check out our management programs to upskill yourself. Homepage Landing Cards Challenge 45% of the web traffic on Zivame comprises of first time users 40% of direct and organic traffic lands on Zivame’s homepage Most of the above users have very little clue about the breadth of the products we offer Solution Not having an open horizontal menu and going with a mobile-first hamburger navigation was a very well thought-through and user-tested approach we started following with our new stack. It came at a cost of not being upfront about our offerings. Hence, it became critical for us to communicate the same, right in the first fold. The cards shown below serve exactly this purpose. What’s interesting is that this approach was first conceptualised for the desktop, and later adapted for mobile, as shown below. In the desktop version, cards occupy the top real estate on the first fold, whereas in mobile, they are right below the hero banner due to vertical space constraint. upGrad’s Exclusive Product Management Webinar for you – How to craft GTM Strategy for a Product? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/panel-discussion-on-crafting-gtm-strategy-for-a-product.mp4 Homepage Entry Cards and Hero Carousel Homepage Hero – Mobile When we were conceptualizing this, our executives envisioned it as follows: Nobody who spends 8 seconds on my homepage should go away without knowing that Zivame sells lingerie, apparel and activewear. – Shaleen, COO Zivame Explore our Popular Management Programs Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Management Programs …and I think we’ve done a good job at achieving the same via design. The positioning of the cards make them unmissable and the titles along with links set clear expectations about the individual categories i.e., Lingerie, Activewear and Apparel. Moreover, the fourth card allows for enough flexibility to put meta items which deserve a seat on the first fold. P.S. This component is under development as I am writing this post, and will be released soon! (Also Read: Shaping User Experience at Zivame: A Product Management Case Study) Endeavour It is difficult to figure which 4 things will go in each card, because every stakeholder in the company is looking for prime real estate for his/her property! While data seems to be an easy escape route, where you could simply keep the most in-demand stuff on top, the business might have a conflicting direction. For example, Apparel itself contributes to merely 8% of Zivame’s revenue as of today, yet it occupies 25% of the top real estate. A cross-functional collaboration with a fair amount of moderation from the executives of the company should give you the right answer. As my product manager puts it: You have to be disproportionately kind to certain entities in order to ensure their disproportionate growth. – Vishrut Shukla, Sr. PM – Zivame Homepage Hero Carousel Challenge This is the next prime real estate and the property is visual. It needs to represent the brand and a strict visual design language needs to be followed. Top Management Skills to Learn SL. No Top Management Skills to Learn 1 Consumer Behaviour Online Programs Financial Analysis Programs FinTech Programs Online 2 HR Analytics Programs Online Communication Programs Online Effective Communication Programs 3 Research Methodology Programs Mastering Sales Programs Business Communication Programs 4 Fundamentals of Journalism Programs Economics Masterclass Online Programs Solution Frankly, this was an easy one to design, but a tough one to execute. We knew we were following big-bold-beautiful design language, and hence it was an easy decision that the banner must occupy 100% of the screen width and 100% of the remaining screen height. But that left us with 2 problems to be solved: On  certain screen sizes, the banner would get cropped as we were going to use ‘cover’ algorithm. When the banner stretches all the way to the bottom edge of the screen, users might get an illusion that the page ends there and there is nothing beyond that. In order to solve the cropping issue, we defined the safe areas and tested it across multiple resolutions. After a few hits and trials, we were able to nail it. We placed a chevron at the bottom of the banner to give a visual cue to the users that there is more beyond the banner. To keep it clean we decided to make the navigation arrow unidirectional, but also gave slideshow cues by putting dot-based navigation. A heavy amount of cross functional collaboration went into getting up the right banner, with the right message up and stitch it together with the category page banners, keeping the user journey in mind. The above section displays an example screenshot, and below is how we defined safe area: Safe Area for Homepage Hero Banner Featured Collections Challenge Banners are good for grabbing attention, but in order to generate user interest and make users click with the right expectation, we need to tell them a bit more about the collection. However, real estate is limited and there is a lot of competition among different collections. The earlier design of Zivame’s Homepage for Mobile used to sport an accordion of collections where each collection had an array of 10 products followed by a “See More” button after scrolling all the way to the last thumbnail. Data analysis revealed that more than 40% users who interacted with the accordion clicked on see more. This reinforces the point mentioned above. However, we didn’t want to use accordion because it was non-visual and text heavy. Old Homepage – Mobile   Loading too many product images upfront negatively impacts the page performance. For every extra second of page load time, conversion goes down by a whopping 7%. Our Top Management Articles Top 7 Career Options in Management To Choose [For Freshers & Experienced] Online Product Management Courses to Kickstart your Career Top 10 Career Options in Business Management in India 8 Crucial Business Management Skills Every Manager Should Have Future Scope of Management: Scope, Salary, Career Opportunities Career Options After MBA – Highest Paying Management Jobs 5 Key Skills Required for Successful Management Career & How To Achieve Those Skills? What is The Nature and Scope of Management? Importance of Management in Every Organisation – [A Complete Guide] Solution At the cost of an extra click, show the USPs as well as sneak peek of every collection. Apart from a product collage, we simply surfaced 3 critical pieces of information: Collection Name Description Signature Attributes This not only invoked interest in the collection, but also guides the user into a journey of product discovery with a set expectation. The product collage can be technically optimised to be returned as a single collage image rather than multiple product images. Again, this version has been partially deployed on the current site, and the remaining is being implemented as I am writing this article. Homepage Collection Banners (*in-progress) Visit Zivame Category Masthead Challenge Category pages are primary landing pages for paid traffic. Also, anyone who clicks on any of the collections/offer banners within the site, lands on a category page. Hence, it becomes crucial to stitch the user journey here and maintain the context. Broader the category, more difficult it is for the users to make a choice. Hence, for certain cases, we might want to narrow down the user journey to a more specific subcategory and subsequently to specific products. Certain categories are very special or new and the users need to be made aware of the USPs at the very moment that they land on the page. Solution The masthead consists of 4 main components. We came up with an approach where configurable components would  take care of the use cases mentioned above: simply putting a banner in the masthead and relying upon the creative banners, shop by, filter/sort toolbar and offer communication to do the rest. I’ll talk about banners here, and will be covering ‘shop by’ and  offers later. We designed 3 variations or templates for the category banners: Single Banner Carousel Split Banners Single banners work perfectly for narrow categories and talking about their USPs. Carousels and Split banners, on the other hand, are a great way to provide multiple banners within a limited real estate and are used to lead to subcategories. When promoting any of these pages, digital marketing & creative teams make sure that the marketing creatives speak the same language and use similar images to stitch the user journey together. Category Banner – Single Category Banner – Split Category Banner – Carousel Now just like the homepage hero banner, these banners occupy 100% of the width available, however, height is constant. Hence, in some cases (or resolutions) we end up cropping the banner from the right. So just like the homepage, we defined safe areas and the creative team was asked to follow the same while designing these banners. Below is an example of how we defined the same for a split banner: Safe Area Definition for Category Split Banner Caveat This is not a mobile-first design and, following graceful degradation, on mobiles we fall back to a simple banner, or a swipe-enabled carousel. There is no split banner for mobiles. App Onboarding Challenge You want to tell the users so much, but going beyond 4 cards during onboarding is an overkill. The space is limited, features are enormous, users don’t have time to read and despite all this, you need to make the app stick. You don’t know who is browsing: a novice or an expert, an explorer or a navigator; and you have to design a fit-for-all onboarding experience Solution Rather than thinking about what we want to tell the user, we started to think the other way around → What  would users want to learn? With a quick dipstick research, we were able to figure users were mainly looking for answers to the following questions: What is this about? What can I do here? How to get started? What’s in it for me? How does it help me? So the problem was simply reduced to 4 screens that could answer these questions. Hence we zeroed down on the following 4 screens: What is it about? How does it help me? What can I do here? How to get started? The last screen is cleverly designed to promote the FitCode™ but the users are free to skip it and continue to shop. Caveats There are a couple of glitches, which we’re now correcting and I’d like to warn you about: The notification permission pop-up shows right on the onboarding screen. This is very irritating for the user and we are likely to get a minimal conversion here. What should be done instead – the notification permission should be sought after the occurrence of a certain event (say login, or order success, or accessing content etc). Web-engage messages (marketing popups) sometimes show during onboarding. Again, it’s a very bad experience and users are most likely to be non-receptive to any marketing messages during onboarding. We must take care that no pop-ups are shown on onboarding screens.   FitCode™ Challenge Many women prefer buying from a physical store to buying online. One of the most common reasons for this is that they are not sure whether a particular product will fit them. They can’t try it online. Different women have different body forms and there is no one-product-fits-all when it comes to lingerie. Hence presenting them with the product that suits their body form and preferences is crucial. If you give them a form to fill their measurement and preferences, the drop-offs are high. Hence, whatever solution we come up with, needs to be effective. Solution Zivame’s Fashion Design team, along with the Product Managers, conducted extensive research, and deduced that women’s body types can be accurately described by bucketing them into 11 kinds of profiles. Club these profiles, together with the measurements and preferences, and you should be able to provide the right product recommendations to the users. We call this FitCode™, which is derived by asking the users a set of questions (FitCode™ Quiz). A version of this was designed, user tested, implemented and released on apps. While the users were getting the concept and responding to the quiz, there were 2 glaring issues: High number of drop-offs Some people thought the images that we had used to represent the profiles were creepy. We figured that the quiz was designed in a way where we were asking users the difficult questions first, and this approach needed to change. We needed to get the users invested by asking them the easier questions first, and then the tougher ones. We also got our creatives changed and made them more abstract. They weren’t creepy anymore. Take a look at the screens below: FitCode™ Quick Start FitCode™ Step 3 – Measure Yourself FitCode™ Step 4 – Describe Specifics FitCode™ Results and Recommendations Find Your Perfect Fit I hope you found this article informative and insightful. Study Product Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. If you are highly intrigued by what you read, you can enroll in the Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management offered by upGrad. The certification program delivered by experts will help you kickstart your career to be a successful product manager.
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by Udit Khandelwal

23 Dec'16
How Product Managers Visualize Data

6.17K+

How Product Managers Visualize Data

I still remember how excited I was when I had my first tryst with PowerPoint in 2010, while working on a market research proposal at KPMG. While the thrill didn’t extend to the fact that I had to present to a Senior Partner team; I was finally getting a chance to experiment and play around with the various graphs, charts, Smart Art and what not. The multiple fonts and color options that PowerPoint has to offer was enough to make me giddy with anticipation! Back then I didn’t quite have an accurate understanding of the sheer might of using these tools and what transforming the information I had in front of me could produce and answer – a field that is now being credited with changing the world of business today – often referred to as ‘Data Visualization.’ It took me many years to fully understand the power of design sensibilities and analytics if used effectively and in parallel. With the help of these, data can be transformed into something that can convey a message not only in a visually engaging manner, but in a far more persuasive and powerful form. Be it to your manager in a board meeting, or a user who’s trying out your technology product for the first time. Explore our Popular Business Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Business Management Courses  “At the intersection of art and algorithm, data visualization schematically abstracts information to bring about a deeper understanding of the data, wrapping it in an element of awe.” – Maria Popova, founder of Brainpickings.org The Life-Boat to a Data Pool   Our lives are overloaded with statistics and information. Whether it’s the number of times we visit the gym in a month, or the price of tickets from Mumbai to Bangalore in December or the number of glasses of water we’ve had to drink in a day.  The ubiquity of visual representations through illustrations, animations, photographs and various other forms is apparent in our day to day lives too. A combination of data and design is now increasingly being used in various forms such as what can be seen with the rise of infographics in social media and newspapers; to fascinating ways of displaying cricket statistics; and even children’s report cards at school! Top Essential Management Skills to Learn SL. No Top Management Skills to Learn 1 Consumer Behaviour Online Certification Financial Analysis Certification FinTech Certification Online 2 HR Analytics Certification Online Communication Courses Online Effective Communication Certification 3 Research Methodology Certification Mastering Sales Certification Business Communication Certification 4 Fundamentals of Journalism Certification Economics Masterclass Online Certification Visualizing cricket team performances through graphs Visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than text. Data Visualization methods and tools have been around for a while with veterans like Edward Tufte evangelizing it’s benefits way back in the 1960s. Although, traditionally used in evaluating and making business and product decisions via a plethora of methods and softwares like… Tableau   Microsoft BI Google Charts …data viz is increasingly being leveraged for use within actual technology products as well – for showcasing basic information to the user and as a means of storytelling as part of the product narrative. Industry experts such as Alberto Cairo, Andy Kirk, Jon Schwabish and Mona Chalabi offer advice on creation and examples of data viz in their blogs, which can be very useful for product professionals and newbies alike. upGrad’s Exclusive Product Management Webinar for you – How to craft GTM Strategy for a Product? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/panel-discussion-on-crafting-gtm-strategy-for-a-product.mp4 Designing the Data in Your Product To start thinking visually through your product, consider the nature and purpose of your visualization (why do you need to visually represent data in the first place), and all about your user. What is he/she trying to achieve by using the product? And how can you use the information you have about him/her to improve the product journey experience and get him/her to keep coming back? Data Visualization can be a crucial part of your User Experience as well. For example, Uber demonstrates this with use of GIS by using the information they have about their user’s pick-up point and driver’s car locations. They show nearby vehicles on a map which makes it a lot more meaningful for a user to understand distances, along with a route map to the final destination and real-time updating of the user’s location. This is so simple that even a 5-year-old could understand what’s being represented – which is precisely how easy reading data visualizations should be. Our Top Management Articles Top 7 Career Options in Management To Choose [For Freshers & Experienced] Online Product Management Courses to Kickstart your Career Top 10 Career Options in Business Management in India 8 Crucial Business Management Skills Every Manager Should Have Future Scope of Management: Scope, Salary, Career Opportunities Career Options After MBA – Highest Paying Management Jobs 5 Key Skills Required for Successful Management Career & How To Achieve Those Skills? What is The Nature and Scope of Management? Importance of Management in Every Organisation – [A Complete Guide]   The Various Elements of Data Viz “Creating a data visualization is a lot like cooking. You decide what data you need, you collect it, you prepare and clean it for use, and then you make the visualization and present your finished result” – Data + Design Handbook Using the above analogy, the final presentation of the dish, with all its ingredients, is something that can delight the customer or seem bland and boring. Careful thought needs to go into that extra bit of garnish or the colors you use to make it seem more delicious and inviting. And the methods used to cook can vary as well – from grilling to baking to roasting. Think Ratatouille or Julia Child! Likewise, careful thought and preparation should go into deciding which presentations should be used for your target user and the narrative it supports. Post this, with the help of the following, you should have the final data viz ‘recipe’! Ingredients or Elements Fonts & Text Icons Hierarchy Color Simple sans serif fonts are usually preferred 2. Colors can be used to express value 3. Icons used to showcase various temperature preferences  Methods or Presentations   Area Charts Bar Charts Choropleth Maps Column Charts Concept Maps Doughnut Charts Flowcharts Heat Maps Infographics Line Charts Pie Charts Pin Maps Scatter Plots Time Series Visualizations Timelines Tree Maps Word Clouds Understanding how best to represent data to your user requires a certain design and data literacy, which will only come with practice, patience and keen observation. Venngage.com and CreativeBloq have some useful tips on choosing good charts for your infographic, including lessons for how-to-use them in your product as well. Although one should keep in mind the major challenges in producing compelling data visualizations, namely, keeping it simple, selecting the appropriate method given the information available to you and selecting the right mix of ingredients to avoid drawing away attention from the main message of the visualization. Products that Use Visuals Compellingly – No One Can See Just One While there are many products that use data visualization, from sectors of healthcare, money management, sports and fitness (like Google Fit, NBA, Uber etc.), primarily to showcase user information while the product is being used – one specific example that comes to mind, which has become a recent phenomenon, is the FitBit interface. FitBit makes sure that it complements its device capabilities by not only capturing the relevant information but displaying it to provide insights and ‘aha’s to users about their fitness levels. From the user’s activity levels to calories burned as well as the leadership board; visual language is used in a very appealing manner through the FitBit dashboard, with an equally appealing color palette, to showcase your progress while using the app. What more you need to do to reach your ultimate fitness goal! What about India? We’re not far behind with home-grown products leveraging strong data visualization methods for their users  – from the recent products I’ve used, fitness apps like HealthifyMe to money management app MoneyView, and my all-time favorite women’s health app called ‘Maya’ (formerly known as Lovecycles) – all seem to have strong visual compasses. Taking Maya as an example – they have over 6 million users and let you track monthly (menstrual) cycles along with analyzing and predicting health patterns, moods, along with symptoms. Not only have they designed a cute looking girl as their mascot directed at their target female audience – but represented delicate information in a very simple manner, with an element of fun too! The use of iconography prompts me to go back to the app and input my user data – which they will ultimately represent in their format and use to track my progress. Enhancing Product Experience Through Data Viz  “The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see.” ― John Tukey, Inventor of the box plot and FFT algorithm Data visualization need not always be about complex dashboards or charts – and something even as simple as the effective use of icons and text, while understanding a user’s behavior and showcasing that in your product, could be successful too. It is also important to understand that this is not just presenting information but essentially designing an experience of information for your customer. Be it through illustrations, real or interactive imagery or animation; data visualization could be used to give context, reveal trends, explain a process, tell a story, save time and eventually empower a user. As a product manager or UX professional, it is thus imperative to showcase data effectively in your product’s interface. This can not only ‘WOW’ a potential customer, but also retain and engage them longer by showing them the benefits of adopting your product and driving home the intended value-add better than your competitors! Study Product Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Featured Program for you: Design Thinking Certification Program from Duke CE
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by Vidisha Hegde

03 Jan'17