Over the past year or so, I’ve been trying to reconcile the overlap of what a product manager versus a product designer does. My summary has been that a product manager defines what to make, while a product designer defines how best to make it. Or at least this is the focus of each.
A product manager probably doesn’t want to be handling just project management issues like scheduling, while a product designer would find it disingenuous to have design treated as merely pixel-pushed veneer applied near the end of a waterfall process.
Yet, when it comes to problem solving on a holistic level from either role, it’s hard for each contributor not to step into each other’s territory.
I figured that perhaps these roles are never mutually exclusive, and that their intersection was where fruitful discussion occurred between a product manager / product designer dynamic.
Here’s something that’s been on my mind for a while, even more relevant now that we’ve seen a glimpse of iOS 7.
The thing about “flat design” or whatever we want to call it is that it’s just a banner name to rally behind, the way HTML5 or AJAX were. Obviously, flatness is not meant to be taken absolutely and literally, although I’m concerned that it will be when adopted without context.
It would certainly be described as flat, relative to what people have been used to seeing in digital design. But to stop there misses the point.
We’re returning to the design fundamentals of color, shapes, and typography to visually communicate how a product behaves and responds to user interaction. ”Flat” is a misnomer because we also use depth and motion to convey hierarchy and flow.