The official guide for the top 50+ recommended product manager tools.

Learnings, opensource, Product, startup, Uncategorized

Collaboration

Confluence: Wiki tool to centralize your team’s product knowledge.

Google Sites: Launch an intranet for your company, a project site for your team or a portal for customers with our site builder.

Slack: Platform for team communication: everything in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go.

TinyPM: Lightweight and smart agile collaboration tool with product management, backlog, taskboard, user stories and wiki.

 

Product Roadmap

 
Aha: Web-based product strategy and roadmapping software for agile product managers.

ProdPad: Lets you capture ideas and feedback, create product specs, and build product roadmap.

ProductPlan: Lets you plan and communicate your product roadmap.

Roadmunk: Visual roadmap software for product management.

 

Project Management

 Asana: A web and mobile application designed to enable teamwork without email.

Basecamp: A web-based project management and collaboration tool.

Blossom: A lightweight project management tool for modern software development teams that love continuous delivery & simplicity.

CodeTree: Adds extra functionality on top of GitHub issues to help with project management.

Jira: A flexible and scalable issue tracker for software teams.

Pivotal Tracker: A lightweight, agile project management tool for software teams.

Sprint.ly: Agile project management software for your whole team.

Trello: A tool to visually organize and see your project in a single glance.

Wrike: A work management and collaboration platform used by high-performance teams everywhere.

 

Productivity

 Evernote: Lets you take notes, track tasks, and save things you find online.

Omnifocus: A task management platform for Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

RescueTime: A personal analytics service that shows you how you spend your time and provides tools to help you be more productive.

Todoist: An online task management app and to-do list.

Wunderlist: Lets you create and collaborate on to-do lists.

 

E-mail Marketing

 Aweber: E-mail marketing software that allows you to quickly segment your lists by subscriber opens or clicks, location, and even what pages subscribers visited on your website.

Constant Contact: Offers effective email marketing and other online marketing campaigns to meet your business goals.

Goodbits: Build newsletters for your team or customers in minutes.

InfusionSoft: Combines CRM, email and social marketing, and e-commerce solutions. It is most known for it’s easy ability to segment subscribers by activity to help you send very targeted emails.

MailChimp: Online email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails and track results.

 

User Research

 Google Forms: Lets you create a new survey on your own or with others at the same time.

SurveyMonkey: Lets you create and publish online surveys in minutes, and view results graphically and in real time.

Typeform: A form and survey builder that makes asking questions easy on any device.

UserTesting: Lets you get videos of real people speaking their thoughts as they use your product.

UXCam: Allows you to eliminate customer struggle and improve user experience by capturing and visualizing screen video and user interaction data.

 

Metrics & Analytics

 CrazyEgg: Visualize where your visitors click and engage with your website.

GoodData: A cloud-based business intelligence platform providing data management solutions for businesses.

Google Analytics: Provides data collection / management, data consolidation, data analytics, and reporting.

Kissmetrics: Delivers key insights and timely interactions to turn visitors into customers.

Mixpanel: An analytics platform for the mobile and web, supporting businesses to study consumer behavior.

Optimizely: An experience optimization platform enabling A/B and multivariate testing for users to enhance their websites & mobile apps.

Qualaroo: A qualitative insights SaaS solution that is triggered by web visitor behavior, providing intelligence that helps marketers better understand customer needs.

Segment: A single hub to collect, manage, and route your customer analytics data.

 

Design

 Flaticon: A search engine for 16000+ glyph vector icons.

Sketch: A really easy to use design tool for designers. Currently only available on Mac.

Noun Project: Search over 100,000 icons that you can drag and drop into your favorite Mac apps.

 

Wireframe / Mockups

 
Axure: An interactive wireframe software and mockup tool.

Balsamiq: A wireframing and mock up tool with a high focus on usability. Quickly come up with mock ups and easily share them with your clients.

Mockingbird: Helps you you create and share clickable wireframes. Use it to make mockups of your website or application in minutes.

Moqups: An HTML5 app used to create wireframes and mockups.

UXPin: Lets you wireframe any user interface quickly and easily.

 

Prototyping

 
Invision: A prototyping tool that lets you upload designs and add hotspots to transform your static screens into clickable, interactive prototypes complete with gestures, transitions, and animations.

Proto.io: Lets you create fully-interactive high-fidelity prototypes that look and work exactly like your app should.

Protoshare: An easy-to-use, collaborative prototyping tool that helps teams visualize requirements with website wireframes and interactive software and mobile prototypes while working together in real-time.

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Google’s HEART framework for UI metrics

Customer Needs, Frontend, Learnings, Product, Uncategorized

In order to pick the proper feature-level metrics, exploring
Google’s HEART framework for UI metrics may be a good starting
point:

H – Happiness Metrics (like user satisfaction scores)
E – Engagement Metrics (like average visits or uses per user)
A – Adoption Metrics (like new users)
R – Retention Metrics (like churn)
T – Task Success Metrics (like form error rates)

Product Management – Summary

Learnings, Product, Uncategorized

 

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1. Agile Methodology
a. A software development philosophy that emphasizes the development of solutions through collaboration between self-organizing and crossfunctional teams.
b. Agile Manifesto

2. Bugs, defects
a. An unintended or unexpected result or behavior in software.
b. The product manager is responsible for prioritizing the severity of the bug. Sometimes bugs are “production issues” and need to be fixed immediately while others can be shelved to be fixed at a later time.
c. Usually discovered by the Quality Assurance engineer, automated tests, the product manager or users of the product.

3. Customer Interviews
a. Also known as Customer Discovery Interviews
b. The goal is to gather the voice of the customer or user of the product.
c. This is also an opportunity to test assumptions you have about the end user and your proposed solutions for their problems.
d. Customer Development Interviews How-to: What You Should Be Learning
e. 12 Tips for Customer Development Interviews

4. Designers
a. Product Managers work with designers to create everything from the overall feel of the product to the minute details about the look and placement of buttons.

5. Developers
a. Product Managers work with developers to turn the product and designs into actual products that are usable by customers. b. Product Managers also help answer developer questions about priority of certain features or bugs and for clarity on certain product requirements as they arise throughout the development stage

6. Executive stakeholders
a. Executives at a company that have a vested interest in the success of the product that you are working on.
b. It’s important to get buy-in from executives because they often help with resource allocation and if you have an executive invested in your product then you can get things done much easier and faster.

7. Issue Tracking / Issue Tracker
a. A tool used by product managers, project managers, developers and quality assurance engineers to track the work they are making on a particular feature or bug

8. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
a. The most important metric used to gauge the success of a product
b. Example KPIs: Revenue, User Signups, Churn Rate, Profit, Cost Savings

9. Mockups
a. Very early drafts to show the general look and some functionality of a product
b. Product managers put together mockups either themselves or work with a designer.
c. The mockups are living documents that change as the product requirements change.
d. Once the product is more fleshed out and there are much less changes to the mockups, the designer will invest time to create a high-fidelity mockup (for example, using Adobe Photoshop) which the developers use when building the product.
e. The most popular mockup tool is Balsamiq.

10. Product managers
a. Product managers lead cross-functional teams from departments like marketing, development, design and sales.
b. Product Managers are the CEO of the product.
c. Product Managers create the vision and direction for the products that they manage and then create much more detailed plans on how to turn the vision into actual product features.
d. Quora answer on: What is Product Management.

11. Product Roadmap
a. A plan put together by the product manager that prioritize and estimates release dates for the product’s features

12. Project managers
a. Product Managers work with project managers to get development work scheduled.
b. The Project Manager runs most of the meetings that the product manager and developers are in together and also helps move projects along by coordinating with the product management and development teams and removing blockers for developers.
c. Often called the Scrum Master in the Scrum Methodology.

13. Quality Assurance Engineers (QA engineers)
a. Product Managers work with QA engineers to help QA engineers test the code and features that the developers build.
b. Products are not allowed to be released if the quality assurance engineers do not sign off.

14. Scrum
a. The most popular implementation of the Agile Methodology. b. What is Scrum?

15. Stories
a. Also known as User Stories
b. A requirement document in Agile Methodology.
c. Different than the typical “requirements document” in that rather than talking about specific technical requirements, user stories are conversational sentences around the desired functionality.

16. Story Points
a. Story Points are assigned to User Stories.
b. Story Points are assigned by the developers working on the project and convey the level of effort they think is required to complete the particular user story.

17. Usability Testing
a. Usually performed by a User Experience Researcher or a combination of the Product Manager and Designer.
b. The goal is to evaluate a product by putting it in the hands of real users and observing the way they interact with the product.
c. Often times usability tests will give a user a specific task and then observe how the user completes the task, where they get confused and need help.
d. The output of a usability test is to uncover missing features, unused features, and points of confusion

18. User Experience
a. The overall experience that a user has with a product.
b. UX includes UI.

19. User Interface
a. The way the user interacts with the product.
b. The simplest case are the buttons and forms on a website.
c. User Interface is a combination of the ‘look and feel’ of the product and ‘how it works’.
d. The User Interface is heavily informed and guided by the User Experience research.

20. User Persona
a. A type of person that will use the product.
b. It’s an imaginary user that has a specific behavior, attitude and goal.
c. User stories should be created with user personas in mind.

Product Manager – Tools

Learnings, Product, startup, Uncategorized

Rusty_tools.JPG

The most successful product managers are organized so that your thoughts can be organized. If you have an organized mind you can communicate more clearly and being a great communicator is the key to success as a product manager.

If you aren’t naturally talented at communicating, you can go very far by focusing on being organized.

The best way to stay organized is to rely on tools to help you do the job.

Here are all the types of tools that most product managers have in their toolbelt and suggestions for apps and websites for each type of tool.

Feature and Bug Tracking

Sometimes also referred to as “issue tracker” or “issue tracking” tools. These are software applications that are used to keep a backlog of features that the product management team wants to create, the developers are in the middle of creating, or are created.

Usually a feature tracking tool integrates functionality to track bugs that are reported either internally or externally by users.

Roadmap Planning

Roadmapping helps you plan out your product’s features over the course of months and even years. It’s important to keep an organized roadmap using a roadmap planner so you can get a high level view of what features need to be implemented and when they can be implemented.

As a product manager you’ll be referring to the roadmap frequently when internal stakeholders (like executives and sales people) and clients want an idea of what’s to come.

Wireframing

Wireframing is essentially a draft or a sketch of the feature or product that you’re building. You can use these wireframes to validate the feature or product before it get’s built and also to communicate how you want the product or feature to work and look to your developers.

Multi-Purpose Product Management Tools

Product Management – Removing Zombie Features

Learnings, Uncategorized

clutter-creativity-ftr.jpg

Usually no body thinks of removing old features which are not much used . Reason is mostly as we always concentrate on new and revenue generating features. Knowing the value by removing a old feature not in use is not thought about much.

There might be many good or bad reasons for remiving a old feature. Some of them which cross my mind are:

1. Simplified customer experience

Additional modules or menu items or settings make it difficult for new customers to find what is important. Even for experienced customers, every additional option adds “cognitive load” and makes a service feel less delightful, and more like work.

2. Reduced “load time” and increased speed of the servic

Sites with fast page load have higher conversion rates and more love from Google for search ranking. Most importantly, fast sites and apps respect our customers’ valuable time.

But, you may say, why not just hide the features for new or casual customers, or move them somewhere that only power users will see them? Unfortunately, doing so wouldn’t accomplish these other benefits:

3. Improved stability and reliability

Features introduce bugs unless they are regularly tested. The funny thing about software is that it often is intertwined in ways that make the consequences of changes difficult to predict. A decade ago, software companies would have employed armies of QA testers to do end to end tests on an app before releasing changes. The world is different now: we leverage test automation in addition to focused QA testing, and we move faster and introduce more innovations to market. However, despite best efforts, unintended consequences pop up, which take time and effort to diagnose and resolve.

4. Improved ability to innovate

Features add to code (software) complexity, and thus slow our ability to build or fix what is most important.

5. Ease of hiring and training new developers

Simpler code results in a lower learning curve.

6. Lowered cost of technology upgrades

When companies upgrade their underlying technology, features often need to be rebuilt. While I was at Urbanspoon, we upgraded the website to be responsive (so that our pages resize gracefully for tablets and phones). This required many if not all of our website features to be rebuilt.

However before you proceed make sure you have

  • segmented your usage data
  • informed and spoken to your most local and vocal customers
  • tested thoroughly
  • removed features in groups – impact is lesser

 

5 Awesome Data Analytics tools

Learnings, Uncategorized
  1. Segment  – Collect customer data with one API and send it to hundreds of tools for analytics, marketing, and data warehousing.
  2. Zendesk – Zendesk makes it easy to support customers when they need your help. Zendesk also makes it easy for them to help themselves when they don’t.
  3. Stripe – Stripe is a suite of APIs that powers commerce for businesses of all sizes.
  4. Mixpanel – World’s most advanced mobile & web analytics.
  5. MailChimp – Online email marketing solution to manage subscribers, send emails, and track results. Offers integrations with other programs.

 

Kano Model

Customer Needs, Learnings, Product, Uncategorized

Kano_model_showing_transition_over_time

It classifies customer preferences into five categories.

1. Must-be Quality 
These attributes are taken for granted when fulfilled but result in dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. An example of this would be a package of milk that leaks. Customers are dissatisfied when the package leaks, but when it does not leak the result is not increased customer satisfaction. Since customers expect these attributes and view them as basic, it is unlikely that they are going to tell the company about them when asked about quality attributes.
2. One-dimensional Quality 
These attributes result in satisfaction when fulfilled and dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. These are attributes that are spoken and the ones in which companies compete. An example of this would be a milk package that is said to have ten percent more milk for the same price will result in customer satisfaction, but if it only contains six percent then the customer will feel misled and it will lead to dissatisfaction.
3. Attractive Quality 
These attributes provide satisfaction when achieved fully, but do not cause dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. These are attributes that are not normally expected, For example, a thermometer on a package of milk showing the temperature of the milk. Since these types of attributes of quality unexpectedly delight customers, they are often unspoken.
4. Indifferent Quality 
These attributes refer to aspects that are neither good nor bad, and they do not result in either customer satisfaction or customer dissatisfaction. For example, thickness of the wax coating on a milk carton. This might be key to the design and manufacturing of the carton, but consumers are not even aware of the distinction.
5. Reverse Quality 
These attributes refer to a high degree of achievement resulting in dissatisfaction and to the fact that not all customers are alike. For example, some customers prefer high-tech products, while others prefer the basic model of a product and will be dissatisfied if a product has too many extra features.

What does it do?

kano-model__home

  • To communicate 5 universal categories of customer requirements that all product and service developers need to be aware of in order to remain competitive.
  • To show how each of these 5 universal categories can influence satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
  • To show how 2 of the categories add value and 2 of the categories detract from value, and 1 of the categories creates new value.
  • To help organizations understand their customer needs better than their customers understand their own needs.
  • To provide a mechanism to help organizations understand and classify all potential customer requirements or features into these 5 categories so they can prioritize development efforts on the things that most influence satisfaction and loyalty. This is done by the Kano Survey, or sometimes called a Kano Analysis.

Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kano_model, Google Images, http://www.kanomodel.com/

Why beacons’ bright light dimmed in 2015 — and what’s next Beacons were the ‘bright object’ of this year that no longer seem so shiny. But retailers with a broader mobile strategy could yet find them useful.

Beacons, Learnings, Uncategorized

Beacons, the low-powered radio transmitters employing Bluetooth connectivity to find and communicate with nearby smartphones, was one of this year’s hot retail topics. Beacons in store can trigger push notifications to beam special offers or useful content to shoppers’ phones.

Sounds like a brick-and-mortar retailer’s dream, right?

After all, 80% of customers say they’re more likely to engage with retailers’ apps while shopping if they get notifications on deals and discounts, according to a study from Swirl. And some 62% of respondents said they’d engage if content is customized to their preferences and “likes.”

But there’s a decidedly mixed pattern of views on the future of beacons, with some saying their ubiquity is just a matter of time and others saying their utility is more limited than initially thought, and not so much in marketing.

In reality, 2016 is not likely to see a huge number of retailers jump on the beacon bandwagon. More likely, retailers will take a step back and assess the potential of mobile more broadly as a part of their in-store strategy.

“Beacons were the shiny object in 2015, and there was a lot of investment in them,” retail futurist Doug Stephens told Retail Dive. “I think that what relailers are discovering is that beacons may not simply be yet another channel through which promotion and messaging get shoved down to shoppers. I think we’re going to mature beyond that.”

Who’s using beacons

Macy’s, Sephora, Target, GameStop, and Lowe’s, and, frankly, most larger retail chains have at least tested beacons in their stores. That has allowed reporters, bloggers, and consultants to suss out how they work in the real world. From a nuts and bolts standpoint, in some cases some simple tweaksseem to be in order, like making sure batteries are charged, antennas are properly oriented without interference, and beacons are placed well. 

Otherwise, the tech can be touchy. Sometimes, for example, beacons will greet customers repeatedly after already having entered a store if they happen to pass near the entrance. Then there are the aspects out of a retailer’s control; the Bluetooth connectivity must be on and a retailer’s app must be downloaded onto the phone for beacons to communicate. 

Beyond such nitty-gritty details, though, many customers aren’t very appreciative of the tech’s “smart” features, reporting, for example, that getting a coupon for an item they’re looking at can be creepy. So one reason beacons have failed to emerge as a major retail force is that the technology hasn’t yet been refined to be really useful to the shopper.

“From a consumer standpoint, using beacons is sort of a hassle, when it involves downloading and installing an app that doesn’t relate to the users’ lifestyle,” Kim Stuart, COO of mobile wallet marketing services vendor Atlas Rewards Corp., told Contently. “Most companies fail to realize that spending the money to create (and then support) an app is a fruitless enterprise on their part [because] they don’t have a user base that’s large enough to make it worthwhile.” 

It may be hard to believe that independent tech consultant Hari Gottipati is even still a fan of beacons, considering that his initial impression, two years ago, of the tech’s usefulness has largely fizzled. But he now believes, reportsBloomberg, that the technology will be more useful to customers in their homes, helping them to manage their connected devices, rather then in stores helping them to shop.

‘More than a hammer’

Yet, while beacons may be falling flat as a marketing tool, they could remain valuable to retailers as a source of data, some observers say. And if consumers begin to use them and find them helpful in other contexts, retailers could find them more receptive to them in store as well. 

“Retailers might recognize that beacons are not so much a push platform, but a pull platform,” Stephens says. “They should be giving consumers the ability to pull info from a beacon at their behest. They can use that interaction as a means of measuring the desire that consumers are bringing, how they’re using the store experience.”

“Shoppers are looking for information about price, reviews, performance,” he continued. “Retailers haven’t been good at consistent sales floor support, but beacons could be a great way of providing information, and of measuring which products they’re interested in. 2015 is the year that we took this hammer that is beacons, and everything looked like a nail. In 2016 think retailers will realize that it’s a much more useful tool than just being a hammer.”

Different approaches

A more refined approach may already be under way at Target, which has been working with indoor mapping technology company Point Inside since last year to map each store, reflecting the unique layouts and shopping patterns of each neighborhood spot, and, as Point Inside CEO Josh Marti puts it, treating each shelf like a web page on e-commerce.

“Beacons are extremely helpful for so many things,” Marti told Retail Dive. “They can helpful to a retailer in understanding how to reorder your shopping list or understanding how to dispatch associates or understanding wait times—and there are so many more things that they can do.”

But, Marti says, beacons aren’t the key or even a necessary part of a retailer’s mobile strategy. For example, beacons could help shoppers know ahead of time if the item they seek is at their local Target. Even better, he says, physical retailers can take a page from Amazon and suggest other items that are also in store using machine learning technology.

“You can actually use shoppers’ mobile searches and what’s on their list to project their location in the store, you don’t necessarily need beacons,” he says. “The retailer has so many physical assets, the shopper already knows how to engage with that.”

Bottom line, says Marti, retailers must continue to develop both their mobile web and mobile app capabilities to communicate with their customers on and offline. And the communication should go both ways, to the benefit of both.

“For right now, given the landscape, it’s safe to say that in the next three years, retailers with a loyal following in the 10 million category should continue to focus on their mobile brand and strategy for their loyal shoppers,” he says. “We used to debate mobile web or app—but it has to be both.”

A good web experience can lead shoppers to your app, where there’s higher conversion and basket size “both in store and through that app.” 

With or without beacons.