If you give Product a button..

Based on the children’s book, “If you give a mouse a cookie.”  For all of the product and design folks I have worked with, this is written with love and good humor. I look forward to the “If you give an engineer a muffin” retort.

product and design excitedly looking at a form

If you give Product a button, they will ask for a form to go with it.

When you create the form, they’ll ask for a page.

After seeing the page, they’ll ask for a few minor tweaks.

Then they’ll want to test with other pages to make sure that it flows.

They might notice that one of the date fields does not validate intuitively.

So they’ll ask you to update the validation and you’ll tell them the field is shared on other pages as well.

When you are finished updating the validation, they’ll want to make sure the change corrects the flow.

They’ll start to test it.

They will test everywhere the field is used on the site.

They may even focus on the user experience and consult Design.

Design may notice some oddities and might suggest an external opinion.

Design will suggest User Research.

Product, Design and User Research will want to look carefully at all the pages on which the date field is used and will ask that you setup a user test environment.

They’ll call some Users.

When they hear the feedback from the Users, they’ll get so excited about some easy wins that they will wire-frame a new flow.

They will then create a prototype.

Their interaction with the prototype will make them realize that they need some additional information from the User to complete the flow.

They are missing a form.

And chances are if they ask for a form, they will want a button to go with it.

Chances are that you work with a product person. The titles come in all forms, but the point of their job is roughly the same. Turning customer facing ideas into reality. As beautifully and as quickly as possible.

If an engineering group aligns itself fully with product, the application will quickly develop a mountain of technical debt. On the other end, if product aligns fully with engineering, nothing will get out the door and what does, will be disjointed.

Balance through positive tension is key. If you are looking for more information on how Development and Product should interact, I found this article at ProductPlan pretty insightful on the topic.

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