Best practices for designers

At a glance, Productboard may seem purpose-built for product managers (and it is!), but we recognize that PMs are only one part of the EPD triangle. Designers are instrumental in shipping great products that feel great to use, and it's important to us that Productboard supports your product design workflow. Here are some tips from our own designers on how to become a Productboard power user and better integrate it into your day-to-day workflow, whether you're just getting started or you've already built your first design boards. 

In this article:

Start by talking to your team

As Productboard is a tool for product management, designers can first talk to their PMs about getting more out of Productboard on a daily basis. There are a couple of areas in product management where designers can share some of the responsibilities that traditionally fall under PMs. In this article, we provide a list of where designers can find the use of Productboard very helpful.

1. Process incoming feedback

  • Talk to your PM about being a contributor for processing feedback (Turn customer feedback into actionable insights, faster and at scale!) for some of the domains that you own. Ask if they have some notes they can sometimes off-load to you for processing; they’ll be happy to do it.
  • Ask your PM to set up an Insight Automation (available on the Essential+ plans), so certain feedback lands in your `Assigned to me` folder, and you're drawn back to Productboard by notifications. You can then link it, process it, or just keep learning from continuously reading it.
  • Dedicate a few time slots per week to triage and process notes for your team. To this topic, I recommend checking the article Help your organization understand what users need.
  • Create a note template to capture your research notes in Productboard and link them to the relevant features. For more information, see the article Create templates to save time and align your team.
Best practice: Use Productboard for writing down the notes from research sessions with customers.
  • Create insights boards around things you care about, such as customer segments or usability issues, or ask your PM if they already have a view they can share with you. For more information, see the article Use note views to group related notes
  • Check out the latest trends to identify trends in collected feedback. This can be useful for understanding the usability and UX issues of your product, and seeing your customers' feedback linked to an improvement can help to build a stronger case for investing in the usability of your product. 

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2. Understand hierarchy and structure

  • Know your hierarchy - There are tons of great ideas for your relevant domain captured in Productboard already, so having a PM walk you through it might be a great way to learn.
  • Create a features board with the stuff you care about by filtering by your domain or by feature ideas, to have an overview and better understanding of the product structure and what features and subfeatures you have there. This will help with processing notes and knowing where each note should be linked or if a new feature should be created. For more information on feature boards, see the article Use views to capture common Features board configurations.

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3. Plan and monitor delivery

  • Do your grooming and sprint planning prep in Productboard. Create a Features board grouped by release for your team. You can return to it regularly to see what’s coming in the next sprints, and what still needs design, and update it.
  • For things going into delivery, try documenting them in their feature descriptions in Productboard: Collaborate with your PM on writing the acceptance criteria, and link the right designs and specs in the feature description by embedding content in the Productboard Editor . This will make it when you push features to Jira. For more information, see Pushing features and subfeatures into Jira
  • Create a custom task on your features hierarchy for "Design" so you know where design is needed to plan your activities. For more information, see Track Tasks for each feature

4. Recruit customers for research

Designers can also use Productboard to recruit interview candidates who are customers. You can do this without going through the spreadsheets using the Customers board to see related customer context.

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Building an interview candidates list

When you are working on a feature, go through the insights linked to it and build a list of interview candidates for the discovery and validation phases, as individual insights come directly from your customers.

Segmenting interview candidates
Segment interview candidates based on the data we have about the companies they work at. Segmenting can be by:

  • Employee size
  • Persona
  • Pricing plan
  • Whether they are a power user, or not
Tip: Look up the person from whom we have the insight on LinkedIn to see their job title. This is also useful to see if they are still working at the company.
  • Customer status
  • It is preferred to interview your current customers.
  • whatever else you think is valuable for your specific project

Our integrations with Mixpanel and Amplitude help you to define filters based on the data points you gather.

5. Tracking design system work

Productboard receives a diverse range of feedback, including feedback from your customers on specific components, and attributes such as legibility, contrast, color, and in-app text. Internally, designers discuss these aspects of the product during design critiques.

As a designer, you can push this feedback and link insights to your hierarchy that captures the structure of your Design system. This has been made even easier to do with our FigJam integration, to ensure the output from your collaborative sessions is actioned on and incorporated into your product’s plans.

Getting into the habit

Just like any new habit takes time to form, making Productboard part of your day-to-day workflow requires dedicated time and effort. What would make this process easier is if the whole team uses Productboard together during any stage of product development. After all, Productboard is best when it is used with the whole team. Which will help you design and build products that meet and exceed your customers' needs.

school Productboard Academy Content

To further enhance your Productboard skills and explore advanced features, we invite you to check out the Productboard Academy. It offers a wide range of courses and webinars curated specifically for designers like you, helping you extract the maximum value from the platform. So, don't hesitate to dive into the Productboard Academy and continue your journey towards becoming a Productboard power user. 

Continue learning

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