In: product management

As a Product Manager you are often asked to create and maintain a product roadmap. In this post I provide 5 tips that will help you build a successful product roadmap.

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Great products are only built by great teams. A great team has the right balance between people focused on discovering what to build and people building it.

By the end of last year I attended a conference where I talked to someone from IBM who told me how they were hiring 1,000 designers to try to get the ratio of designers to engineers to 1 to 10. This prompted me to investigate what was the ratio of product management and design to engineering in some successful companies.

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This is the last article of the Become a Product Hero series. I will focus on usability testing using UserTesting.

So far we have seen how to quickly get to a definition of a product or feature by building wireframes with Balsamiq and how to build an interactive prototype with Sketch and Marvel. Now it is time to validate that what you have designed is easy to use.

Equipped with your product or feature prototype you are ready to start testing with real users to prove they are able to use it to achieve a successful outcome with as little friction as possible. This is called usability testing.

In the old days usability testing was expensive and time consuming. It usually consisted on getting potential users in a lab and watching them as they would use your product to perform a series of tasks.

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In this article we will look at how to create quick prototypes for getting initial feedback using  Sketch and Marvel.

You have created and shared your wireframes with Balsamiq. You have gathered feedback and incorporated into your wireframes. You think you have a pretty good definition of the different screens. Now it’s time to bring life to your wireframes. And we will do it without writing a single line of code!

By bringing life to our wireframes I mean that we will be creating an interactive prototype that will simulate the real application.

Before you start any work you should select what makes sense to include in the prototype. Building prototypes is more complex than building wireframes. Depending on the size of your product or feature, it would make sense to narrow down the scope. If you have to do that, make sure you focus on the main value proposition, that is, the main problem you are trying to address so that you can test and validate that you are providing a great solution to that problem.

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Balsamiq is a simple yet amazing tool for building User Interface sketches (known as wireframes) to effectively materialize your vision about a desktop, web or mobile product/feature and start gathering initial feedback.

Balsamiq tries to replicate the experience of sketching on a notepad and it does it very well. Since it is digital you can build scketches much more efficiently that on paper and feel comfortable that what you are producing will look good and be easy to understand. Some people still prefer drawing their own sketches on paper but that’s not for me.

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