Product Management vs User Experience – Similarities & Differences

Here’s an interesting article from earlier this year on the UXPin blog which attempts to differentiate between Product Management and User Experience Designer:

Product Manager and UX Designer – What’s the Difference?
I’ve heard from couple of well respected UX Designers, that currently Product Development and User Experience Design are almost the same and in the lean future they actually should become the same. UX Designers are expected to understand business objectives (couldn’t agree more!), be really team oriented (collaboration is crucial!) and guide product through iterations (we should be great at measuring behaviour and acting upon results!).
(View Original Article)

I agree with a good portion of the article’s content, but I think what’s missing is a distinction between the main focus of these two functions.  In my experience product management focuses on a deep understanding of the domain and competitive space (competitors and competing products) to help guide the overall direction of an organization and/or its offerings. User Experience Design, on the other hand, focuses on a deep understanding of the users (and their attendant needs and desires) within the domain, to help guide the initial design and ongoing evolution of an organization’s offerings.

There is of course an overlap between the two functions, and input from both are crucial to building out experiences that are both useful and usable.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? What other differences (or simnilarities) do you see between the two functions?


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