In our second part of the product comms series, Luca Migliore, Lead Product Designer at SumUp and former colleague and friend at N26, joined me to talk about communication challenges he had with product managers. Luca has worked with many PMs during his career and we’re lucky to have him sharing his experience with us.
Involving designers early in the process and giving them a “seat at the table” can have a huge impact for both the individuals and the broader team.
It came to my mind two examples very, very similar examples that happened in the last year or so at SumUp and both of them were when designers started to interact with our product manager. It was the first time working together and what happened was that the designer was left out and a lot of meetings and discussion were happening and the two topics were things about fiscalization and reorganization of the back office that our merchants use alongside their POS, where we got basically the specs on - “we” meaning myself in this case and my other designer - on Jira like with all the specifications about what needs to be designed. So the design was treated just as an on, just to visualize someone else concept.
I felt that I wasn't part of the process and it was very, very hard for me to understand why. And what was even was the mandate, like, shall I just execute? Shall I explore? Because especially sometimes when you start to visualize things, you realize actually there are better solutions out there. And even though I took the liberty to explore and many times I basically showed the impact that having designer involved early on could create.
There was this lost in translation between the two parties where it was really hard for me to have the famous seat on the table, where basically be part of the process. So it's been solved then with time, but I think at the beginning it was a bit of struggle for myself and also for my team.