What is product sense?
Product sense is the ability to understand a product’s needs. Moreover, it’s the sense of what makes a product great. Furthermore, this isn’t necessarily an innate talent – it’s a skill that can be shaped, built, and improved over time. Product sense is one of the core hard skills that successful product managers should master. In this piece, we’ll cover the basics of the term. Moreover, we will provide the tools product managers, and teams need to improve their product sense.
First things first – what does a strong product sense mean? The term reflects an instinctive ability to create product solutions that successfully meet user needs. Moreover, the term also reflects – those needs aren’t immediately apparent. A strong product manager with this skill set will understand what product features make sense to a user, and which don’t.
Furthermore, they’ll understand user pain points and provide solutions to resolve them. Product sense is a crucial component of product development and any product roadmap. It’s an essential skill for creating impactful products with users in mind. Meeting user needs leads a product to success.
How can product leaders develop this sense?
There are many ways that product managers and product leaders can hone this skill and gauge user needs more intuitively. Let’s get into how to do it.
The easiest way to improve this skill is simply to gain practical, real-world experience. By utilizing, testing, and working hands-on with features, you’ll develop a sense of what feels “right” with a product and what doesn’t.
Be intentional about building this experience. Take notes and study why some features are more useful than others and in what ways users benefit from features.
Studying competitor products is another effective way to improve your skills. Analyze their product features from a user standpoint and assess successes and failures. Compare their product to your own development, and see if there are user needs that a competitor’s product addresses and yours doesn’t. Conversely, consider areas where your product better fits user needs.
Studying which features benefit users and which don’t help to put you in a user’s shoes and understand their pain points.
Define your goals
Clearly defining product goals ensures that your product roadmap always keeps users in mind. By defining goals and your ideal user, you ensure that your product stays in alignment with the people it’s meant to reach. Your skillset will naturally improve as you define goals and move your product forward.
Practice makes perfect
Just like any other skill, practice makes perfect. Building this skill will help you hone your skills, ultimately developing an innate sense of what makes products great and building the best features for users.