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The following is a guest post by Niraj Rajput, cofounder and Head of Engineering at Chisel Labs


When it comes to the success of any product, the foremost priority should be user experience.

Since product design is an amalgamation of a diverse number of things, managing the blueprint of UX design is easier when done with a roadmap.

In this article, you will learn how product roadmap and user experience are intertwined and how you can reap mutual benefits of both.

What is user experience (UX)?
What is a product roadmap?
The relationship between product roadmaps and user experience
How do product roadmaps affect user experience?
Conclusion

 

What is user experience (UX)?

UX is the combined provision of product services, product usability, team interaction, and the product interface on the user’s end. All of this converges up to the product user’s overall experience.

The importance of user experience becomes very evident through this above definition because no matter how much input and enriching features are being incorporated in the product, the only way it can be successful is based on what the user is experiencing on their end.

The benefits of understanding user experience include more effective communications with developers, innovation (designers can inspire others, not just implement), driver of development and final product, and so on.

To create effective user experiences for software or websites, it is necessary to understand how users interact with the interface and what their expectations are before they enter the site.

UX research takes place before the design stage of a product or website and is done to obtain data that can be used as a foundation for making good design decisions.

UX research also provides insights into how users behave and their needs and expectations, which helps to tailor the final product to suit those needs, resulting in a better overall experience for the users.

Having understood what user experience is, let’s briefly understand the product roadmap.

 

What is a product roadmap?

A product roadmap is a plan for the overall journey of product creation and its sustainable evolution. It involves functionality management, modification, and enhancements for the product.

A product roadmap is a path for an organization to align upon for short and long-term goals of the product for their achievement.

The key benefits of a product roadmap are:

  • Help with setting the stage for your product’s success by giving a product vision and high-level milestones to work towards.
  • An overview of how customers will benefit from using your products & services, which acts as a guide for development teams to ensure they are working on the right things.
  • A flexible plan that you can adjust as you learn more about your customers and what they need.
  • Help to ensure the whole team is on the same page about product goals, priorities, and direction.

Now, in the next section, you’ll understand how product roadmaps and user experience are related.

 

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The relationship between product roadmaps and user experience 

 

UX flows from the product roadmap

The reason for creating a digital experience starts with the requirements that come from the roadmap.

Roadmaps are the first step in creating a product strategy, and they determine what should be built.

This means that user experience workflows from the roadmap, whether it’s understanding who your audience is or performing user research to better understand their pain points.

 

UX reflects user needs and wants  

A great UX begins with knowing your audience and understanding what they need and want.

It’s a process that starts with a deeper discovery of your persona and their journey, to uncover insights on the tasks, goals, and problems they face in their experience.

 

Seamless digital experience

A product roadmap is great for setting realistic expectations about what needs to be done. But it does not create the experience itself.

It takes dedication to understand your user’s needs and wants. You are required to iterate upon prototypes or wireframes,. As well, you’ll have to collaborate with stakeholders who are excited about the quality of the overall experience you’re building together. Finally, you’ll need to shift priorities when something isn’t working.

 

UX as a plan for the future

The best thing about UX is that it never ends. It’s a constantly evolving feedback loop that requires you to be open to these changes and learnings as they happen.

Rather than just creating a roadmap, you’re also showing stakeholders and teammates that you’re willing to shift your plans as the data suggests.

 

How do product roadmaps affect user experience?

The product roadmap affects the user experience because app developers and designers basically follow this plan to determine what features should be included.

These guidelines are put in place at the beginning of the development process, but they can change along with market demand or new technological advances.

Most app publishers tend to include only critical features on their original product roadmap. Then they determine if it’s necessary to change or add any features. Any changes they make are often restricted to minor updates that will only improve the current product.

The most compelling case for adding additional features is when major new apps arrive on the market and prove themselves more useful than existing products.

Product roadmap affects user behavior. For example, when users are aware that an app will receive a major update or new features in the future, they are more likely to adopt it right away.

When multiple apps with similar functionality appear on the market, it’s advisable to create a roadmap based on your planned marketing activities and the way you plan to take advantage of user engagement.

Following aspects are how product roadmaps affect user experience:

 

1. Increases user engagement rate

Having an app means having a set of users who are eager to keep up with the latest updates and changes since they already have an investment in the product.

Even if you have a large number of users coming from another platform or prefer using your competitor’s apps, they will likely use your app if you provide a strong reason.

 

2. Increases user retention rate

By creating roadmaps and providing new functionality, updates, or changes at certain intervals, you can make sure that users come back for more. If you plan to add an in-app store in the next update – let it be known.

You can also show users that your app is constantly changing and evolving according to their needs. This will, in turn, will increase the user retention rate.

 

3. Saves money by providing a better service than the competitor

If you offer an easy-to-use service or provide added features such as photos or videos, there’s no need to add a store right away.

But if your competitor does, you should do so before they get the upper hand.

Users will be happy that you’re offering more than other apps in the same category. Plus, competition is always healthy for app developers.

 

Conclusion

Roadmaps, as discussed above, play a vital role in the overall user experience.

It can eventually lead to the success of the product team and the product.

Hence, the right amount of internal and external roadmaps can lead to the overall growth of the organization and result in a product with a satisfying experience for the users.

 

Niraj Rajput

Niraj is co-founder and Head of Engineering at Chisel Labs, a premiere agile product management software company that brings together roadmapping, team alignment, and customer connection. Niraj is passionate about building scalable infrastructure and systems and he also happens to be a huge fan of Cricket!

 


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