How to Transition from UX Design to Product Management

UX plays a major role in determining the ease of usability of a given product. But, can a UX designer become a Product Manager?

We highlight the key points that are required for anyone on the lookout to transition from UX to Product Management. Because it’s possible if you start working toward it. 

Meet James Taylor

James Taylor is an experienced Product Manager and designer based in San Francisco. He is currently working as the Senior Product Manager at Xero where he combines product management strategies with design thinking and delivers successful products. His specialties include business strategy, UX design, user research, and analytics.

The Difference Between User Experience (UX) and Product Management (PM)

      • UX tasks
          • User research, journey flows & IA
          • Wireframing & prototyping
          • Visual design
          • Usability testing

Knowledge Gaps and Speaking their Terms

Learn from your peers from different domains like engineering, sales & marketing, finance, risk & compliance, customer support, and product. Treat learning about your workmates like a user interview. Make it meaningful: cut the jargon, understand your audience, and talk to them about what matters most.

Colleagues are like users; ignore their needs and they won’t care about yours either.

Being a Yes Man/Woman

    • How do you do it?
        • Offer your help.
        • Become a Subject Matter Expert.
        • Be generous with your time (for now).

Offer to take on some of your PM’s work and share your knowledge with the team.

Making the Jump

There’s no single way, so just try something and learn.

The Other Stuff

      • Work on your resume, update your LinkedIn profile and prepare for the interview.

Quantify your impact, prioritize its content, and read “Cracking the PM interview”.

You Made it, What Next?

        • Stop doing other people’s work.
        • Learn about the business.
        • Keep understanding customers.
        • Build trust with your team, and read everything you can.

Your currency as a PM is influence; make friends, be helpful and play nice.


    • Understanding users = only part of a puzzle.
    • Understand your colleagues like you would for a user.
    • Help a PM and share knowledge.
    • Review your resume & practice interviewing.
    • Jump in, make friends, and play nice.

Are you a UX designer interested in transitioning into Product? Tell us your story @productschool 

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