From Cirque to UX with Justine Benoit

In this episode of The Product Angle show, from Cirque to UX. We chat with Justine Benoit about her journey from being an automation technician at Cirque du Soleil to becoming a user experience designer at BigBear, Inc.

By the end of the episode, you’ll learn about:
– How to transition your career to User Experience
– Tenets of good human-centered design
– Building Products that people love

From From Cirque to UX with Justine Benoit

About the guest

Justine is a user experience designer on a mission to create a meaningful impact in people’s lives with a Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Engineering and Design.

However, before becoming a full-time designer, Justine worked as an Automation Technician at multiple Cirque du Soleil shows including The Beatles’ LOVE and Mystere.

Key Takeaways

In this episode, Justine shares how she transitioned from an automation engineer to a user experience designer. The role of design is so important, designers need to be mindful of people, and the environment.

Find out what should you expect and what skills you should focus on building? One notable mention is the ability to communicate and negotiate your design decisions.

Justine made some time to answer some fantastic questions from the audience. Such as how to create a portfolio if you a junior designer. Justine has some fantastic tips to create an effective portfolio that can help you land a new job.

Books mentioned by Justine.
1. The design of everyday things by Don norman
2. The social animal by David brooks

Show Timestamps

05:15 – Transferring skills from automation engineering to UI/UX.
19:20 – Differences in the two roles and skills you’ll need.
24:00 – Things to consider if you are thinking of transitioning into UI/UX design.
36:00 – How the design team works with the product team.
41:00 – The importance of customer support, sales, and marketing.

Show Links

Read Justine’s work over on Medium.
Listen to other episodes of The Product Angle Show here.

How To Be Intentional With Your Time

In this episode, How To Be Intentional With Your Time (even while working remotely) we chat with Corey Fradin. Corey is the founder of QuickBooost. Corey brings his passion for planning, productivity, and goal setting. Learn as we chat about how Corey is able to get more done in the day.

You can still be productive with your time even though your boss isn’t hovering over your shoulder. Here is how to be deliberate about your day-to-day.

By the end of the episode, you’ll learn about:
– Becoming more productive so you can get more done
– Setting goals effectively

How To Be Intentional With Your Time (even while working remotely)

About the guest

Corey Fradin is the founder of QuickBooost. Corey helps his clients do more with their time, productivity, time management, goal setting, and more. As well as how you spend your time and where you spend your attention. As a result of thoughtful decisions, you can cultivate a life of meaning, purpose, fulfillment.

Key Takeaways

Goal setting is something we’ve all done at some point. Think about the typical weight loss goals we created in the new year. Unfortunately within two weeks, many people give up.

Corey shares his knowledge and expertise to create goals that are manageable. In addition, Corey shares his wisdom and actionable steps to be more intentional with your time allowing you to achieve more.

Setting goals that are in your control.

Show Timestamps

01:05 – Corey shares something that we cannot Google about him
03:07 – What is a goal and how to create them
12:40 – How motivation fits into the goal-setting strategy
14:44 – What is time management and productivity?
19:07 – How to define success

Show Links

Follow Corey over at QuickBooost.
Free Goal Success Ebook & Checklist here.
The The Definitive Goal Success Course here.
Read 3 Tips To Make “Anywhere” Your Productive Workplace, also by Corey Fradin.
Listen to other episodes of The Product Angle Show here.

How to get started in Product Management with Shrinedhi Rajan

In this episode how to get started in product management with Shrinedhi Rajan. Shrinedhi shares her journey to becoming a product manager.

By the end of the session, you’ll learn about:
– How Shrinedhi started in product management out of college.
– Steps you can take to land your first product manager role.
– Interview best practices.

How to get started in Product Management with Shrinedhi Rajan

About the guest

Shrinedhi is a product manager at PointsBet. A Chapter lead at Products By Women. She recently graduated with a master’s from Cornell University. Shrinedhi records podcasts on product management, and diversity and inclusion.

Key Takeaways

First, do you want to get started in product management?

There are *a lot* of resources out there. What do you read/ listen to?

How about learning from someone who did exactly that recently (not years ago).

Job search is difficult, especially considering COVID. However, the hiring season is back in session and so are the opportunities to break into product management.

Shrinedhi shares her experiences at Cornell University. Sharing her learnings and preparation to pursue a career in the product space.

Also, Shrinedhi breaks down her presentation:
– What is product management and after that
– Importantly understand if the role is right for you.

In conclusion, Shrinedhi loves sharing various quotes as you’ll see throughout her presentation.

Show Timestamps

01:20 – Shrinedhi shares something that we cannot Google about her.
03:20 – Start of Shrinedhi’s presentation.
10:00 – The multiple hats product managers wear.
22:10 – Creating your path into product management and the interview process.
44:43 – Finally, Q&A with Shrinedhi.

Show Links

Follow Shrinedhi on Linkedin.
Listen to other episodes of The Product Angle Show here.

Scheduling Group Meetings with the Taggg Team

In this episode of The Product Angle Show, we talk to the founders of Taggg Meetings about scheduling group meetings. Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré, Trevor Hatfield, and Aaron Krall as they share their journey creating Taggg. The product thinking behind the product and onboarding their first users.

By the end of the episode, you’ll learn about:
– How the Taggg team was formed.
– Taggg’s approach to user research.
– Onboarding Taggg’s first users.

Scheduling Group Meetings with the Taggg Team

About the Guests

Aaron Krall helps SaaS companies drive more leads, convert more users, and accelerate growth. His proven, done for you systems and frameworks have increased conversions, automated sales, and reduced churn for companies like and IBM.

Aaron runs the largest SaaS community in the world: SaaS Growth Hacks on Facebook. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife Natalie, his son, Arlo, and dog Penny. He enjoys reading horror movie synopsis on Wikipedia and leaving funny reviews on Google Maps.

Trevor is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of Taggg and also owns Inturact, a B2B SaaS growth agency, and is the head of growth at InnerTrends, a SaaS product analytics software.

Nichole is a B2B SaaS Consultant, Nichole takes startups from problem/solution fit to product/market fit, all the way through growth marketing to scale. Nichole’s specialty is in quickly diagnosing strengths and weaknesses in SaaS companies and strategizing ways to improve retention and strengthen brands. To share some of Nichole’s experiences, Nichole along with Trevor is writing a book about B2B SaaS. Nichole was unable to join us today.

Key Takeaways

We go behind the scenes to learn how the Taggg co-founders came together to create value by making scheduling group meetings easier. You know when you need to schedule a call with three or more people, it’s a pain.

We chat about customer discovery, competitors, communications, as well as roadmaps, and go to market strategy.

Show Timestamps

01:10 – Trevor and Aaron share something that we cannot Google about him.
03:05 – How the founding team came together.
04:00 – What is Taggg and what Taggg does.
28:10 – Taggg’s go to market strategy.
37:15 – What the future looks like for Taggg.

Show Links

Check out Taggg.
Follow Nichole on Twitter.
Check out Aaron on Twitter.
Follow Trevor on Twitter.
Listen to other episodes of The Product Angle Show here.

UX Teardown of InVision with Simon McCade

In this episode of The Product Angle show, we do a UX teardown of InVision with Simon McCade. Simon helps SaaS companies get more paying customers through better user experience design. Also, InVision is the digital product design platform powering the world’s best user experiences

By the end of the episode, you’ll learn about:
– Good design and areas of improvement.
– How product people and UX designers can work together effectively.
– How to get into design.

UX Teardown of InVision with Simon McCade

About the guest

Over the last 10+ years, Simon has worked with many SaaS companies, large and small, been featured in several online publications including UX Planet and UX Collective, and built a successful product design consultancy.

Key Takeaways

User experience design is so important and has a direct impact on business KPI’s. For example, user retention, driving engagement, and boost revenue by trial success).

User experience design also has internal benefits such as reducing development time.

UX and UI are both crucial to the success of your SaaS. UX is the experience within the product. For example, how the user feels and how easy to accomplish tasks. UI is the overall look and feel of the product. For example, the visual elements.

Show Timestamps

02:00 – Simon shares something that we cannot Google about him
03:00 – How Simon got into design
04:50 – What is UX (and the difference between UX and UI)
07:20 – Introduction to Invision and UX teardown of InVision
41:20 – Q & A with Simon

Show Links

Follow Simon on Linkedin.
Listen to other episodes of The Product Angle Show here.

Product Manager in Financial Services

In this episode, how to get started as a product manager in the financial services industry we chat with Amber Kearney.

By the end of the episode, you’ll learn:
– How Amber got started in Product Management.
– What it’s like working as a product manager in the financial services industry.

How to get started as a product manager in the financial services industry

About the guest

Amber Kearney is a product manager at Capital One. Before that Amber worked at Deloitte as a product manager. Amber is also experienced in various account and marketing roles. Also, one interesting fact I found out is Amber learned to speak Mandarin.

Episode Key takeaways

As a product manager, you’ll do all the normal things a product manager is expected to do. However, the regulator plays a role as a stakeholder (or team member).

Generally speaking, the regulator has more leverage than traditional stakeholders (or team members). So, it is important to work closely with the regulator.

Amber shares three nuances.

First, maintain a relationship with regulators. Keep an open line of communication. Regulators, users, and business stakeholders all play a role in how you prioritize and what features you build as a product manager.

Secondly, innovate responsibly. We build products that disrupt the traditional banking or financial model using new emerging technology in a responsible way. It is important to maintain regulator empathy.

Thirdly, the role of controls and risk management. Things unfortunately happen. However, it is important to perform a root cause analysis and remediation. Also, what controls do you have in place to prevent it from happening again?

Finally, I also got the opportunity to ask Amber other product questions such as:
– What is a roadmap?
– Getting alignment and buy-in?

Plus Amber made my day by stressing how important collaboration and negotiation skills are.

Episode timestamps

01:14 – Amber shares something that we cannot Google about her.
04:12 – How to get started as a product manager in the financial services industry.
05:20 – Amber’s journey to tech in financial services.
12:15 – Three nuances for working in regulated industries.
23:00 – Q & A with Amber.

Episode links

Follow Amber on Twitter or Linkedin.
Listen to other episodes of The Product Angle Show here.

Building an Excellent Product Roadmap with Scott Baldwin

In this episode of The Product Angle show, we talk about building an excellent product roadmap. If your role involves building roadmaps then you’ll definitely want to hear Scott Baldwin, Product Excellence Consultant at Productboard talk about the considerations that go into building a roadmap.

By the end of the episode, you’ll learn about:
– What is a roadmap?
– How do you go about getting alignment and buy-in for your roadmap?
– What should product managers aspire to in their approach to roadmap development?

Building an Excellent Product Roadmap

About the Guest

Scott is a dynamic, enthusiastic, passionate, and results-driven self-starter with 20+ years of product management experience coaching and leading teams and working with customers to deliver compelling products that improve growth, market share, and spark customer delight. He currently works at Productboard as a Product Excellence Consultant helping teams organizationally and strategically.

Key Takeaways

As product managers, we have access to limited assets and resources. Using these assets and resources we need to translate the product vision into a product roadmap.

A roadmap is a:
– Live document
– Communication tool for alignment between you and the rest of the organization.
– Tool for creating a shared understanding and creating conversations.
– Tool that shows where you are going to go and why.
– A roadmap is a hard artifact that is built around a bunch of soft conversations.

When looking at what a product roadmap is, Scott also advocates for defining what a product roadmap is not:
– A release plan
– A substitute for a lack of vision or strategy
– Built by gut and opinion
– Closed off and built in a silo
– Something you get locked into

When we asked Scott how to build a roadmap he shared Align > Prioritize > Design and Refine > Share and Communicate.

First, align on where you’re going and where you can add value – vision, strategy, and objectives. Prioritize by reviewing inputs, sharing drafts, and helping stakeholders understand the why and tradeoffs that have been made.

Design the right roadmap — timeframes, objectives/goals, features, and be open to iteration. Share and communicate to establish a shared understanding but also regularly communicate changes and outcomes

However, building a roadmap is a collaborative effort. Therefore, use this opportunity to build your soft skills to collaborate, storytelling, and building alignment with other team members. Especially, if their requests made it into the roadmap.

Show Timestamps

01:24 – Scott shares something that we cannot Google about him
04:43 – What is the role and purpose of a roadmap
11:15 – Steps to take to create a roadmap and considerations
22:20 – Getting alignment and buy-in on roadmaps
26:40 – Challenges product managers face, Productboard, and Product Excellence

Show Links

– Productboard helps product managers understand what customers need, prioritize what to build next, and rally everyone around the roadmap. Sign up for a free trial check out Productboard.
– Learn more about roadmaps on Productboard’s blog.
– Find out what Productboard thinks about roadmaps with dates on them
– Productboard’s Product Excellence Maturity Model.
– Productboard’s The Path to Product Excellence.
– Listen to other episodes of The Product Angle here.

Conversation with a Software & Non-Software PdM

In this episode, Conversation with a Software & Non-Software PdM we talk to Pippa Gittings, and Nikitha Suryadevara. As we compare and contrast working as a software and non-software Product Manager.

By the end of the episode, you’ll learn about:
– Comparing and contrasting the roles and responsibilities.
– How the role fits into the larger organization.
– What does success mean in their respective roles.

Conversation with a Software & Non-Software PdM

About the Guests

Nikitha Suryadevara is a product manager at VMware based in San Francisco. Nikitha works on all things VMs, containers, and Kubernetes.

Pippa Gittings is one of four digital product managers at the Natural History Museum in London UK. Pippa works with a cross-functional team to improve the existing website and create new digital products. All aimed at getting more people out into nature and exploring.

Key takeaways

Traditionally when we think about Product Management we tend to think about creating software products where the product is *generally* the business.

However, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a Product Manager when the product isn’t the business this is the session for you.

Show timestamps

Coming soon

Show links

Natural History Museum London, UK.
Listen to other episodes of The Product Angle here.

Demystifying Roadmaps With Jim Semick

Jim Semick is the Co-founder and Chief Strategist of ProductPlan. He is a consummate Product Manager. Jim has helped launch new products, generating hundreds of millions in revenue. He was part of the founding team at AppFolio, a vertical SaaS company. Before AppFolio, Jim validated and helped launch GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting. Both of these were acquired by Citrix. Jim is a frequent speaker on product management and the process of discovering successful business models. Jim has authored a book on the subject, aptly titled – “Product Roadmaps, Your Guide to Planning and Selling Your Strategy”. We requested Jim to come to the Product Angle Show and help demystifying roadmaps. 

Demystifying Roadmaps: What is it? 

Roadmaps are one of the most coveted and controversial artifacts in the trade of Product Management. There is no shortage of definitions on what is a roadmap. However, when asked for his definition, Jim described it remarkably well. He called roadmap a “living and strategic document,” that serves to articulate the what, and why for a product (and an organization). He stated that a roadmap is an organic set of themes that continues to evolve as new data and information emerges. In a classic Product Manager (PM) style, he quickly specified what does not qualify to be a Roadmap. Execution and tracking are essential for delivery, Jim pointed out that it isn’t what needs to be on a roadmap. A roadmap is not a backlog of a list of things that need to get done. 

Building and Prioritizing Items on a Roadmap

Everyone in an organization wants to be part of building and contributing to a roadmap. Given multiple stakeholders, it is essential to get buy-in. A common misstep is not communicating with the stakeholders early enough. Jim shared that when building a roadmap, PMs should think of strategic themes. In addition to interacting with the stakeholders early in the process, it is also critical to communicate the prioritization framework. Helping other functions understand why something did not make it to the roadmap is vital to ensure clarity towards a shared vision. 

We discuss how Jim has evolved as a Product Manager, his advice for early- to mid-career Product Managers, and much more on this session. Jim also referenced a key point from Marty Cagan around “specials.” To learn all about this please watch the video of our chat with Jim.

Whether you are new to Product Management or been creating roadmaps for years, there’s something to learn for everyone.

By the end of the session, you’ll learn about:
– What is a roadmap?
– How do you build and prioritize items on it?
– How does a roadmap help align various stakeholders?
– Best practices

Learn more about Jim: About | LinkedIn | Twitter

Try ProdutPlan for free by signing up.

Download a free digital copy of Jim’s book – “Product Roadmaps, Your Guide to Planning and Selling Your Strategy.” 

Learn more about Product Roadmaps from other experts.