Where do you draw the line between product management and user experience?

This is really three questions in one:

  1. First, it’s a question I am asking you. Where does one role end and the other begin in your shop? Is it a settled issue? How well is it working out?
  2. Second, it’s an interview question most product, UX, and design practitioners will encounter as they seek opportunities in new environments and take on greater responsibilities.
  3. Finally, it’s a question every product leader has to answer for their own team, mission, and organization. Does UX report to product or are they…

If you’re considering product management, here’s a preview of what it will be like.

Product manager workdays change depending on where you are in the rhythmic development cadence, on the role you play on the team, and on the approach to product management pursued by your organization.

But there are recognizable patterns.

So, for example, across multiple product management roles I can synthesize a generic typical day that would fit many real days across those years, something like this:

At home / before official workday starts

4:30 am — wake up in the middle of the night and remember something important that nobody else is tracking. Either jot it down on the night-table or get out of bed, move to the…


Hummingbird, hummingbird,
Brand-new breakfast treat.

Cigarettes and Goobers,
Mighty good to eat.

Hummingbird, o hummingbird,
Bran-new breakfast treat.

Cigarettes and Goobers,
Might be good to eat.


Someone on a mailing list for scholarly Dead heads (yes, shut up) asked for stories about Dead shows at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley in the 1980s. I offered to tell one. Names have been inadequately disguised.

It was the summer of 1987. A year earlier I had driven most of the way across the country (before driving off the road near Gillette, Wyoming), and flown the rest of the way to start my post-graduation life in San Francisco, crashing with a bunch of friends of mine, known as the Geebens, who had graduated, or dropped out, the year before me and were at the time crammed into a tickytack rental in Diamond heights.

Since then the Geebens had rented two houses a block apart from each other in the neighborhood of UC Med, near 9th and…

christian crumlish

Product leader @dinp.xyz, writing Product Management for UX Designers (Rosenfeld Media) and Growing Product People (Sense and Respond) — more xian @crumlish.me.

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