As product design matures as a discipline, it has the potential to partner or conflict with established product management disciplines. All of us here at Products That Count are in favor of working together! However, there can be growing pains that can take a toll on your teams. We prefer a growth mindset that sees those growing pains turned into lessons learned. Oracle SVP of UX, Hillel Cooperman, shared how in his Speaker Series event in Seattle. We recommend the entire video, but you can read the highlights below.
Cooperman saw that his product design team was better than the product management team in one key area.
“The one thing, that narrow skill, that I bring to every job is taking credit for other people’s work. Excellent at it. And so I would take their beautiful work and tell my story. People were going ‘Oh, it’s fucking awesome.’ Get everyone excited.
I saw this direct correlation between the way we told stories, about what we were going to build in the product and what we’re gonna do for customers, and the designers and what they were able to do. They were able to tell stories more effectively than the PMs. They just were better at it.”
On the disconnect between design and product
According to Cooperman, there are very few major companies that are aligned between their design and product offerings.
“I would say there are four companies in the world that I know. Big companies where there is really a beautiful harmony and symmetry between the design of the promise we make to the customer and of the product and service itself. They are harmonious. Every interaction you have with the company. It feels like they’re speaking with one singular voice. Disney. Apple, Starbucks, IKEA. Oh, Nike. I think that’s it.”
On working on a unified product design
There aren’t many companies that have a fully realized unified design. It’s Apple and a few others.
“It just doesn’t happen. But it turns out that the person who’s running design for marketing and brand, Oracle is my best friend, Jenny Lam. And the person, you know, curating a bunch of the user experience design is, I mean, shockingly, me. And we’re like this! So, we created one design system for the whole company. A design system, that’s expressive, that scales, that can tell a story with its very content heavy, or that’s very interaction heavy, or somewhere in the middle. It’s all just, and it even works in physical spaces. We could even design our events using this design system.
We announced it at OpenWorld in the fall, our big event, and now we’re busy creating this unified platform. Not just pictures, but code that the whole company’s using to build all our next-generation user experiences and it’s shockingly lovely.”
About the speaker
Hillel Cooperman is senior vice president of user experience design at Oracle, where he is transforming Oracle’s user experiences for customers. Cooperman is focused on bringing state-of-the-art, consumer-grade user experiences across devices to enterprise software scenarios. His goal is to raise the bar on every interaction customers have with Oracle software and with Oracle itself. Cooperman also recently served as design director of Microsoft’s Azure Data and Machine Learning Platform. At Microsoft, we also worked as a product unit manager of the Windows User Experience team delivering the Windows AERO desktop user experience. Cooperman has also been a speaker at numerous design and industry events including San Francisco Design Week, the Seattle Interactive Conference, DesignThinkers, CreativeMornings, Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference, O’Reilly Tools of Change, Microsoft Ignite, and TED.
About the host
I believe in our ability as humans to solve problems in creative and simple ways. I’ve had the good fortune to work on and with some of the brightest and most creative teams and people in various roles in product development. These experiences have enriched me personally and I carry them with me to every new challenge. I like big problems that have beautiful and simple solutions. I’ve worked on financial products for people of fixed income, products that bridge humans across the planet in moments of their greatest need to connect as well as tools that disambiguate, equalize and democratize access to data and content. The companies I’ve worked with range from startups to large public companies where chiefly my role has been about unlocking and connecting customer unmet needs to the people engineering and designing the products. I enjoy playing many roles and leverage the tools and resources at hand to bring products to market. I’ve direct experience when and how to deploy artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced cognitive services. My patents cover areas in video and conversational interfaces, platform extensibility, mobile applications, and large scale software. Following to be read by computers, not humans: Interests include: Human rights, feminism. food and farming sustainability, Non-Profits, product management, information retrieval, UX Design, future-of-work, artificial intelligence, machine learning, communications, virtual assistants, digital media, branding.