The Product Awards are fast approaching, with March 4, 2020, just around the corner! It is our honor to celebrate the best tools that product managers put to use during each stage of the product lifecycle. Each category for the Awards represents one of those stages. Macmillan Learning Senior Director of Product on Design, Neha Taleja, is the Awards Advisory Board member representing the Design stage.

The Product Awards Design categories are lucky to have Neja Taleja onboard. Here’s what she had to say about her category:

Why did this category speak to you?

For Taleja, the ability to paint a picture (almost literally) can be an essential part of communication for a product manager.

“Understanding user pain points, articulating them and brainstorming solutions that can be represented with pictorial superiority is a critical part of any product manager’s role. The ability to work with UX teams, share and review designs with stakeholders, solicit feedback and validation on both low and high fidelity prototypes is a fairly common task for several product managers.

The right tools can really amplify the velocity to this process and make the experience delightful. The design category awards will help product professionals help identify the tools that can help them achieve goals in the design phase of their product development process.”

What characteristics must a product have to be award-worthy for this category?

On Product Talk, Taleja went into great detail about the Product Awards and her stage of the product lifecycle, Design. However, she made it nice and easily digestible for all of you to read right here as well.

“There are several aspects that make a design tool effective and delightful. The following characteristics of the product led to us filtering which tools qualify for being award-worthy for this category:

  • It offers an easy interface for users (both internal and external) to provide feedback
  • The product offers out of the box analytics and insights making it easy for product and UX to collaborate and come to decisions
  • Has a strong customer base and provides evidence for stickiness and retention in their marketing collateral
  • If a product has strong testimonials both in terms of volume as well as the quality of feedback”

What product deserves a lifetime achievement award for this category?

Just because a product hasn’t been around since the beginning of time, doesn’t mean it hasn’t made a major impact on the industry.

“Although less than a decade old, Invision has made significant strides in engaging product, UX, and research communities with a very strong client base with high usage and retention.”

And without further adieu, the Nominees for the Product Awards Design categories are…

There are four categories that make up the Design stage of the product lifecycle. They are:

  • Capture User Pain Points: These are the tools that help you capture pain points and challenges in your user’s journey. These tools help in developing how might we statements.
  • Ideate on Solutions: This category represents tools that help capture ideas, play crazy 8s for potential ideas that will help address user pain points.
  • Collaborate Internally: Tools that allow for further collaboratively distilling ideas and fleshing them out in terms of actual output.
  • Share Prototypes: Product managers use these tools to prototype, get feedback from users and stakeholders and allow for rapid iteration to prepare for development.

Here are the Product Awards nominees for each category:

  • Capture User Pain Points 
    • Help Scout
    • Needle
    • Intercom
    • Live Chat Software with Zendesk
    • Zoho Desk
    • Freshdesk
    • Desk
    • Kayako
    • Userlike
    • SnapEngage
    • Moxie
    • Helpshift
    • Bold360
    • ProProfs
    • Freshworks
    • BirdEye
    • Listen360
  • Ideate on Solutions 
    • MURAL
    • monday.com
    • Wrike
    • Airtable
    • Workfront
    • Miro
    • ActiveCollab
    • productboard
    • Quip
  • Collaborate Internally 
    • Sketch
    • Figma
    • InVision
    • Axure
    • Lucidchart
    • Moqups
    • OmniGraffle
    • Gliffy
  • Share Prototypes
    • Userlytics
    • Qualaroo
    • TryMyUI
    • Validately
    • UserTesting
    • UsabilityHub
    • Userbrain
    • UserZoom
    • zipBoard
    • Appcues
    • Loop11

Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees in the Design categories. Likewise, good luck to all of the incredible products that have been nominated. Certainly, a very special thanks to Neha Taleja for heading the Design stage on the Awards Advisory Board.

Meanwhile, you can make your vote count! Click here to vote for the products you believe best represent each category. Plus, we hope to see all of you at the Product Awards on March 4, 2020, in San Francisco!

Lastly, did we leave out some of your favorite products for the Design stage of the product lifecycle? Please, let us know in the comments. Most importantly, perhaps they’ll be nominated for next year!

About the Speaker
Neha Taleja
Macmillan Learning Senior Director of Product
Neha is the Senior Director of Product at Macmillan. She is leading a set of start-up products under the institutional group aimed to address challenges in higher education such as affordability of educational materials, retention and student success. She has been building, growing and scaling products in the ed-tech space for the past decade. Her experience ranging from course-ware solutions, student facing applications, to analytics and insights tools for decision makers. She has also had the honor to contribute in the non-profit sector, bridging access to quality education gap in underserved communities in over 13 countries.

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