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The Untold Truth Why Design is Harder than Product Management

Design Is Hard Logo and Wordmark by John Wayne Hill

Greetings, fellow designers and design enthusiasts! John Wayne Hill here, your trusted Product Designer with 15 years of experience under my belt. You may know me from my Substack “Design Is Hard” where I share my candid thoughts, advice, and insights on the often-challenging world of design. Today, I have a special treat for you: a snarky, sarcastic, and downright hilarious take on why being a Product Designer is way harder than being a Product Manager.

Let’s face it: we live in a world where people often underestimate the trials and tribulations of being a Product Designer. While everyone acknowledges that Product Management is no walk in the park, there’s a common misconception that design is all about picking pretty colors and arranging elements on a screen. The reality, however, is far more complicated.

In my latest post on “Design Is Hard” I’ve put together a listicle-style article that reveals the untold truth about why design is, in fact, harder than product management. Here’s a quick glimpse of what you can expect from this laugh-out-loud piece:

Look, we all know that being a Product Manager is hard. You have to deal with a bunch of stakeholders, make sure that the product is meeting the market demands, and work on keeping the team aligned towards the product goals. But let’s be real here, being a Product Designer is way harder. Here’s why:

1. The Tools: So. Many. Tools.
As a Product Manager, you get to play with fancy project management tools, collaboration apps, and AI-powered analytics platforms. Meanwhile, Product Designers are left cobbling together designs with Figma or Sketch, and cursing the time it takes to export a simple design to developers. _Oh, you have a new task management app? That’s cute.

Vector illustration of a iceberg in the sea with a boat nearby

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! In this post, I dive into various aspects of the design process, including dealing with developers, juggling subjective feedback, keeping up with ever-changing design trends, and much more. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll most likely nod your head in agreement as you recognize your own experiences in these humorous anecdotes.

As a Product Designer, I understand the challenges we face on a daily basis, and it’s my mission to help fellow designers navigate the complex and ever-evolving landscape of our industry. I believe that humor is a powerful tool for shedding light on the often-overlooked aspects of our profession, and I hope that this post will bring a smile to your face as you recognize the shared struggles and triumphs that define our work.

So, without further ado, head on over to my Substack, “Design Is Hard” to read the full article and discover why design is, indeed, harder than product management. And while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to stay up-to-date on all my latest insights and musings on the world of design.

Happy reading, and remember: design may be hard, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.

Yours in pixels and polygons,

John Wayne Hill

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