This product development diagram highlights the conversations (arrows) that different business units have within a company. The customers reside on the outside of the circle and the UI is in the inner circle surrounded by business unit conversations.####Two Key Issues in Product Development In many businesses the interaction between the engineering, marketing, and business teams are unstable or one group's voice is too dominant. Take Google for example. The engineering teams have a dominant voice in the conversation. It's an engineering strategy they've implemented to be data driven, which for free products is fine, but as margins and revenue in specific product categories become more important, then the voice of marketing and business teams must play a larger role to improve the products. In most of their products, the UI lacks refinement and user satisfaction. Another big challenge businesses face is translating the conversations they are having with customers into meaningful action items to improve product development. Customers have an uncanny ability to give companies a healthy mix of horrible and good ideas (to no fault of their own). This balance is typically weighted in the "horrible" category, but a company with a strong vision will be able to laser in on "good feedback." The opportunity lies in translating and conveying those ideas to the product development team. ####What These Problems Expose In most of our consulting engagements, companies ask us to fix their UI. On a surface level, it's very easy for us to make quick fixes that have a huge impact on a business. Many immediate interface problems are universal and not necessarily tied to the business. However, the challenge most businesses face is iterating on our feedback. The reason? Companies struggle to support continual development because its business units (which may even be just a couple of people!) can't work together to nail opportunities. They get stuck. Improving your product starts by looking at the interface (UI) and determining what parts are broken in your organization. This will help your company look at your product "outside in."