Well said — love the distinction you make between users as task monkeys vs. users as beings with intent.
As Product Management has begin to overlap with traditional UX territory, it’s becoming easier to fall into the trap of focusing on product features as opposed to actual user needs.
Personally, I’ve found it’s much more difficult to get accurate insight into the latter.
As a Product Designer, I feel responsible for the marriage of business-driven features and user-focused design improvements.
Going forward, I will begin using the concept of intent as a lens when attempting to balance the two. Thanks for the great read!