What are product or service attributes and how to outline them (with examples)


Web Development

Merchandise attributes were being the very first detail I experienced to arrive to grips with when I turned a item supervisor. A person of my initially responsibilities was to create prerequisites for item attributes.

I worked in substantial teams delivering large and sophisticated items, so as a novice, I was requested to write up how sure elements of the product or service would operate. It demanded powerful analytical abilities and fantastic prepared interaction, as very well as a knack for collaborating with these around me to get it appropriate. It was really included get the job done, and I would admire the neatness and structured beauty of what I had produced. Afterwards, I’d be utterly infuriated that the attribute hardly ever turned out like that.

This style of specific function is a terrific location to begin as a PM and a talent set to hone throughout your item management profession. Even so, creating characteristic requirements is only a little part of the total products management process, just as a aspect is only a compact portion of the product or service.

To be a terrific PM, you will need to comprehend what a attribute is, how it fits into the solution growth hierarchy, and how to handle it by the products advancement process.

Here’s what I wish I experienced been informed when I began.

Desk of contents

What are merchandise functions?

A product characteristic is a issue your solution does, and that thing should really assist resolve the in general trouble the solution is seeking to clear up.

Consider Google, for instance, whose mission is to organize the world’s info and make it universally available and useful. Lookup is a products that enables you to conveniently find information and facts you are looking for, and the search bar — the product aspect — makes it possible for you to enter the time period you are searching for by using textual content enter.

This higher-profile illustration reveals outstanding alignment from vision to solution function with a unified intention of assisting to make information universally accessible. It also demonstrates that a products characteristic need to be equally tangible and straightforward to have an understanding of.

A item aspect is just one part of a entire

Have you ever produced a item attribute with enjoy, treatment and consideration, only to release it to the entire world and enjoy it wither and die? When you glimpse back on that knowledge, I’ll wager you didn’t fully recognize the context in which that products feature would run for end users.

Context is significant when you’re creating the element, also. Being familiar with where by the solution characteristic sits in the product or service advancement hierarchy will support you produce improved features and take care of them in the merchandise lifecycle.

Just about every terrific solution begins with a difficulty to fix. At the leading of the hierarchy is the product vision, from which you derive the method that you articulate in your products roadmap. On your roadmap, you should have the themes that you will examine to just take you nearer to your vision.

Let us do the job by means of an instance. Let’s think about your product vision is to simplify the Friday night takeaway decision by bringing all alternatives into one area. Your approach is to begin with takeaway-only dining establishments and you have a beta variation of your product or service out. You are discovering that end users are struggling with the checkout course of action and baskets are being abandoned. So you introduce a concept on the roadmap to optimize checkout.

Start off by solving customers’ challenges

Excellent! So what next? Very well, you want to know more about why people today are battling to examine out. Employing data and talking to shoppers really should uncover some probable good reasons.

Let us say, for illustration, that buyers are locating it a ache to go get their card details and are abandoning their order. Let us say they’re likely to an incumbent competitor since their card aspects are saved on that system.

In reaction, you determine to introduce 3 options: Apple Pay back, the skill to scan a card to autofill the payment facts, and the capacity to preserve card particulars in the account. All of these attributes are developed to make acquiring that Friday night time takeaway less complicated.

You will observe that, with the earlier mentioned instance, I did not lead with, “Apply pay out is awesome, we have to have to increase it!” On the other hand, this kind of conversation occurs each day between products groups. Understandably so — after all, merchandise capabilities are less complicated to demonstrate and connect than a issue.

At times, it would seem clear that some element is just the issue the merchandise is missing. Having said that, only through demanding understanding of the problem you’re aiming to fix can you really be confident — or at least certain sufficient to build it — that the attribute will be an asset to your user.

How to prioritize product or service options

There’s hardly ever sufficient time in the day to build all the wonderful options merchandise teams want to deliver. So how do you prioritize solution features?

If you tactic this problem by asking your self which aspect is the very best one, you won’t get very considerably. Capabilities are the final result of a process that starts off with the consumer trouble.

Let us go back again to our preceding example: How may you prioritize the functions that goal to enhance checkout? Which characteristics would ideal handle the difficulty?

Apple Pay is likely an less complicated journey than scanning playing cards, but that will only operate on Apple devices. If the greater part of your shoppers are not utilizing an Apple system, this won’t be the greatest way to fix the challenge.

By approaching it from the viewpoint of the challenge, you get a more sturdy conversation about the motive powering what you are accomplishing, and this can generate much better choices. Talking about trade-offs from the customer’s perspective is much less complicated than exchanging individual opinions that will inevitably be influenced by bias.

The artwork of feature definition

The piece I wish I had recognized before in my occupation is the total of function that goes into knowledge what is the greatest thing to develop — that, prior to my endeavor of writing up the aspect definition, a whole host of work had absent into comprehending the dilemma and making an attempt out probable answers. Right now, I have a developing appreciation for the self-discipline and talent necessary to publish excellent solution definitions.

Details are crucial. At any time experienced a solution where by you get missing in a loop of mistake messages? How infuriating!

When it arrives to communicating with your engineers and designers about how you anticipate a characteristic to perform, never ignore to go more than what happens when the consumer doesn’t do what you considered they would do. Collaboration is key, and the much more depth you go into, the far more you will pull out ahead of you build.

Even so, the expense of this is time, so it needs to be a cautious balance. It may possibly be worthwhile to ship characteristics quickly and then go back again and correct items afterwards. It is dependent completely on your product or service and what your end users will take.


Place only, a solution element is a thing that your products does. On the other hand, if you commence by considering about features, you are likely to miss a complete host of items that can make your capabilities profitable.

By operating down from your products vision and guaranteeing you retain concentrating on the trouble you are fixing, you will end up with better and additional valuable functions. At the time you genuinely recognize the problem your products is making an attempt to solve, all the things else falls into location.

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