Discover what makes a good product specification and how to write one.
Published 20 Feb 2023
Product specs, known as product specifications, are like a roadmap that outlines a product's characteristics, requirements, functions, and looks. It may also include who the product is intended for.
The specifications of this product have to be stated accurately, be easy to comprehend, and cover all the information your design team and product team require. Providing as many details as possible will help your production staff avoid vague descriptions. Putting this information in a table or chart can make it easier for them to find additional information.
An effective product spec should answer these key questions:
The product spec is essential in product creation, as it requires extensive deliberation during the beginning stages of building a concept. It’s part of the product management process and helps to ensure that the product meets customer needs and expectations.
It speaks to what is being created and its target audience and provides insight into the ultimate result. It offers excellent understanding for those involved in programming the product. Moreover, it serves as a reference to keep track of development progress. An effective product spec brings clarity, making development easier and keeping teams focused, helping to avoid costly miscommunications.
Product specifications don’t need to be lengthy or complex. It’s best to be succinct when creating product specifications. Here are some examples of product specifications sheets you can adapt and use immediately.
An effective product specification sheet typically includes technical requirements, engineering specifications, and other relevant product-specific details. A product specification sheet should include the following information:
It’s a comprehensive product overview. It starts with a summary of the product idea and provides a concise description to introduce the product and its general purpose. Furthermore, it explains the purpose of the product. The product’s outline covers what the final version will look like, which features it will have, and how long it should take to create.
Product development should be supported by a business case that evaluates the potential benefits and costs. It includes looking at available resources to complete the project.
User stories are brief descriptions of what end-users want from a product. Acceptance criteria also accompany these stories and outline the requirements for fulfilling them, including desired features.
It identifies the target customer and their needs so that all efforts remain focused on them. It provides detailed information about the target demographic, including the problems the product aims to address.
It should detail how the look and performance of the forthcoming product will appear and how users will interact with it. It’s meant to function as a point of reference for the product development team when they first start. An adaptable technical specification document can be added if desired.
The first step in writing a product spec is to define the problem you are trying to solve. It’ll help you create a clear vision of what the product should do and how it should function. It’s essential to be specific and include details about the target audience, their needs, and how the product will meet those needs.
Customer feedback is essential for product development. Whether it’s customer complaints, questions, suggestions, or feature requests, it helps you understand what customers want and how they use the product.
It’s vital to bring together the right people from different departments and have them discuss the product, its features, and how it should be developed. Every idea is heard, and everyone is on the same page. Additionally, it allows for a more collaborative approach to product development by bringing in fresh and innovative ideas.
Product requirements are the criteria that must be met for a product to be successful. It includes features, performance, usability, and other factors. It’s essential to create a list of requirements that are specific and measurable so that progress can be tracked throughout the development process.
Additionally, it’s vital to prioritize these requirements based on importance and feasibility. It’ll help ensure that the essential features are implemented first.
It allows you to test the product and its features before committing to full-scale development. It helps ensure that the product meets customer needs, expectations, and other requirements. Additionally, it can be used to gather feedback from potential customers and make any necessary changes before launching the product.
User testing allows you to test the product with real users and get feedback on how it works, what features are missing, and what needs to be improved. You can use it to identify any potential usability issues or bugs.
Once the product has been tested and feedback has been gathered, it’s time to revise it and make any necessary changes. It includes ensuring all features are working correctly, addressing usability issues, and applying the valuable insights discovered during user testing. Once satisfied with the adjustments, provide your product details to the development team so they can start building it.
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Product specification outlines the technical aspects of the product. Product specifications detail a product’s features from a technical or technological standpoint. Specifications are produced at the culmination of the architecture stage during product design and development.
A technical product specification outlines the purpose of a product, its main functions, and how the product team will develop it. It should also include details about what challenges it seeks to address, the technology used, and the specific needs of users.
Following the specifications helps ensure the product is safe, reliable, and high-quality. Additionally, following product specifications helps to reduce costs by avoiding unnecessary rework or delays in production. It also helps to ensure the product meets customer expectations and requirements.
Quality specifications are detailed requirements that define the quality of a product, service, or process. Quality includes tangible elements such as measurements and intangible elements such as smell and taste. Examples are thread count of fabric for clothing materials, service uptime for software, or quality of ingredients for formulations.
SafetyCulture is a multi-purpose inspection app that provides users with a valuable platform to help them easily create their product specifications. SafetyCulture can be used throughout product development, from defining the problem to user testing.
Rob Paredes is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He is a content writer who also does copy for websites, sales pages, and landing pages. Rob worked as a financial advisor, a freelance copywriter, and a Network Engineer for more than a decade before joining SafetyCulture. He got interested in writing because of the influence of his friends; aside from writing, he has an interest in personal finance, dogs, and collecting Allen Iverson cards.
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