Product Principles

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What are product principles?

Product principles are the foundation for any product. These principles define the purpose of the product, how it works, and how users interact with it. They’re core values that influence every decision and action the team makes.

During development, the team will refer to the product principles to ensure the product remains in line with the values the team is trying to achieve. 

The product design process looks to address the customer’s needs in a way that looks and feels great. Product design principles take into account those needs and form a backbone for the product that provides real value for the customer.

What are product management principles?

Product management principles are the key factors that form the development strategy. This can include product design principles and ensures that the development process stays focused on customer needs.

Product managers are responsible for keeping product principles at the forefront of the development process. They also need to spearhead other considerations that the development team may have further down their list: what competitors are doing and what the marketing message is, for example.

What makes a good product principle?

Product principles are vital to link your product to the values the company and product team believe in. To ensure these principles are taken seriously and correctly influence the product, they need to be solid, simple ideas.

The best product principles should trigger an emotional response that resonates with your team. 

They should inspire the team to make impactful decisions that ensure each feature offers value to your customers. 

Product principles form the backbone of the product, but they aren’t specific features. The principles should be simple concepts that guide feature development. Teams should be able to easily recall the product principles to help guide their work.

If those principles are too specific, it can confuse the team, create a messy product, and detract from the customer experience.

Lastly, product principles should evolve over time as the business, market, and customer needs change. Sticking with the same principles over a long time can be helpful for conveying brand identity, but it can mean your business focuses on creating products that are already outdated by the time they hit the market.

Why do organizations need product principles?

Product principles are important to help guide product development in a way that brings value to its users, however, product principles are important in other ways too.

Product principles can bake the company’s values and goals into every product. They can help a product stand out from the crowd by including those values and doing something only your company could achieve. This helps build brand loyalty, as customers will associate all products with the company rather than looking at the product alone.

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General FAQ

What is the product value formula?
A common product principle is based on the product value formula. This is a metric that determines the benefit for the business by identifying the potential profit the product could bring. To do this, businesses use a simple equation: Value = Benefits/Cost This is a concrete and quantifiable way of assessing the viability of a new product, however, it leaves out many crucial factors that make a product successful and should not be the only way you measure product value.
What are the best product principles?
Product principles shouldn’t be specific directions for the product. They should be a guide that helps development teams incorporate value in everything they do. The best product principles are simple, memorable concepts. They should trigger an emotional response that helps a team to connect to the values these principles represent. They should also be relevant, constantly adapting to the market and customer needs.
What is the difference between product vs design principles?
Product principles guide the entire product development cycle. This includes research, market analysis, feature development, and so on. Design principles refer purely to the design aspect of a product such as workflow and layouts. Design principles ensure that the product is simple to use; they guide the look and feel of the product in a way that adds value for the customer.

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