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Product Spec

What is a Product Spec

Definition of a Product Spec

A product spec (or specification) is a document carrying essential information to keep teams on track when designing and developing a product. This gives designers and developers insight into the business goals, the users they’re targeting, and any other crucial details.

Ideally, a product spec helps product teams answer key questions for at-a-glance guidance, such as “what are we building?” and “who is this for?”. It includes multiple elements, including a summary of the core concept/idea. Product teams should be able to refer back to this throughout the process to avoid losing sight of the original vision.

User personas are another common component of effective product specs. These are fictional profiles of ideal users based on audience research, outlining typical behavior, needs and goals. 

Product specs also should go into detail about how the product is expected to benefit the business overall. How much revenue is it expected to generate? Will it expand the existing audience? Can it be used to enter new markets?

Sketches and mockups may be included in a product spec, too. This gives developers a clear idea of the final result as imagined by the designers. 

Finally, technical specifications are usually included in a product spec. Any technical issues which should be considered, such as major obstacles to overcome, will be covered. 

General FAQ

How do you write a product specification?
The first step in writing a product specification is defining the source of users’ problems, based on research data. A clear understanding of the target audience’s goals and ideal outcomes is a must before creating the spec. A product specification must cover the requirements and features to be included, too.
What does a product spec look like?
A product spec is a document separated into different sections. It should begin with a summary of the idea, describing what it is, what problems it solves, and how it functions. A business case explores what effect the product is expected to make on the company’s bottom line. User personas, concept designs, and technical specs usually feature too.
What is a product technical specification?
A product technical specification covers a product’s goal, function, and how the product team will bring it to fruition. This should include such key elements as which problems will be solved for the user, technologies used, and the target audience’s specific requirements.
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