- BRD – A Business Requirements Document (BRD) focuses on defining the business needs of a project. The BRD identifies one or more business problems faced by customers that can be solved by the company’s product. It then proposes a solution – usually a new product or enhancement to an existing product to address these problems.
- MRD – Market Requirements Document (MRD) focuses on defining the market requirements for a proposed new product or enhancement to an existing product.
- PRD – A Product Requirements Document (PRD) focuses on defining the product requirements for a proposed new product or enhancement to an existing product. Whereas the MRD focuses on requirements from the perspective of market needs, PRD focuses on requirements from the perspective of the product itself. It usually delves into more details on features and functional requirements, and may also include screen shots and user interface flows.
- FSD – A Functional Specifications Document (FSD) defines the complete details of a product’s functional requirements with a focus on implementation. FSD may define the product specifications screen by screen and feature by feature. This is a document that can be directly used by engineers to create the product.
- PSD – Product Specifications Document (PSD) is a less popular acronym, but in organizations that have such a document, it is by and large the same as the Functional Specifications Document (FSD) described above.
- SRS – A Software Requirements Specification (SRS) is another less popular acronym. In organizations that create an SRS, it has contents and details somewhere close to what is described above for PRD or FSD.
Michael Shrivathsan who blogs at “Michael on Product Management and Marketing came up with five tips to help Product Managers and Product Marketers create products with “Kick-Butt” design.
- Start With the User Interface – Right after gathering and prioritizing high-level requirements, get to the User Interface (UI) design. Do this before you complete your marketing requirements (MRD) and product requirements (PRD) documents.
- Work Closely With UI Designers – If UI is so important, it follows naturally that Product Managers should work very closely with UI Designers to achieve kick-butt design.
- Pay Attention to Details – There is no such thing as “low priority cosmetic flaw”. Cosmetic flaws are high priority. Very high priority. Often, they are easy to fix to boot.
- Simpler is Better – Keep your product, and its design simple – as simple as possible.Design for the 80% use case. Do not fall prey to “Featuritis” – more features are not always better.
- Be Brave – Because most folks in your organization would want to water down the design to make it more like competitors’. A superset of features seen in competitive products. Be brave – just say “No”.
Stephen Anderson from Sabre presented on the topic of Adaptive Interfaces at the IA Summit 2007. Adaptive Interfaces are interfaces that learn from user actions or reveal additional functionality as a user gains experience.
Here is the introduction from Stephen’s blog entry on Adaptive Interfaces and the complete blog entry.
“With the proliferation of rich Internet applications and interactions more closely aligned with how people think, we face some interesting challenges:
- Do we design for one common audience and common tasks, or tailor applications around specific audiences and their unique activities?
- How do we resolve the tension between creating simple applications that ‘do less’ and the demand for new features that some people really do need?
- As we move beyond usability to create desirable interfaces, how do we handle a subjective domain like emotions?
These types of challenges could all be addressed by creating a truly ‘adaptive’ interface. More than removing unused menu options or collaborative filtering, this would include functionality that is revealed over time as well as interface elements that change based on usage. Imagine the web-based email client that begins offering three forms fields for attachments instead of the default one, because it ‘noticed’ that you frequently upload more than one file. Or the navigation menu that disappears because it is not relevant to the task at hand. Sound scary? Look at the world of game design, where inconsistency has never been an issue and where users learn new functions over time, as needed. In the same ways that ads are becoming more targeted around context and behavior, we can also create interfaces that respond, suggest, or change based on actual usage data.”
The IA Summit presentation is also posted here.