Below is a bulleted Product Requirements Document (PRD) outline which you can use as a guide to create your PRD. The list is long and some items may not be needed depending on the situation. The answers may (and should) be concise – which may seem a little ironic considering the length of this outline.

It’s helpful, even essential, to have a PRD (sometimes referred to as a Design Brief) to help define the work needed and how it should be dovetailed into the company’s (or brand’s) bigger picture. It will describe your needs and enable us to better understand how we can best be involved. It isn’t something set in stone – it can change as needed. But it is useful for helping us all get on the same page.

Here are related Wikipedia articles that may also be helpful:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_requirements_document
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_brief

 

Product Requirements Document (PRD)/Design Brief

  • About the Company
    • A short background on the company and how it got to where it is today (and/or where you are planning for it to go)
    • Attributes that define the company and differentiate it from others.
    • The ‘feel’ of the corporate environment and/or workplace culture.
    • What is the ‘passion’ that is driving this new product?
  • About the Brand
    • The ‘look and feel’ of the brand that this product will be marketed under.
    • The ‘Product Ecosystem’ – ancillary products that will be used in conjunction with this product or compliment its usage (including other devices, accessories, apps, etc.)
    • Brand roadmap – existing or future products that will fit under this brand.
    • Visual Brand Language (VBL), if it exists – a style guide for differentiating the brand from others and incorporating the brand messaging.
  • About the Product
    • Utility
      • What does it do? What is its core functionality? What functional requirements define the feature set?
      • Technology requirements – Describe any off-the-shelf (OTS) or proprietary technology that will be used to accomplish the functional aspects of the product.
      • Describe what technology may/will need to be developed (i.e. doesn’t already exist) to achieve functionality.
      • Describe any environmental concerns that need to be designed for.
      • IoT or connectivity requirements.
      • Support, maintenance and repairs. How will the product need to be maintained? What would be user serviceable? What would need to be serviced by a technician?
    • Usability and user-centered requirements
      • Describe safety concerns and requirements.
      • How the product will be used, the expectations of the user, etc.
      • To what level should the product be Intuitive, easy and efficient to use, ergonomic, learnable, etc.
      • Use cases scenarios – provide examples of the various situations that occur during the use of the product. What challenges will each of these scenarios present?
    • Expression
      • How this should make people feel about themselves.
      • What it says to others about the owner of the product.
      • What should it convey about the brand’s message.
      • Describe the overall style and look – including examples of other products exemplify the emotion.
    • Economics
      • What should be the MSRP for this product? Based on the target MSRP, what target COG (cost of goods) will maintain an acceptable margin of profit?
      • Considerations for cost and availability of materials, components, technology, manufacturing processes, etc. used to manufacture the product?
      • Anticipated production volume.
    • Additional
      • Things that “would be nice” to have, or “definitely should not” have.
      • Digital/display interface or interaction requirements (UI/UX).
      • Retail/shipping/consumer packaging requirements.
  • About the Customer
    • Demographics of the target market.
    • Value proposition for the customer – why they need or want to have this product. Why will they choose this product over other options?
    • How and/or why customers will emotionally connect with the product.
    • Target MSRP and customer expectations with regard to pricing.
    • How the product will be sold, where the customer would expect to buy the product (online direct, online big resellers, big box, specialty stores, etc)
  • About the Market
    • Competitors in the same space or related categories (whether direct or indirect). Show examples, both good and bad (i.e. who’s doing it right and who isn’t).
    • Comparative features that competitor products have (especially those that have protected intellectual properties (i.e. patents).
      What market trends are happening that will affect this product?
    • What differentiates this product from competitors?
    • Barriers to introducing your product into this market and gaining market acceptance.
    • Advantages with the brand/company that facilitate overcoming any barriers.
  • About the Project
    • Design objectives and goals – expected outcomes of the design effort.
    • Description of progress that has been made so far (sourcing of required technology, proof of concept prototype, market tested prototype, etc.).
    • Outline of the scope of work – what work is being requested, how it will be delivered and how close to production readiness it should be:
      • Services requested may include:
        • Research into relevant trends in styling and technology.
        • Researching competitive brands and consumer perceptions.
        • Vendor sourcing and management (with regards to required technologies, prototyping, processes, material, components, etc.).
        • PXD – Product experience design/definition – the form that captures the functionality and usability (what it will look like, how it will be used, etc.)
        • VBL & CMF – Visual brand language and Color, Material and Finish.
        • Brand identity -including logo, style usage guide, business cards, marketing collateral, etc.
        • DFM/A – design for manufacture and assembly
        • UI/UX – Digital/display interface design, including mobile apps, desktop apps, website, on-device display, etc.
        • EE & Code dev. – electrical engineering, software, firmware, applications, etc.
        • R&D
        • ME – mechanical engineering
        • UBX (unboxing exeprince – i.e. packaging)
      • Deliverables may include:
        • Sketch Renderings – hand-generated concepts and general ideas about what the product will be.
        • Photorealistic Renderings – computer-generated realistic representations of the concept.
        • Animation and video – conveying the design, usage and emotion in space and time,
        • Proof-of-concept prototypes – focused on limited aspects of the design to evaluate feasibility in early stages of the concept development.
        • Functional prototype – a ‘works like’ prototype that does not consider appearance or manfuacturablity
        • Appearance prototype – a ‘looks like’ prototype evaluate size, appearance (and often usability), but does not necessarily address functionality
        • Pre-production prototype – a fully functional prototype that incorporates the appearance and maneuverability of the final design for testing and approval before release to
        • production.
        • Production package – all the files (models, drawings, specifications, etc.) necessary to put the product into production.
      • Level requested for deliverable:
        • Conceptual – shows the main idea, but still requires a substantial amount of refinement. Conceptualization can be endless, so a fixed number of iterations or hours needs to be defined.
        • Refined concept – contains a more detailed definition of the design, but requires further interpretation to be achievable for production.
        • High-level prototype-ready – the design has been refined to a level where a functional or appearance prototype can be made (or a combination of the two).
        • Production-ready – developed to a level that can be handed to the factory and put into production with little or no revision or interpretation on the factory end.
    • Funding and budget
      • What is the budget for the project/requested work? Is it realistic with regards to what is needed?
      • Sources of funding (allocated funds, personal, investors, crowd-funding, etc.). Are their milestones that need to be reached to release funding?
    • Timeline/schedule
      • Anticipated start and completion dates.
      • Outline of expected milestones and deliverables within those dates.
      • Urgent deadlines such as corporate presentations, sales seasons, tradeshows, or debut events.
  • About the Team
    • Who are the stakeholders and decision makers?
    • What other departments will be involved (engineering, marketing, internal design, etc.)
    • List any 3rd party entities involved with completing the design and bringing the product to market (design, engineering, manufacturing, branding, marketing, etc.)
    • Who will make final decisions related to the selection of designs and solutions?
    • Who will be the point of contact for the project?
    • What team members will be involved and interact with the design team?