TL;DR: Product requirements are the specifications and conditions that a product must meet to be successful—aka, to meet expectations and provide value to users and your business.

Building a great product is all about the details. Whether you’re creating an app, a platform, or a tool, understanding and defining product requirements is essential—after all, product requirements bridge the gap between what stakeholders are looking for and what developers can create.

In short, by clearly outlining the features, functionalities, and constraints of a product, you’re creating a roadmap everyone can follow.

What are product requirements?

As mentioned, product requirements refer to the detailed specifications of everything that’ll make up your product, including its features, so that it’s user-friendly and meets users’ needs—in this case, developers.

Product requirements can include several things depending on the type of product, its market, and its intended users. Typically, product requirements can be categorized into key areas like:

  • Functional requirements, which describe the behaviors, functions, or tasks the products need to perform, such as user authentication and data processing.
  • Non-functional requirements, which define the performance and constraints of the product, like its usability, reliability, and security.
  • User requirements that refer to the needs and expectations of your users, such as the interface, the user experience, and how accessible it is.
  • Business requirements, which outline the business goals the product needs to meet, including revenue, compliance, and market expansion.
  • System requirements that specify the technical infrastructure behind the product, like server specs, database requirements, and network configurations.
  • Regulatory requirements that include the standards the product must adhere to, such as GDPR.

These product requirements need to be defined, documented, and communicated to everyone involved in the development of the product, such as product managers, engineers, and marketers.

The aim is to make sure everyone is aligned with the same goals and understands what it takes to make the product successful.

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The importance of product requirements

There are many benefits to well-defined product requirements, such as:

  • Offering a clear vision of what the product should look like.
  • Helping translate business goals into actionable tasks.
  • Streamlining communication between all teams.
  • Identifying potential risks and challenges early in the development process.
  • Enabling better project planning and resource allocation.
  • Providing a positive developer experience by focusing on the needs and expectations of your users.
  • Helping the development team work more efficiently by reducing time spent on re-doing tasks and guesswork.
  • Assisting in testing and validation, so that the product meets the required standards.

What is a product requirements document?

A product requirements document is a detailed doc that outlines the requirements, goals, features, and functionalities of a product. It works as a guide for everyone involved in the development process, and ensures they understand what the product aims to do and how it should perform.

This document is essential for all stakeholders to be aligned, whether it’s the product management team, engineering, marketing, and sales.

How to create a product requirements document

1. Define the purpose of the document

  • Have a clear title, version control, date, and author’s name.
  • Provide a summary of the product, from its purpose to what it aims to achieve.
  • Define the scope of the product.

2. Identify stakeholders

  • List everyone included in the project, from the product manager to the development team, marketing, and sales.
  • Make sure everyone knows their responsibilities, as well as their role in the project.

3.  Market research and analysis

  • Offer an analysis of the market, such as trends, target audience, and competitors.
  • You should also create detailed personas that represent your target audience.

4. Add a product description

  • List the core features of the product and include the must-haves, should-haves, and nice-to-haves.
  • Describe how different users will interact with the product through case studies.

5. Detail functional requirements

  • Provide descriptions of each feature and functionality.
  • Include visual assets like mockups and wireframes.
  • Describe the UI/UX requirements, such as navigation, user flows, etc.

6. Mention the non-functional requirements

  • These include performance criteria like response and load times.
  • Make sure to talk about data protection, security, data control, etc.
  • List all compliance requirements.

7. Describe technical requirements

  • Include the architecture of the system.
  • Specify the tech and tools that will be used.
  • Mention all APIs and third-party integrations.
  • Outline data storage, management, and processing needs.

8. Set the project timeline

  • Create a timeline with key milestones and deadlines.
  • Break the project down into phases (e.g., discovery and testing).

9. Manage risks

  • Identify potential issues and risks and their impact on the project.
  • Come up with strategies to mitigate those issues.


Defining your product requirements allows people to understand what your product should do, and the structure we provided above covers key aspects of the product requirements document, giving you a clear guide for development and ensuring all stakeholders are aligned.

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