An alternative to our product design canvas is Roman Pilcher’s Product Canvas is a canvas that contains all the key information necessary to design a product. It is a holistic vision of the product, describing the product’s target group together with the needs addressed. It paints a rough picture of the overall product, and it provides the details for the next iteration. The canvas uses scenarios, design sketches, user stories, and constraint cards. See image below.
Roman Pilcher’s Product Canvas is designed so that the information flows from left to right starting with the target users and the needs to be addressed, then describing the user journeys (use cases) and completing with ready stories.
The canvas has the following components:
- Vision: this states the intention or motivation behind the product. Keep the vision statement short and sweet and limit it to one or two sentences.
- Product name: this simply states the name of the product.
- Personas: these describe the target group using fictional users and customers including the needs to be addressed or the problem to be solved. The section therefore explains who we believe is likely to use and purchase and the product and why.
- Journeys: this allows you to capture complex interactions of the user with the product. User journey diagrams, storyboards, and story maps are great to illustrate how a user is likely to employ the product. Focus on the important interactions, concentrate on your primary persona, and don’t be shy to update or replace the diagrams, as your understanding changes and you explore new aspects of your product.”
- Epics: these are coarse-grained, big user stories that sketch the product’s functionality. Every epic must serve a persona or be required by the business model, for instance, to display online ads.”
- Design sketches; this communicate your design ideas. The sketches should capture the critical aspects of the product or user interface design, for instance, the design of a few important screens. I prefer to work with paper sketches, as they are usually good enough to communicate the important design aspects; they are quick and easy to create; and they invite change and refinement.
- Constraints; here you describe the operational qualities that apply to the entire product. These include performance, interoperability, robustness, and regulatory requirements.”
- Ready stories; these are small, detailed stories that feed the next cycle. They are derived from the epics, and support the iteration or satisfy the sprint goal when Scrum is used. The ready stories have to be clear, feasible, and testable so that the development team can transform them into a product increment or minimal viable product.
The Product Canvas is designed as a learning tool: to sketch our initial ideas and assumptions, to get stories ready for implementation, and to adapt and refine the content based on the insights gained.
The Product Canvas supports you in collecting the various sources of inspiration, and the references to check possible design solutions against. However, compared to the Business Process Canvas, it may not assist in analyzing.