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Why you should use the product canvas for product planning [+Template]
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The product canvas is a powerful tool for building great product features and user experience

A product canvas is a collaborative exercise to build user experiences your users will love.
The product canvas is a comprehensive framework for building product features your users will love. One of the benefits of the framework is that it can be utilized with your agile framework. It combines user stories, metrics, and design sketches all in one place so you can validate whether product features your team wants to build will be used by your target audience. The product canvas can be used by product managers, product owners, and anyone who wants to validate a product idea.

What is a product canvas?

A product canvas is simply a tool and framework for building products that have features your users will love. Understanding and laying out the user experience is a crucial step to the product canvas. If your team uses agile or scrum methodologies, the product canvas is a great exercise to consider as the outputs of the exercise can be used for epics, stories, and sprints.

A product canvas is typically used by product development and product management teams to get a big picture for what features to build. The product canvas is just one part of a bigger system for running your business. The business model canvas is a more encompassing framework to examine all aspects of your business to find ways to improve.

How to use this product canvas template?

Step 1: Name, Goal, and Metrics

On the
page, you'll see the entire template to use for the product canvas. Before you get started on the main sections of the canvas, you need to establish the name, goal, and metrics for success of the feature you want to build.

The Name is simply a product name for your feature (e.g. mobile app). The Goal is the objective of building this feature (e.g. get downloads of the app). Metrics are the criteria for success (e.g. get over 10,000 downloads). By filling out these fields first, other stakeholders can quickly see what the purpose of this feature or launch is. If you want to create multiple features, you can simply duplicate the
page and create one product canvas for each feature.

Step 2: Add target groups

Before you get start add features to your product roadmap, you need to understand who you are building the features for. Clicking the
Add Target Group
button allows you to start adding the target audiences and target personas to your product canvas. You can also attach pictures to each persona so that when your teammates see the target audience, they can get a visual too.

Step 3: Add big picture

This is where you start adding the main product features and user experiences to your product canvas. You should include scenarios, storyboards, epics, design sketches, mock-ups, and functionality in this step. Keep in mind that the UX features you add should have value proposition for the target groups you defined in the previous step.

Step 4: Add product details

This is the final step in the product canvas and helps you turn this exercise into actionable next steps for your team, company, or startup. Based on the new product features you want to build from the previous step, break down the features into their component tasks that you can add to your next sprint. You may even decide to detail a prototype to validate whether this is the right product feature to build for your target audience. Once you've filled out the three different canvas sections, you can also see a kanban board layout of all the target groups, big picture, and product details you've added as a team.

👉 Get started with: product canvas template
Copy this template

After you have copied this template, you can create multiple product canvases for different product features by simply duplicating the
page. To do this, click on the 3 dots on the page in the left-hand sidebar and click Duplicate.

What a product canvas is

A product canvas is a tool to help your build and validate new product features that have a great user experience. For product managers, this is a useful tool to help determine the product vision and product roadmap. For agile product teams, the product canvas is a useful tool to help prioritize which features to build in upcoming sprints.

The output of the product canvas is a specific set of tasks to help your product development team get a minimum viable product (mvp) off the ground. The product canvas is an extremely flexible framework that can be used with the lean startup methodology because it emphasizes iteration on your product features and hypotheses about what your target audience wants.

What a product canvas looks like

The product canvas is typically a visual tool to help you plan and build newproduct features. Roman Pichler is considered the creator of the product canvas and you can see his original diagram below:

ProductCanvasStructure.jpg

When filling out the product canvas, you typically are doing this in an in-person group setting with a whiteboard and markers. Given that many teams are distributed, it may make sense to use a template that can be collaborated on by multiple teammates such as this Coda template. By using this template, you can take the output of the product canvas and utilize other
and
templates that include a product backlog for your product team to execute on.

An example of a product canvas

The below example is also from Roman Pichler's website. It shows an example of a dance studio app that includes target users, the big picture, and product details to be included in this product. The images give you additional context on what the user journey looks like.

productcanvasexample.jpeg

Common FAQs about a product canvas

When should you use a product canvas?

How do you create a product canvas?

What are the benefits of using a product canvas?

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