Building a great product requires significant research, planning, communication, and documenting. To minimize chances for misunderstanding, product managers often start projects with a product requirements document (PRD)
However, these days, even the most sophisticated product managers have difficulties in writing effective PRDs and delivering ideas to designers, developers, and other stakeholders.
In this article, we will introduce the concept of PRD and provide a helpful guide on how to write a perfect PRD in iDoc.
Table of contents
What is a PRD and why is it so important？
What makes a good PRD？
How to write an effective PRD in iDoc？
What is a PRD and why is it so important?
A product requirements document (PRD) is a document containing all features, specifications, and functionalities that a particular product should have according to real users' needs. This document helps the product team define what it is going to build. It plays vital roles in the entire product design and development process:
It gives your team a complete picture of a future product;
It creates a foundation for all parties to discuss, communicate and iterate design decisions;
It speeds up the development process because it offers essential details for developers, so they form a better understanding of the future product.
So, as one of the main tasks of product managers, PRDs are considered as the starting point of the product design-development process. The ability to write a clear and effective PRD has also become one of the basic skills a product manager.
What makes a good PRD?
To help all parties involved in the product development process to establish a clear understanding of the future product, a good PRD should be:
1). Understandable. The document should be written in plain language. Every person involved in product development (including designers, developers, and stakeholders) should be able to understand the meaning of the information provided in the PRD.
2). Visual. The document should contain intuitive charts, images, prototypes, or other design artifacts that will explain your ideas visually.
3). Complete and realistic. The document should include complete and realistic information. The data should be validated based on research.
4). Reasonable and logical. The document is the starting point of your design and development process, so it should be logically structured, laying a solid base for your team collaboration and iteration.
5). Easy to review and discuss. A good PRD cannot be done within one step. To create a perfect PRD, a product team should conduct multiple sessions where it reviews, comments, and discusses a PRD together.
6). Easy to track. Every version of a document should be stored and backed up well so that you or your team members can freely go back and check how things have changed.
7). Easy to share. The document should also be easy to share. Moreover, if it is an online PRD (such as a document created by Google Docs), it will be perfect for you or your team to keep it up-to-date all the time.
In short, a good PRD helps fasten your design process and improve your team's work efficiency.
However, how can you create a PRD with all the characteristics mentioned above? Is there any online PRD writing or management tool that can help you build a perfect PRD collaboratively? Mockplus iDoc is what you are looking for. Why? Please keep reading.
How to write an effective PRD in iDoc?
Recently, Mockplus iDoc introduces a practical solution called “Product document,” which will help you and your product team to create a perfect PRD. This new feature allows you to write product documents from scratch, and add prototypes or document references for further explanation. It is also super easy to comment, discuss, and share the PRD with your entire team.
The document revision history is backed up automatically, so you don’t need to worry about losing your data.
By the way, Mockplus iDoc is an all-in-one online product design collaboration and handoff platform. It allows designers, developers, product managers, and stakeholders to work together on the same project.
One of its features, “Flexible workflow,” allows designers, developers, and product managers to customize their design workflow according to their individual needs, making your team members more productive.
And the “Product document” feature is wisely embedded into the “Flexible workflow.” It allows product managers to write perfect PRDs word by word with ease, and instantly deliver them to other team members.
Here are more details of the “Product document” solution:
Write product documents online as you wish
There are no fixed templates for PRDs yet. So, whether a PRD editing tool allows you to write word by word at your own pace and style. Mockplus iDoc offers a powerful document editing mode for you.
Word-like document editing tools
It provides you with many Word-like document editing tools so that you can freely write down your design ideas at the speed of thought and edit them the way you want.
It also allows you to save documents to Cloud, view, and edit them at any time and anywhere.
Insert designs or prototypes for further explanation
You can insert wireframes, high-fidelity prototypes, images, and other visuals to explain any sentences or paragraphs in your PRD.
Besides, once wireframes, prototypes, images, and designs have been updated in other parts of the iDoc, they will also be automatically updated in the PRD.
Upload documents for online previewing and commenting
You can upload PRD directly from the local drive. iDoc will automatically analyze and display it with the Table of Contents and page thumbnails in detail.
And then, you and your team can review, comment and iterate this uploaded document.
Combine design resources to create a more effective PRD
Mockplus iDoc helps you combines design resources, like your prototypes, images, documents, to create a more effective PRD:
Insert a design page, wireframe or prototype while writing a PRD
You can insert any designed screen/page, wireframe, link or prototype to further explain your design ideas while writing a PRD.
Add document or link references while commenting on a PRD
After a PRD has been completed, other team members can preview, comment, and discuss the document details in the iDoc. If they have any disputes or suggestions, they can comment directly on the document and add any document or link references to explain their ideas further.
If necessary, they can even create a reference anchor, which allows your team members to reference a specific word, sentence, or paragraph of their design documents to support their ideas.
Your entire team can combine design resources to review, discuss, and iterate the PRD effectively. It also makes the PRD much more accessible for developers to view and understand, simplifying the development process.
Review, comment and collaborate with your whole team online
After you've done with a PRD in the iDoc, you can freely share it with other team members with a simple link. And then, they can spare any free time to review, pin a comment, and leave their feedback according to their schedule. There is no need to hold meetings as frequently as before.
Generate document revision history automatically
To obtain a perfect PRD, product teams usually have to iterate the original document many times. And the process they follow to store and manage these historical versions of a document also affects the team's work efficiency. Luckily, Mockplus iDoc provides a special “Revision history” panel for you to view and manage your historical versions freely.
In Mockplus iDoc, a revision history will be automatically generated and stored well in a certain interval. You can freely view the historical versions and see what has been changed.
If you've encountered any problems, you can view these revisions and restore the current document version to a desired historical version with simple clicks.
The related comments will also be backed up well at the same time with the revision history.
Preview and share your PRD online
You can share your PRDs with other members with a shareable link and set viewing permissions for them.
Simple steps to write PRD in iDoc
Step1: Create a new document
After creating a project in iDoc, you can click the “Document” mode and click the “+” icon to add a “New document” or upload a document directly from local drives.
Currently, iDoc allows you to upload documents in Doc, Docx and PDF formats.
Step2: Write your PRD from scratch
Once a new document created, you will be automatically redirected to a blank document. And then, you can write your PRD word by word. And do not forget to insert tables, images, links, and design pages to enrich your document.
Read this tutorial to know more details:https://help.mockplus.com/p/387
Buddies, let's try it free here: https://www.mockplus.com/mockplus-idoc