🅰️Community Glossary

This is a community-contributed glossary of common product terms, and how they’re defined.

Agile UX Glossary

A/B Test

Used to compare the performance of two items or variations against one another. In product management, A/B tests are often used to identify the best-performing option. With A/B testing (also called split testing or A/B split testing), teams can create true apples-to-apples comparisons of two versions of a feature, to understand how users respond to the different versions and to ensure the strongest performing version is selected to improve the performance of the product.

Acceptance Criteria

The predefined requirements that must be met to consider a user story complete. Acceptance criteria are a form of agile requirements documentation and are also sometimes called the “definition of done” because they determine the scope and requirements of user stories. When all the criteria are met, the team can set the task aside and move on to the next story.

Affinity Diagram

Visual tool that helps a team review large amounts of information by grouping items into categories based on their relationship to each other. Instead of analyzing each idea on a long list without context, the team can spot trends and patterns. Seeing those patterns can help teams make better decisions.


A philosophy for an iterative and collaborative approach to product development. Self-organizing teams work collaboratively in brief, incremental “sprints,” and regroup frequently to review the work and make changes. This adds frequent feedback and the ability to switch focus and priority quickly. This is in contrast to the more traditional, sequence-based, Waterfall methodology, where teams work from long-term plans in discrete phases for development teams to execute. Agile, with its iterative approach and frequent opportunities for feedback can provide more flexibility, greater transparency, reduce the risk of project failure, and result in products that provide greater value to users.


Represent key information during the development of a product. They provide detail and documentation about the product being developed, actions to produce it, and the actions performed during the project. Major artifacts include the product backlog, sprint backlog, and increments. Artifacts are designed to maximize transparency of key information and are living documents that evolve to reflect changes in the project.


A group method of creative problem-solving frequently used in product concept generation and problem solving. The goal is to generate as many ideas as possible related to a particular topic before performing any critical evaluation.

Cross-Functional Team

A group of people with a variety of expertise who come together to achieve a common goal. Cross-functional teams often have representation from various “functional” departments. For example, an agile cross-functional team may consist of a product manager, research, design, content, and developers. The purpose is to break down silos and develop products faster and more efficiently.


Information for both internal use and product users that describes what the product does, how it works, and other essential details. Some common product documentation includes the Product Roadmap, Style Guides, Glossaries, Wireframes, Product Requirements Documents (PRD), and Product and Sprint Backlogs


In Agile development, a body of work that can be broken down into specific tasks (called user stories) based on the needs/requests of customers or end-users. it represents a series of user stories that share a broader strategic objective. While a user story can be completed within the timeframe of an agile sprint, an epic will typically require work covering several sprints.


A product’s traits or attributes that deliver value to end-users and differentiate a product in the market. Product features can refer to capabilities, components, user interface (UI) design, and performance upgrades.


The movement of value throughout the product development system. Flow-based events in agile development include the sprint, the sprint backlog, the daily stand up, the sprint retrospective, and the sprint review.


A concrete stepping stone toward the Product Goal. It is whatever was previously built, plus anything newly completed in the latest sprint that is integrated, tested, and ready to be delivered or deployed. The sum of the increments is presented at the Sprint Demo.

MoSCoW Prioritization

A popular prioritization technique for managing requirements. The acronym MoSCoW represents four categories of initiatives: must-have, should-have, could-have, and won’t-have, or will not have right now.

MVP (minimum viable product)

Represents the earliest stage in the product’s development cycle at which the organization believes it has enough features to satisfy early-adopter customers. In the software industry the MVP can help the product teams receive user feedback as quickly as possible, which they can use to iterate and improve the product.


A profile of the product’s typical user. Products can also have many different personas. Writing up summaries of a product’s personas can help teams understand key traits, behaviors, goals, responsibilities, and needs of a specific type of user and how to meet the needs of the user.

Product Roadmap

A high-level strategic document that provides a strategic overview of the major elements of a project. Product managers create and maintain product roadmaps to communicate the strategic vision, objectives, and priorities of the product. Roadmaps aligns the organization around short and long-term goals for the product or project, and how they will be achieved.

Product Strategist

Person responsible for identifying new opportunities, assessing the organization’s product performance, and helping to develop its long-term strategic plans for future product lines. The product strategist uses research and analysis to guide overall product plans, find gaps in the market, and opportunities to produce maximum user value.

Product Backlog

Lists and prioritizes the task-level details required to create, maintain and sustain a product as outlined in the product roadmap. The backlog communicates what’s next on the to-do list as teams execute on the roadmap’s big-picture vision. Typical items in a product backlog include user stories, bug fixes, and other tasks.

Product Backlog Grooming

Also referred to as “product backlog refinement,” it is a recurring event. The primary purpose of a backlog grooming session is to ensure that it is up-to-date with the latest user stories. Backlog grooming is also used to refine user stories and prioritize them for the next development sprint. Backlog refinement provides space to discuss user stories with the team, and answers any related questions to smooth out any ambiguity.

Product Requirements Document (PRD)

An artifact used in the product development process to communicate what capabilities must be included in a product release to the development and testing teams. The PRD will contain everything that must be included in a release to be considered complete, serving as a guide for subsequent documents in the release process.


A simple model or a mockup of a concept, idea, product or service. It gives form to a product idea to help communicate between design and engineering teams. Prototypes are not finished products and can range from a sketch on paper to a functional version of the product that allows the user to take some basic actions such as click on buttons and navigate to different pages. Some commonly used prototype tools include Figma, Balsamiq, and Adobe XD.


In Agile methodology, the sprint is the time period (e.g., 7 - 14 days) in which an agreed-upon set of development tasks takes place and is made ready for review. The product and development teams typically begin a sprint with a kickoff planning meeting, and in this meeting, the group agrees to the specific tasks needed to be completed in the sprint. Agile methodology embraces short, frequent bursts of development, and iterative product releases. The goal is to get new functionality and improvements into customers’ hands as quickly as possible.

Sprint Backlog

The set of items that a cross-functional product team selects from its product backlog to work on during the upcoming sprint. Typically the team will agree on these items during its sprint planning session. In fact, the sprint backlog represents the primary output of sprint planning.

Sprint Demo

Also known as Sprint Review, it is a time-boxed event to present the outcome of the Sprint, update stakeholders, and determine future adaptations. The team presents the results of their work to key stakeholders and discuss progress toward the product goal. During the event, the team and stakeholders review what was accomplished in the Sprint and what has changed in their environment. Based on this information, attendees collaborate on what to do next.

Sprint Planning

A time-boxed event to start a Sprint. It serves for the teams to define what can be delivered in the upcoming sprint and how that work will be achieved.

Sprint Retrospective

A time-boxed event that ends a Sprint. During the sprint retrospective, the team examines the past Sprint and plans for improvements to be enacted during future Sprints.The team discusses what went well during the Sprint, what problems it encountered, and how those problems were (or were not) solved. The team identifies the most helpful changes to improve its effectiveness and the most impactful improvements are addressed as soon as possible.


The individuals or groups who are impacted (directly or indirectly) by the product, can impact the success, or influence decisions about the product. It includes anyone who purchases or uses the product, and anyone who must support, sell, and market it.

Stakeholder Management

The process of identifying, prioritizing, and engaging stakeholders throughout the product development process. Product managers must first accurately identify who their stakeholders are to successfully cultivate and nurture strong stakeholder relationships. PMs also need to fully understand the unique points of view and needs of their stakeholders. Effective stakeholder management requires ongoing strategic engagement and effort.

Usability Testing

Usability testing is a technique to evaluate how easy or difficult users find an organization's product. It can also be used to gauge the intuitiveness or user-friendliness of other aspects of the user experience, such as navigating a website or completing a download. Organizations run usability tests by asking participants to perform specific tasks within their product and monitor how those participants proceed. Observing how users interact with a product without step-by-step guidance and asking them to “think aloud” identifies points of confusion and uncovers opportunities to improve the user experience.

User Experience Design (UX Design)

UX Design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. UX design focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the organization managing the project. UX designers continually look for ways to improve how the product experience feels to the user. Improvements can include making using the product faster, easier or more fun.

User Experience (UX)

Refers to the feeling users experience when using a product, application, system, or service. It can cover anything from how well the user can navigate the product, how easy it is to use, or how relevant the content displayed. User experience is about what users both think and feel, as both play a significant role in how users experience a product.

User Flow

User flow is a chart or diagram showing the path a user will take in an application to complete a task. Product teams build user flows to intuitive design products, present the correct information to users at the right time, and allow users to complete desired tasks in as few steps as possible.

User Interface (UI)

Any part of a product or system with which the end user interacts. Users work within a user interface, or UI, to control or operate the product or machine they are using.

User Journey Map

A visual representation of all steps a user takes when interacting with your organization or product. User journey maps help companies to see their product from the customer’s perspective. It allows companies to gain insights into common customer pain points and how to improve them.

User Persona

A short, composite biography describing the people who will buy and use an organization’s product. These imaginary users have specific behaviors, attitudes, and goals. User stories should be created with user personas in mind. Organizations conduct research that includes speaking directly with users, sending out surveys, and studying competitive products.

User Research

Focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through interviews, surveys, usability evaluations and other forms of feedback methodologies. It is used to understand how people interact with products and evaluate whether design solutions meet their needs.

User Story

A small, self-contained unit of development work designed to accomplish a specific goal within a product. A user story is usually written from the user’s perspective and follows the format: “As [a user persona], I want [to perform this action] so that [I can accomplish this goal].”


For a digital product, the wireframe typically represents the design team’s first attempt to capture the app’s visual layout. Wireframes are usually basic, black-and-white sketches of the product’s user interface and features that help the product team to gain feedback and approval from stakeholders. Low-fidelity wireframes are basic wireframes that outline blueprints for web pages or app screens. They help teams communicate the product's “big idea” rather than the specific details. A high fidelity wireframe captures the look and feel of the product in the advanced stages of the design process. Hi-fi wireframes can include actual content, typefaces, colors, image dimensions, and branding elements.

Product Glossary

Alpha Testing

A crucial "first look" at the initial design, usually done in-house. The results of the Alpha test either confirm that the product performs according to its specifications or uncovers areas where the product is deficient. The testing environment should try to simulate the conditions under which the product will actually be used as closely as possible.


A product attribute expressed in terms of what the user gets from the product rather than its physical characteristics or features. Benefits are often paired with specific features, but this is not a requirement.

Best Practice

Methods, tools or techniques that have been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results in a particular field. Best practices do not ensure success, but following best practices will result in higher probabilities of achieving success. Examples of best practices in product management include maintaining frequent communication with stakeholders and conducting user interviews.

Beta Testing

Used to determine how the product performs in an actual user environment. It is more extensive than Alpha Testing and is performed by real users and customers. Like alpha testing, beta testing helps to validate hypotheses and identify potential flaws and areas for improvements.


The measure of how many customers stop using a product. Common methods for measuring churn rate are actual usage or failure to renew a subscription. A high churn rate can indicate that users are dissatisfied with a product or service.

Daily Standup

A quick session where each member of the team shares what they accomplished yesterday, what they’ll try to accomplish today, and anything that is blocking work from progressing. Standups are a critical element of the agile development framework, as they promote frequent and high-touch team communication.


In agile software development, an iteration is a set amount of time reserved for development. Typical iterations last 1-2 weeks. Most agile development teams agree on the length of their iterations and proceed to operate on an iteration-by-iteration basis.

Kanban Board

A tool for visually arranging and tracking a team’s workflow. Task management tools, such as Trello and Asana include Kanban boards as interfaces. Kanban boards consist of columns representing various stages of progress, such as “not started” or “in review.” Under these columns, the team adds cards describing discrete tasks and moves these cards to their appropriate columns so everyone has a clear view of the team’s progress.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Quantitative metrics organizations use to track and analyze performance or progress toward business objectives. KPIs help organizations understand its performance in the most critical areas to its success. KPIs include user retention rate, user growth rate, churn rate, and support ticket escalation.


Realistic visual representation of a product. After gaining consensus on the product wireframe, the team’s next step will be to develop a mockup. The wireframes display a rough sketch of features and content. In contrast, the mockup shows more visual detail and depicts the product more realistically. Mockups do not include product functionality. They’re designed to share the team’s vision for the product with the other organization’s stakeholders and customers.

Scope Creep

The phenomenon in which a team’s scope of work slowly grows to include more goals, tasks, or requirements. In product management, scope creep can distract the team and waste resources needed to achieve the product’s strategic objectives. If the team experiences a severe amount of scope creep, it can lead to a bloated or unfocused product that fails to solve the market problems it was supposed to address.


An agile methodology for iterative, flexible software development. Teams self-organize and work as a unit to reach a common goal through co-location or close online collaboration, and daily face-to-face communication among all team members and disciplines involved. Teams learn through their experiences, reflect on their wins and losses to continuously improve.


A framework for setting clear, attainable goals. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

A product’s unique competitive advantage, or the reason a customer would select the product over any other. Generally, USPs are written as benefits to the customer or user.

Value Proposition

A high-level statement, often written as a promise to the user, about how a product will meet the user’s needs.


A long-term method of product development characterized by a sequential series of stages or phases. The key distinction between waterfall and agile is that, in a waterfall development environment, each stage of the workflow needs to be completed before moving on to the next step. Waterfall is well suited for projects where the objectives are clearly outlined from the beginning and are not subject to change.

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