What are features (product features)

Product features are the product’s primary attributes or unique traits that enable the users to differentiate the products in the crowded market. The features of a product aim to deliver value to the users.

A feature can be capabilities, visual attributes, or functionalities in software. An example of a feature is the battery life of an electronic device.

In the broad sense, features can range from performance upgrades, components, email automation, capabilities, and user interface (UI) design. Other aspects of a product feature include the status, assignees, and timing.

Elements of a Feature

Any feature must have the following characteristics:

1. User Challenge – There must be a pain point or a challenge the user is experiencing, and the feature seeks to resolve it.

2. Description – There should be an action or a task that the user needs to complete and how the feature will serve them.

3. The Goal is the larger aim of the product or the measurable objectives tied to the feature.

4. The Benefit is the value it provides the user.

5. The Initiative is the theme of work or the high-level effort aligned to the feature.

The Difference Between Feature and Benefit?

The feature is not a benefit, but it is an integral part of any product or service. A feature is a specific functionality with corresponding benefits to the product’s users. The benefit is the value a user gains from the functionality, i.e., the feature.

For example, in an online training portal, the feature is the search and filters, while the benefits are interactivity and time-saving. In an automobile as the product, reverse automatic braking is the feature, and improved safety is the benefit.

Understanding the benefits enables you to analyze how every feature plays a role in different areas, such as investment and initiatives, according to your product strategy.

How to Formulate a Feature

In an organization, the product manager has the last word for defining a feature. Failure to make this crucial decision will result in product developers formulating the product their way.

It would help if you envisioned yourself as the end-user to formulate the process of defining a feature. Brainstorm the possible problems that the users experience and how the product will help solve the problem.

Creating a buyer persona for the features can help to ensure that every feature delivers value to your target market. You should answer the following questions to help you know if the feature is helpful to the end-user.

●       What is the objective of the feature?

●       Which group of customers will the feature serve?

●       Which is the specific pain point the feature is going to address?

●       What will the end-user achieve using the feature?

●       What is the interaction of this feature with other features?

●       What is the desired user experience for the feature?

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