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Product Management Glossary

Explore our comprehensive glossary of all common definitions and terms that product managers should know.



A/B Testing

A/B testing, or split testing, is a variant testing method used in product management to compare two versions of a product to determine which one performs better. It involves presenting two variations (A and B) to different segments of users at the same time, and using statistical analysis to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal, such as click-through rates, user engagement, purchases, or any other metric.

AARRR Pirate Metrics Framework

AARRR Pirate Metrics is a framework for product manages to measure and optimize the customer and user journey through five stages: acquisitions, activation, retention, referral, and revenue. This framework is important to product managers because it helps them understand the user journey and identify areas where the product needs improvement. It also enables product managers to prioritize certain features or updates based on the impact they have on customers.


User activation is a critical stage in the user journey that refers to the moment a user first realizes value from a product or service (their “aha!” moment), thus becoming more likely to continue using it. The exact activation point can vary based on the product, but it generally refers to the completion of a key action that indicates the user has had a meaningful interaction with the product.


Agile is a project management and product development approach that focuses on flexibility, customer collaboration, and incremental delivery. For product managers, agile is important because it allows for continual reassessment and adjustment of the product roadmap based on customer feedback, changes in the market, or other new product requests or needs.

Aha! Moment

The “aha!” moment happens when customers understand how your product solves their problem and triggers a positive emotional response. It’s an exact moment when a user realizes the value of a product and is achieved through a simple task that improves their workflow or personal life.


Appcues is a digital adoption platform for mobile and web applications that specifically targets product manager use cases such as user onboarding, feature launch, and other customer and user-facing challenges.


Atlassian is an Australian-based SaaS company that provides a suite of SaaS solutions for software developers and product managers. It’s most well-known products include Confluence, JIRA, and Trello.


Behavioral Analysis

Behavior analytics refers to the information and insights gathered by product teams about how users, customers, and visitors are utilizing your website or product. This data tracks and measures user behavior, including who interacts with your product, what actions they take, and any areas of difficulty they face.

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Product benchmarking is a process used by product managers to measure and compare their product’s performance, features, and other characteristics against those of the best products in the market, often competitors’ products. It can also mean benchmarking their current product’s performance KPIs to create a benchmark for to test and improve upon.

Beta Testing

Beta testing is a phase in the product development process where an early, unfinished version of a product, known as the “beta version”, is released to a select group of customers or users for testing. The goal of beta testing is to uncover any bugs, issues, or potential improvements that weren’t identified during earlier stages of testing.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a product or web analytics metric that represents the percentage of visitors who enter a product or site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing to view additional pages within the same site.



Customer churn (or customer attrition) is the percentage of customers who stop using a product or service over a given period of time. It’s a key metric for product and customer success teams, especially for those with subscription-based models, as it directly impacts revenue and growth.

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Cohort Analysis

Cohort analysis is a technique used in behavior analytics to group users based on shared characteristics, allowing you to analyze their behavior patterns. By doing this, you can refine your product’s user experience, enhance conversions, and prevent customer churn.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a systematic process product managers take to increase the percentage of website or app visitors who complete a desired action or convert — such as making a purchase, filling out a form, signing up for a free trial, any other defined goal.

Customer Effort Score

Customer effort score (CES) is a way to measure how easy it is for customers to use a product or solution. It tells companies how satisfied customers are with the convenience and accessibility of their experience. If the CES indicates that users are having trouble completing important in-app tasks, then the company can use this information to improve adoption and retention rates.


Daily Active Users (DAU)

Daily active users (DAUs) is a key product adoption metric that measures the active number of daily users of an app, product, or website.

Digital Adoption

Digital adoption refers to integrating new digital technologies into an organization’s workflows, processes, and strategies, ultimately ensuring that employees, customers, and stakeholders can effectively use and benefit from these new digital technologies.

Digital adoption goes beyond the deployment and implementation of digital tools and platforms but also includes end-user training, continuous support, and change management necessary to enable users to utilize these new technologies and applications effectively.

Digital Adoption Platform

A digital adoption platform (DAP) is no-code software that integrates with any application to help the end-users learn the application, its workflows, its features, and overcome support issues. DAPs, like Whatfix, provide in-app guidance and on-demand user support with UI elements such as product tours, walkthroughs, task lists, tooltips, self-help menus, and more to guide employees, customers, or any type of end-user through every aspect of an application to enable end-users to find maximum ROI and peak productivity. 

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Event Tracking

Event tracking is a data analytics method that enables product managers to track specific actions (events) that users take within an app, product, or website. These events could be anything from clicking a button, submitting a form, completing a purchase, to playing a video.


Feature Adoption

Feature adoption is the rate customers and users engage, active, use, and find value with specific features in your product.

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Feature Bloat

Feature bloat (or “feature creep”) refers to the overcomplication of a product due to the excessive addition of new features. Feature bloat distracts users from the priority features that drive the most value from a product and lead to churn.

Feature Discovery

Feature discovery is the process of driving awareness to a product’s new or updated capabilities and features to existing users. Feature discovery happens when a customer discovers a specific feature. Product managers can drive feature discovery through in-app alerts, community forums, email campaigns, release notes, social media, and other mediums where their customers are.

Feature Engagement

Feature engagement is the rate customers and users are interacting with a specific product feature.

Feature Prioritization

Feature prioritization is the product management process of working with customers to identify the most important set of potential new features, assigning a cost value to them, and then using this prioritization methodology to build new features.


Figma is a SaaS app for designers to collaboratively create and design web pages, app interfaces, and other designs. Its interface design tool has revolutionized web design and whiteboard space and is a staple for all modern designers.

Field Validation

Field validation ensures that all data entered into a form field meets specific criteria before it’s accepted. This process is crucial in maintaining data integrity, enhancing user experience, and preventing potential errors or issues.

Freemium Model

A freemium model is a business strategy where a product or service (typically a B2B SaaS or B2C mobile app) has a free offering, but a premium is charged for additional features or services. The primary goal of a freemium model is to attract as many users as possible by removing the barrier to entry, and then converting users into paying customers later on. The balance between what is given away for free and what is charged for is crucial, as it directly impacts user acquisition, engagement, and conversion rates.

Funnel Analysis

A funnel analysis report is a visual representation of how many users make it through the different stages of your funnel, helping to map out the customer journey and understand the steps each user takes and the experience they have when navigating through your product or website. Funnel analysis allows product teams to identify drop-off points, map the user journey, and determine conversion flows.



Gamification applies elements found in game design, such as competition, points, levels, and rewards, to non-game contexts to increase user engagement and motivation. As a product manager, understanding and implementing gamification can be a powerful tool to drive user engagement, increase user onboarding success, encourage desired behaviors, and improve user retention.



Heatmap software is a UX tool that allows product managers to analyze application and web page screens using color-coded data visualizations. Each color variation represents a cluster of data that signals an action, pattern, or behavior. Heatmaps allow you to visualize how website visitors and mobile app users interact with on-screen elements, navigate pages, friction points, and conversion triggers.


Hotspots are a minimalist UX/UI element designed to capture a user’s attention without being intrusive. Hotspots help provide additional contextual information and alerts, such as explaining how a feature works, alerting users to an interface change or new feature, or highlighting an essential part of your product’s UI.


In-App Guidance

In-app guidance refers to in-app elements that guide users through complex features, tasks, and workflows in desktop, web, or mobile app such as product tours, user onboarding checklists, tooltips, pop-ups, hotspots, and more.

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Iteration is a process in agile product management and development methodologies like Scrum or Kanban. It is a complete development loop resulting in a version of a product that is tested, reviewed, and improved upon for the next loop. Product teams quickly plan and design the iteration, test it with a beta launch, and then gather feedback and review the outcome. If the iteration is successful, it’s deployed as a larger release and the product team goes on to the next iteration.



Kanban is a project management methodology commonly used in product design and development. It was first developed by Toyota to improve its manufacturing efficiency and processes. Its basic principles include visualizing work, limiting work in progress, managing workflows, making explicit policies, creating pen feedback loops, improving through collaboration, and experimenting quickly to evolve.

Kino Model

The Kano Model is a product development theory developed in the 1980s by Noriaki Kano and categorizes customer satisfaction and preferences into five distinct categories: must-be quality, one-dimensional quality, attractive quality, indifferent quality, and reverse quality.


Lean Product Management

Lean product management is the core approach to product development featured in the book The Lean Startup. Its central tenet is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste and aims to create more value for customers with fewer resources.


Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Minimum viable product is a product management term that refers to the most basic version of a product that can be released that has enough value that customers and users are willing to use it or buy it initially, and it provides a feedback loop to guide future development. MVPs often are used to test early business hypotheses and assumptions.


Mixpanel is a SaaS product analytics software that enables digital businesses to analyze and track user engagement, conversion, and interactions with an application, digital service, or website. It is used by product managers, data analysts, marketers, and other professionals to understand user behavior, measure the effectiveness of different features, and make data-driven product decisions.

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A mockup is a visual representation of a product’s design and functionality created before it’s fully developed. Mockups build on wireframes (which are lower fidelity) and provide a more in-depth representation of the user interface. Mockups demonstrate a product’s basic design, layout, look and feel, and interaction flow.

Modal Window

A modal window (also known as a modal dialog or modal) is a graphical user interface (GUI) element that demands user interaction before they can return to the system. It’s a pop-up window that overlays onto an application’s main UI and grays out the rest of the application window to indicate to users that they can’t interact with it until they have finished or interacted with the modal window alert or message.



Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a widely-used metric that provides product teams with a simple way to measure and understand customer satisfaction and loyalty. It’s calculated based on a single question, “From 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”. You calculate NPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.


Onboarding UX

Onboarding UX refers to the strategic design blueprint that shapes new users’ initial interactions with your product during the introductory user onboarding phase. It’s a critical component influencing user perceptions about the product and encouraging consistent usage. The primary objective of onboarding UX is to streamline the user journey, reducing the time-to-value of your product, fostering habitual usage patterns, and propelling comprehensive product adoption.



Pendo is a SaaS digital adoption platform that enables product managers to build and analyze in-app content with a no-code platform.

Product Adoption

Product adoption is the process of discovering, understanding, and regularly using a product by building habits and realizing its value. It’s about showcasing the product’s contextual, outcome-driven value to convert prospective users into satisfied customers.

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Product Analytics

Product analytics is the methodical approach towards obtaining, analyzing, and using data related to a product to aid in decision-making, improve user experience (UX), and increase the overall experience of a product or digital service. These tools offer insights into user events, user flows, funnel analysis, segmentation, and more. Popular product analytics platforms in Amplitude Analytics, Mixpanel, and Whatfix.

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Product Documentation

Product documentation (or user documentation) helps customers and end-users understand how to use a product and troubleshoot common issues. Product documentation comprehensively covers everything about a product, and can include technical documentation such as user manuals, release notes, FAQs, API documentation, and product specifications.

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Product Experience

Product experience refers to the overall user journey throughout a product lifecycle, including the overall impression and perception a user has about a product. This includes everything from the first product interaction until they exit the application. It incorporates everything inside an application – from new user onboarding, new feature launches, their “aha!” moment, friction points, and more.

Product Feedback Survey

Product feedback is a survey methodology companies use to collect customers’ insights, opinions, and satisfaction levels about a specific product. It typically consists of product feedback survey questions designed to gather insights on the product’s performance, features, usability, and overall customer satisfaction.

Product Launch

A product launch refers to introducing a new product (or a significant new product update or feature launch) into the market. The product launch process involves several stages, each crucial to ensuring the product’s successful reception by its intended users. These stages include market research, product development, product launch planning, beta testing, product launch, and post-launch analysis.

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Product-Led Onboarding

Product-led onboarding is customer and user onboarding driven by in-app experiences within a product instead of traditional, hands-on onboarding support from sales or customer service representations. This type of product Onboarding includes guided product tours, user onboarding checklists, step-by-step flows, and other self-service experiences.

Product Management

Product management strategically guides the development, market launch, and continual support and improvement of a company’s products. Product managers are responsible for coordinating and managing the product teams and activities that go into making a product successful – from marketing research, development, marketing, and more.

Product Management Framework

A product management framework refers to the systematic process or set of guidelines that a product manager follows to guide a product’s lifecycle from conception to market launch, and through the entire iterative development process. Product management frameworks differ significantly from company to company, based on the business’s specific needs, resources, and market context. They all aim to provide structure, minimize risk, and ensure consistency to the product development and management process.

Product Roadmap

A product roadmap is a timeline-based document that allows product managers to plan their product strategy, create long-term development goals by prioritizing what to build, and align the product team on current projects and releases — from designers, engineers, customer success, marketing, etc. The product roadmap provides a window into your product’s future and the features the development team plans to build over the product’s lifetime. It’s a source of truth for everyone in the product development process.

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Product Stickiness

Product stickiness shows how engaged users are with a product and how much value and outcomes a product drives. It’s calculated by dividing daily active users (DAU) by monthly active users (MAU). Facebook introduced this metric to measure user engagement and product value. Businesses can use it to focus marketing efforts on users who find the most value in the product, what those features drive value, and to improve areas where they need to attract more ideal users.

Product Support

Product support is the infrastructure, including support documentation, help content, support tools, and self-help experiences, designed to help, educate, and support your customers and users on how a product works, resolve their issues, and turn product feedback into new features or product updates.

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Product Tour

A product tour is an in-app tutorial that guides new users through an app, website, or SaaS tool’s user interface (UI) and core features, which is prompted on the first visit. Also known as product walkthroughs, they help companies simplify their user onboarding process. A modern product tour combines different UI patterns such as pop-ups, interactive walkthroughs, beacons, tooltips, and explainer videos to allow new users to learn in the flow of work and create a strong first impression for new users. That solid first impression improves product stickiness, guides users to their “aha!” moment, and drives overall product adoption.

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Product Usage

Product usage is how customers and users interact with your product. It includes frequency, duration, and manner of use, and helps uncover valuable insights into user behavior, patterns, and preferences. Understanding product usage is critical for a product manager as it provides insights to identify a product’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. It also helps drive the development and prioritization of new features and product updates. It can also help in segmenting users based on usage patterns, allowing for more personalized marketing and product strategies.


A prototype is a preliminary, visual, and often interactive representation of a product’s design that is meant to illustrate and validate a product’s functionality, design, and flow before full-scale production or development. It is a crucial tool that enables product managers, stakeholders, and users to explore the product concept, provide feedback, and address potential issues early, reducing risks and costs associated with changes or misunderstandings in later development stages.

Push Notification

A push notification is a message that pops up on a user’s mobile device, typically used by apps to communicate timely, relevant information, updates, or prompts to re-engage users. For a product manager, push notifications help drive user engagement, allowing real-time interaction, promoting user retention, and driving key user actions.

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Rage Click

A rage click is a UX behavior where a user repeatedly clicks or taps on an in-app element of a website or application out of frustration or confusion when an element doesn’t respond or function as expected. For product managers, tracking and analyzing rage clicks provide valuable insights into usability issues and help identify UX flows and experiences that require improvement.

Release Notes

Release notes are a form of product documentation that informs users about new features and product updates. Also called changelogs, release notes are distributed right after an update is released to inform users about new features, changes to existing features, product updates, known issues, and bug fixes. These notes are shared with users to let them know how these changes will affect them, how to use these new features or updates effectively and explain any in-app workflow changes or adjustments they may need to make based on the new product changes, updates, or features.

RICE Scoring Model

The RICE Scoring Model is a product management framework to evaluate and prioritize potential new features or projects. RICE stands for reach (number of users affected over a given period), impact (effect on an individual user), confidence (certainty of your estimates), and effort (work needed to implement the feature).



User segmentation divides a product’s user base into cohorts based on shared characteristics such as behavior, demographics, usage patterns, preferences, or needs. The purpose of user segmentation is to understand better and provide contextual experiences to the specific needs of different users, enabling product managers to develop more personalized features, improve marketing strategies, enhance user engagement and retention, and ultimately deliver a more tailored product experience.

Session Replay

Session replay is a UX research technique that enables product teams to replay a user’s journey on a website or application, capturing mouse movements, clicks, scrolls, and keystrokes. Session replay tools are crucial for product managers as they provide a first-hand understanding of how users interact with their product, help identify usability issues, and lead to an enhanced and more intuitive product design and experience based on user behavior.

Software Documentation

Software documentation enables customers, users, and developers to understand a software application, its features and functions, and various technical aspects. This type of technical documentation consists of written tutorials, in-app guidance, videos, user guides, training manuals, and API documentation, which all aim to aid users in comprehending a software application.

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Scrum is an agile product management framework that emphasizes team collaboration, regular feedback, and iteration. Scrums are short, fixed-length work cycles known as sprints (typically one to two weeks) where a specific set of features are developed and tested.


A sprint is a short, fixed-length work cycle that lasts one to two weeks, where a specific feature or product update is developed, tested, and launched. This agile methodology begans with a sprint planning meeting to decide goals and task ownership, and ends with a review and retrospective to evaluate the work completed and the lessons learned.

Story Mapping

Story mapping is a visual exercise in agile product management that enables product teams  to organize and prioritize user stories (ie. descriptions of a feature from the user’s perspective) based on the user’s journey. It involves arranging user stories along two dimensions – a horizontal axis for user workflow and journey, and a vertical axis for development prioritization. Story mapping provides a holistic view of the product from the user’s perspective, and it allows product managers to understand the bigger picture.


Technical Documentation

Technical documentation is the detailed information that explains how a product functions, how to use it, and how to troubleshoot issues. This may include in-app guidance, user manuals, help content, system requirements, installation guides, API documentation, and more. It serves as a vital tool for different stakeholders such as developers, testers, end-users, and other team members, helping them understand and use a product more effectively.


Time-to-value (TTV) is a customer success metric that measures the length of time it takes a customer to see positive results and drive business outcomes from using a specific product that justify their investment. TTV is an important goal in user onboarding and is a major indicator of successful customer and user adoption.


A tooltip is a type of UX element and in-app message that overlays on an application and device screen when a user interacts with a specific element on a page or app. They can be triggered by a mouse click, hover, user login, or any other activity within the UI. Tooltips provide contextual information about specific features, task, or workflow, but don’t explain the entire workflow.


Usability Testing

Usability testing is a product management method to evaluate a product through real-user testing. In a usability test, users (participants) are asked to complete certain tasks while product managers observe, watch, listen, and take notes to gain deeper insights into a product. The goal is to identify any usability problems, collect qualitative and quantitative data, understand the user’s behavior and preferences, and determine the user’s satisfaction with a product.

User Engagement

User engagement refers to user’s interaction with a product or service. It measures the frequency or duration of use, and also the depth of the user’s involvement with a product, which could be demonstrated through actions such as exploring various features, recommending the product, or actively contributing content or using the product. User engagement is a key indicator of a product’s ability to retain users and to contextually understand what outcomes different types of users expect from a product or service.

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User Flows

User flows are UX diagrams used by product designers to understand user patterns within a product. This exercises helps UX designers create a more intuitive product that enable users to easily accomplish their goals and achieve their outcomes. User flows include a starting/entry point, what content/screen is shown to a user, the actions presented, the button/CTA a user must interact with to proceed to the next stage, and an ending point/goal.

User Friction

User friction refers to any UI element, feature, task, or workflow in a product that creates a negative user experience, such as a rage click or user drop off, that prevents them from achieving their goals or outcomes. It could be anything from complex navigation, slow loading times, invalidate data entry, to poor user interface design. Identifying and reducing user friction is a key responsibility for a product manager and can be identified with an event-based product analytics software like Whatfix.

User Journey Mapping

A user journey map visually represents a user’s path when using a product. It’s a common UX research technique that reveals how users interact with and use a product over time – starting with your new user onboarding flow – and reveals the most common paths users take to achieve their goal and outcomes. As you map out your user’s journey, you’ll discover behaviors, patterns, and pain points that illustrate where you need to make UX adjustments. A product analytics software like Whatfix enables product managers with the no-code tools to track user journeys and events.

User Onboarding

User onboarding is the process of guiding new users through a new application or digital service to better understand and effectively use a product from their first interaction. New user onboarding involves a combination of interactive tutorials, guided prodcut tours, tooltips, videos, checklists, step-by-step guides, email drip campaigns, and in-app messages to enable users to better navigate a product, understand its value, achieve their “aha!” moment, and drive adoption.

User Persona

User personas are a representation of a product or service’s ideal customer cohorts based on user testing, market research, and existing users data. User personas include information such as demographic details, behavior patterns, motivations, goals/expected outcomes, and pain points. Product managers often create fictional names to represent each cohort. These personas enable product managers and their teams better understand the contextual user needs and expectations which allow them to make user-centered decisions throughout the product development process.

User Research

User research refers to the process of product managers understanding user behaviors, needs, motivations, and challenges through user testing and researching methodologies such as customer interviews, user surveys, usability testing, session replay observation, product analytics, and user behavior analysis. User research provides valuable insights into how users interact with a product, what they value, and where they encounter difficulties.

User Retention

User retention is the number of users who continue interacting  with your product over a given period. You can calculate user retention over a defined period by analyzing the number of logins over a period of time. For specific features, focus on the number of users who interacted with a particular feature over your timeframe.


User interface (UI), or graphical user interface (GUI), refers to the human-computer interaction in a digital application and is everything designed into an application that a user interacts with. This includes application screens, pages, buttons, icons, and visual elements in a software application, mobile app, or website.

UX Design

User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that provide contextual, engaging experiences to users. This involves designing the user lifecycle from acquiring and integrating users into the product, and including aspects of branding, design, usability, and functionality.

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Whatfix is a leading digital adoption platform (DAP) provider that enables product managers with a no-code platform to build and deliver in-app experiences, guidance, and self-help support, such as product tours, new feature flows, beacons, tooltips, in-app checklists, and more. Whatfix also provides a codeless product analytics solution to enable product managers to understand user flows, journeys, experiences, and more, allowing them to identify and fix friction areas, identify the best user journeys, understand product stickiness, segment users, and drive product adoption.


A wireframe is a simple, visual representation of a skeletal framework for an application or website. It puts together an outline of the basic structure, UX layout, and functionality of the product, providing a clear overview of what will be on each screen, element location, and how it will work, but without any design elements (ie. colors, logos, or actual images).

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