What is product architecture?
The product design and product architecture are not the same, but they do share important similarities. Both product design and product architecture involve creation of a product system. A product system consists of people, processes, products, services and systems that interact to create something new.
Product Architecture is a product’s ability to achieve product positioning. This product needs to have the unique features that will help it achieve product differentiation or product optimization from its competitors. It is made by identifying and defining what product should do and express (functionality) and how it can be used (usability).
Product Architecture gives the Product Management team different types of product architecture: product structure, product display, and product flow.
The first step for Product Architecture is to identify the initial set of attributes which will allow you to position your product as well as differentiate it among competitors’. These attributes must not only focus on the capability of your products but also on how they can benefit users. For example, Apple has mastered this concept by adding features such as the retina display in which product differentiation is apparent in their product design. To take product architecture into consideration when developing your product, you should define how it will be organized, displayed, and used.
The product architecture of the product typically allows an individual to see what is happening with his or her product because it provides a high level visualization of who has selected what data for analysis. When product architecture allows the user to find out quickly what happens with all information related to the product this enhances self-service analytics capabilities along with better understanding of the product management process. Self-service analytics contributes greatly to delivering accurate business insights by allowing users to explore data without any prerequisites. Product architecture enables analysis provisioning by providing end users access analysis provisioned through other product capabilities.
Product architecture is a model of product structure, components and their relationships that can act as a contract between product management and product users. Product manager defines product architecture dimensions (e.g., product schema) which are used to model products for various business purposes like data integration, integration with external applications or enabling application code reuse across products. Dimensions represent the top level elements that make up an overall product (e.g., product lines, service types). Each element in the dimension represents a separate product area (i.e., area of coverage along specific dimension value). For example, one product line might be “voice”. The possible areas of coverage for this product line would be residential business subscribers, wholesale business subscribers, prepaid subscribers etc.
– The structure or organization of a product consisting of functional elements and their relationships over time as well as the principles by which it should be designed and developed
Product Architecture: Product Platforms & Product Lines – How Apple 11 Different iPhones Compare Inside 1 Form Factor and 5 Shared Components.
– “The first step in developing a product platform is product architecture: the product’s core elements and their relationships. The product architecture describes the product’s standard functional components along with the interfaces of those components and their relationship to other product system elements”
– Product Architecture: How Hardware, Software & Networks Work Together why Apple’s iPhone has such a great product architecture
– “A productâs physical, or logical structure” – What is product architecture? What is a platform? Is it time for your company to embrace a platform business model?
What types of product architectures exist?
The following list outlines some different ways in which product systems can be organized .
It also provides examples of some companies that use these models:
Product architecture is the combination of product structure, product system and product platform.
– A product structure
– The components that make up a product – the product’s logical structure
– Example: Nike has a well defined product structure
– An example would be toothpaste packaging which consists of an inner tube filled with toothpaste and outer packaging to keep it clean and hygienic.
– With fitness apps, it’s all about tracking your runs/jogs so they are not hidden in folders on your phone but are actually being used. This way you know how many steps you have walked today … etc The Activity App comes under iOS HealthKit & ResearchKit software platforms .
– product architecture
– A product structure
– Example: The product has a well defined product structure because you have a large display for the touchscreen, front facing camera and earphone jack at the top of your mobile device. You also have a back facing camera, volume buttons and power button at the side of your product.
– Product Architecture is about how different components fit together to allow product performance and value creation.
Types of product architecture:
1) Horizontal product architecture – Products that serve multiple markets without change to the base product design. – An example would be Dell laptops which can run any software requiring computing resources such as games or spreadsheets without changing their basic hardware structure .
2) Vertical product architecture – Products that serve a specific market by focusing on product differentiation through product optimization for a given market segment.
– An example would be the iPad, which is an optimized product made specifically for the tablet market .
3) Hybrid product architecture – The product serves multiple segments / markets but has its own differentiating features .
– For example, Apple’s Macbook Air is a hybrid product as it can be used in any software requiring computing resources such as games or spreadsheets, however it focuses on product differentiation through product optimization for those who want something minimalistic and portable.
How does Product Architecture relate to other elements of the marketing mix? It relates to Product management constraints because a product manager bases decisions about a new product on pre-existing product architecture. It relates to product positioning as it helps market a product in its segment through product differentiation or product optimization.
For example, Apple’s product architecture policy is to innovate by “viewing the computer not just as a tool for productivity but also as an enabler of creativity”. This is evident with product development methodologies such as creating iTunes and the iPod that differentiates the Macbook Air from all other computers. Finally, it relates to adding value to your product which enhances product differentiation or product optimization.