Product glossary

A list of helpful product terms and definitions

A/B Test

Also known as split-run testing, this is a user research testing method whereby participants are shown one of two segments of a variable and comparing them against one another to determine which of the two is most effective. For example: a section of your user base is shown version A of a checkout page, while another section is shown version B. The version that has the best conversion rate from this experiment will then be chosen.

AARRR Framework

This is also known as the ""AARRR Pirate Metrics Framework. Created by Silicon Valley investor and founder of 500 Startups Dave McClure, this acronym stands for: Acquisition - How do customers find out about your product? / Activation - Are users completing the desired actions in your product? / Retention - Do activated users continue to return to use your product? / Referral - Is your product so loved that your users are sharing it with others? / Revenue - Are customers willing to pay for your product? / Dave developed these metrics to help startups focus on the metrics that directly relate to the health of their business and utilize the right data to determine the success of their product and marketing initiatives.

AC: Acceptance Criteria

Used in agile, they are a set of documented requirements that are predefined and determine when a user story is complete. They help the QA team establish testing criteria, reduce ambiguity for how the product/feature should function, block scope creep, and manage expectations. While not the only format for writing acceptance criteria, the Given/When/Then/And format is popular.

Acceptance testing

Testing a product to determine if it passes the specified requirements to be considered "done”.

Actionable metrics

Metrics that provide insights into the performance of your feature, product, service, or business, and can be acted upon to make improvements. These are the metrics that really. Actionable metrics are opposite to vanity metrics.


When customers choose to continuously use a product that fits their specific needs. Either they leave an existing product to use a new one, or they did not have an existing product but choose to rely on a new one since it solves their key pain points and provides them with value.

Affinity diagram

A helpful method used to understand large groups of information when there is mixed data. This diagram takes large groups of data and organizes them into natural relationships. In product management it is often used to group ideas that are gathered from a brainstorming exercise. This is also known as affinity mapping.


An iterative approach to software development with the purpose of quickly delivering value to customers and enabling teams to respond to change.

Agile Manifesto

Published by the founders of the ""Agile Alliance"", the Agile Manifesto documents the four key values of Agile along with the 12 principles that the authors believed should guide the work of software developers. Check it out the manifesto here:

Alpha test

Alpha testing is performed by internal employees with the goal to identify all potential issues and errors in a product that should be resolved before release. Alpha testing is often performed in a test environment.

API: Application Programming Interface

A software intermediary that enables two applications to talk to one another.


A set of code packaged together that enables people to perform an activity. This is also known as application software or application program.

ARR: Annual Recurring Revenue

A relied upon metrics by SaaS businesses (software as a service) that shows the expected revenue per year over the life of a contract or a subscription.

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