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Using Generative AI to Streamline Product Development: A Guide to Crafting Roadmaps, User Personas, and Agile User Stories

Digital & Software Solutions

September 14, 2023


In today’s technological landscape, innovation isn’t just an advantage; it’s a requirement. One of the most promising disruptors in this space is Generative AI. But have you ever considered using AI for crafting product roadmaps, creating user personas, or even generating Agile user stories? If not, this blog post is for you.

Leveraging AI for Product Roadmaps

What the Experts Say

Traditional product roadmapping has often relied on the collation of extensive market research, user feedback, and a series of iterative discussions among the product team. While this approach is still valid, Generative AI can add a layer of data-driven suggestions based on a wider dataset than a human could easily manage.

How it Works

Through machine learning algorithms, AI can analyze user feedback, competitor landscapes, and current market trends. It can then generate roadmap suggestions, identifying possible short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. Once these milestones are established, product managers can work on refining the generated roadmaps, giving them a head start in the planning phase.

Here is an example expanding on the new healthcare app vision that we started in the previous blog:

Prompt: “Help me create a product roadmap for this product. Please write in the English language.”


Certainly! A product roadmap is a strategic document that outlines the vision, direction, and progress of a product over time. For your health center’s mobile application, I’ll draft a high-level product roadmap based on the information provided. Let’s break this down into short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals:

Product Roadmap for Health Center’s Mobile Application

Short-Term (0-6 months): Establishing the Basics

  • User Profiles: Develop comprehensive user profiles capturing individual health and fitness goals, preferences, and history.
  • Personalized Content: Introduce personalized workout routines, nutrition plans, and health articles based on user profiles.
  • Community Features: Launch community forums and groups where members can share experiences, ask questions, and provide support.
  • Feedback System: Implement an intuitive mechanism for users to provide direct feedback about the app’s functionalities and content.
  • Pilot Mental Health Features: Introduce basic mental health assessment tools and resources, like mood tracking or stress assessment quizzes.

Mid-Term (7-18 months): Enhancing Interactivity and Expanding Content

  • Gamification: Introduce challenges, badges, and rewards to motivate users and enhance engagement.
  • Virtual Classes: Incorporate live-streamed or pre-recorded classes from health center trainers.
  • Mental Health Expansion: Introduce guided meditation, relaxation techniques, and resources on managing stress and anxiety.
  • Integration with Wearables: Allow synchronization with fitness trackers and wearables for real-time health monitoring.
  • User-Generated Content: Enable members to share their own fitness journeys, tips, or stories, creating a richer community experience.

Long-Term (19-36 months): Positioning as a Comprehensive Health Hub

  • Telehealth Integration: Introduce features for virtual consultations with health professionals, therapists, and nutritionists.
  • Advanced Mental Health Tools: Collaborate with mental health professionals to introduce features like CBT-based tools, mental health challenges, and more.
  • AI-driven Insights: Utilize artificial intelligence to provide users with insights into their health patterns, predicting potential challenges and offering timely solutions.
  • Global Community Events: Organize virtual global health challenges, workshops, or conferences to strengthen the community bond.
  • Expansion to New Platforms: Explore opportunities to expand beyond mobile, such as web platforms or smart TV applications.

Challenges & Prioritization:

Given the myriad of potential features, prioritization will be key. Here’s a recommendation:

  • Feedback-Driven Development: Regularly solicit and analyze user feedback to identify the most requested features and pain points.
  • Data Analysis: Monitor app usage patterns to understand which features are most engaging and which are underutilized. Prioritize enhancements accordingly.
  • Market Research: Regularly assess competitors’ offerings and industry trends to ensure you’re not falling behind and to identify potential differentiators.
  • Iterative Releases: Adopt an agile approach, releasing features in smaller batches, gathering feedback, and refining based on user response.

Remember, a roadmap is a dynamic document. It should be revisited and revised as you gather more data, feedback, and as market conditions evolve.

Considerations for Scalability and Growth

AI can contribute to planning for scalability. If you remember our health center app example, it aimed to grow into mental health features over time. AI can identify similar existing solutions in the market and analyze their scaling timelines to provide a recommended scaling strategy. This is an area that we believe holds significant promise to provide input into user story prioritization, validation, and creation.

Crafting Accurate User Personas with AI

The Data-Driven Approach

Typically, creating user personas involves user interviews, surveys, and market segmentation. However, Generative AI can quickly analyze extensive datasets containing user behaviors, preferences, and demographics to generate user personas. These personas can be used as starting points that are later refined through human interpretation and qualitative research.

Beyond Basic Data

For instance, if you aim to create a health app, AI can generate personas that will most likely use your app—like “Eager Emily,” a 24-year-old fitness newbie or “Corporate Carl,” a 35-year-old busy professional. These AI-crafted personas can save enormous amounts of time by offering a comprehensive overview of user types based on real-world data.

Here is my output from asking ChatGPT to help create 5 personas for our healthcare example:

Absolutely, personas are essential in UX design as they help in understanding the users’ needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals. Since your health center’s mobile application aims to offer a highly personalized and community-oriented experience, the following five personas can capture a broad yet nuanced view of your potential user base:

1. The Fitness Newbie: “Eager Emily”

  • Age: 24
  • Occupation: Software Engineer
  • Goals: To start a regular fitness routine, lose weight, and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
  • Pain Points: Feels overwhelmed by the myriad of exercise choices, unsure where to begin, lacks motivation.
  • Needs: A simple, guided approach to fitness, supportive community, easy-to-follow routines.

Key Features Relevant for Emily:

  • Personalized beginner’s workout and nutrition plans.
  • Community forums focused on beginners.
  • Gamification features for motivation.

2. The Busy Professional: “Corporate Carl”

  • Age: 35
  • Occupation: Finance Manager
  • Goals: To maintain a work-life balance, stay fit despite a busy schedule.
  • Pain Points: Limited time, inconsistent schedule, stress.
  • Needs: Quick workouts, stress management resources, flexibility in workout timing.

Key Features Relevant for Carl:

  • Short and effective workout modules.
  • Stress management and relaxation techniques.
  • Sync with calendar for workout reminders.

3. The Mindfulness Seeker: “Mindful Maya”

  • Age: 42
  • Occupation: Freelancer / Yoga Instructor
  • Goals: Enhance mental health, engage in mindful practices.
  • Pain Points: Difficulties in focusing, emotional ups and downs.
  • Needs: Guided meditations, mindful community discussions, emotional well-being resources.

Key Features Relevant for Maya:

  • Guided meditation sessions.
  • Community discussions on mental health.
  • Mood tracking features.

4. The Seasoned Athlete: “Competitive Chris”

  • Age: 30
  • Occupation: Professional Athlete
  • Goals: To improve athletic performance, gain muscle, optimize nutrition.
  • Pain Points: Reaching plateaus, injury prevention.
  • Needs: Advanced workout plans, performance tracking, expert advice.

Key Features Relevant for Chris:

  • Advanced workout modules with performance analytics.
  • Injury prevention tips and techniques.
  • Expert-led webinars or live Q&A sessions.

5. The Health-Conscious Parent: “Organized Olivia”

  • Age: 48
  • Occupation: School Teacher
  • Goals: To stay active, involve family in fitness activities, manage stress.
  • Pain Points: Finding family-friendly workouts, managing time.
  • Needs: Family workout plans, stress management for busy parents, community support.

Key Features Relevant for Olivia:

  • Family workout plans and challenges.
  • Parent-focused stress management resources.
  • Community forums focused on family health and wellness.

While not perfect, I hope you would agree that this content gives product owners and designers a significant head start in defining key user types for this kind of application.

Agile User Stories and Acceptance Criteria

Agile and AI: A Perfect Pair

Agile relies on quick iterations and rapid adaptation to change. AI can complement this approach by automating the generation of Agile user stories and acceptance criteria based on the product roadmap and user personas.

Take a look at this output from asking ChatGPT to create user stories for creating a profile for our healthcare app:

User Story 1: Basic User Profile Creation

As a new user,
I want to be able to create a basic profile with my essential information,
So that I can have personalized experiences in the app.

Acceptance Criteria:

  1. The profile creation screen should be accessible right after the user signs up and logs in for the first time.
  2. The user must be able to input their name, age, gender, and primary fitness goal (e.g., weight loss, muscle gain, stress management).
  3. After entering the information, the user should be able to save and proceed to the app’s main screen.
  4. Users should receive a confirmation message (“Profile Successfully Created”) after saving their information.

User Story 2: Profile Picture Upload

As a registered user,
I want to upload a profile picture,
So that I can make my profile more personalized.

Acceptance Criteria:

  1. Users should have an option to upload a profile picture from their device’s gallery or take a new photo.
  2. The uploaded photo should be displayed as a thumbnail before saving.
  3. Users should have the ability to crop and rotate the photo.
  4. A successful upload should replace the default profile icon and should be reflected immediately.

User Story 3: Health History Input

As a registered user,
I want to add details about my health history,
So that the app can offer me more tailored fitness and nutrition plans.

Acceptance Criteria:

  1. Users should have an option in their profile to input health-related metrics such as weight, height, dietary restrictions, and pre-existing medical conditions.
  2. The fields for these metrics should allow varied input types (e.g., text, numbers, checkboxes for conditions).
  3. Users should be able to edit or update this information at any time.
  4. Health history should be stored securely and only be accessible to the user and any linked health professionals.

User Story 4: Personal Preferences Setting

As a registered user,
I want to set my workout and content preferences,
So that I can receive recommendations that suit my tastes and needs.

Acceptance Criteria:

  1. Users should have a section in their profile for setting preferences like favorite workout types, available workout equipment, and preferred content formats (e.g., videos, articles).
  2. Users should be able to toggle between options using checkboxes or switches.
  3. Changes to these settings should immediately influence the type of content and recommendations the user sees in the app.

User Story 5: Profile Privacy Settings

As a registered user,
I want to control who can see my profile and activity,
So that I can maintain my privacy within the community.

Acceptance Criteria:

  1. Users should be able to access a ‘Privacy Settings’ section in their profile.
  2. Users should have options to set their profile to ‘Public’, ‘Friends Only’, or ‘Private’.
  3. The choice should affect how their activity is visible to other users and should be immediately effective after selection.

Each of these user stories can be further broken down into tasks to be completed by your development team. This approach keeps the development process agile, facilitating quick iterations and allowing the team to adapt to changes and feedback effectively.

A Step Further into Automation

Generative AI algorithms can review the planned features on the roadmap, consider the needs of each user persona, and then generate a set of user stories with associated acceptance criteria. For example, our AI could generate a user story for “Eager Emily” that would focus on enabling a beginner-friendly fitness journey, complete with acceptance criteria like a guided tour and a selection of beginner workouts.

Final Thoughts

While Generative AI’s role in product development is still an evolving field, the potential is enormous. Not only can it significantly accelerate the development process, but it can also introduce data-driven methodologies that can vastly improve the final product.

By incorporating AI in crafting product roadmaps, user personas, and Agile user stories, we’re not just keeping up with technological trends; we’re leveraging them to create better, more user-centric products. However, it’s important to remember that the human element—your intuition, empathy, and understanding of your user’s needs—cannot and should not be fully replaced by AI. Consider Generative AI as a tool in your toolbox, one that you can wield to augment your capabilities, rather than replace them.

So, are you ready to let AI guide your next product development cycle? With the rapid advancements in machine learning and AI technologies, this concept is fast becoming our reality.

About the Author

Neil Fox

Neil Fox

Neil’s background contains more than 35 years of technology leadership. The first chapter of Neil’s career was spent in software commercial product development companies including TRW, MRI, Lawson Software, and Red Hat. For the past 15 years, Neil has served as CTO and Chief Innovation officer for several IT services firms. During this time, he has led technology strategy, adoption and culture change for some of the world-leading enterprise organizations. He is seen as a thought leader and partner to Hexaware’s leading clients.

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