The hand of a person is visible as they are pointing at a whiteboard. The board has "Product roadmap" written on it, with big circles that represent each fiscal quarter of the year. A line from each circle connects to goals or ambitions for the product, like "Launch" or "publish iOS app". The image is subtitled, "Three product roadmap examples." This post is about product roadmaps.

Three great examples of open source product roadmaps

In my daily reading, I came across three product roadmaps from Proton, developers of several open source, privacy-centered products. These include products like Proton Mail, Proton VPN, and Proton Drive. The product roadmaps shared by Proton play a tactical role. They inform consumers and engaged customers about exciting changes yet to come. It gets people excited about the product’s future. Additionally, it builds an engaged user base that is more willing to experiment and try new features.

Product roadmaps are something many projects struggle with. It fits into the communications and outreach umbrella, which unfortunately is typically an underresourced part of many open source products. They are one small part of a larger strategy around openness and transparency. If customers and stakeholders know what to expect, they gain more confidence in the product and company mission. For instance, this is especially true when the company continuously delivers on its roadmaps and meets its ambitions. As a result, delivering on those ambitions leaves a strong impression.

Highlights from Proton product roadmaps

Of particular note, these product roadmaps do the following things well from a messaging point-of-view:

  1. Builds context with previous work delivered in the last year for the product.
  2. Several clearly-defined goals and ambitions for each product are defined and explained. The aspirations for the coming year are spelled out and users can begin to form realistic expectations about what new features to anticipate.
    • Some highly-motivated individuals may use this as an opportunity to make their first contribution to the product, whether in the form of feedback or code.
  3. Strong call-to-action at the end of each article, where Proton defines how people can participate and engage with feedback about the products.

Check out each of the three product roadmaps below and let me know what you think about them in a comment on this post.

Proton Mail & Proton Calendar

[…] we want to provide an update on what’s coming next for Proton Mail and Proton Calendar. As 2022 wraps up and we look into the new year, we want to develop stronger protections against technologies that invade your privacy, improve your reading experience, and make your day more productive through deeper integrations between our products.

Proton VPN

In March, we shared our 2022 roadmap for Proton, including Proton VPN. Now that we’ve reached November, we feel it’s a good time to revisit our progress this year and explain what you can expect from Proton VPN in the near future.

Proton Drive

In September 2022, we were excited to launch Proton Drive and introduce the first standalone Proton Drive paid plans. As with all the services we’ve rolled out over the years, we know the launch is just the first step. The real work is in the continual improvements, advancements, and added features that follow. Building an encrypted file storage service is not easy, particularly one that uses end-to-end encryption on both your files and file metadata like Proton Drive.

Many of you have asked us what is next for Proton Drive, and today, we wanted to share with you a short-term roadmap of what you can expect in the coming quarters. Of course, we also have longer-term roadmaps. We look forward to sharing those and keeping you updated on the latest developments as Proton Drive progresses.

Photo by Slidebean on Unsplash. Modified by Justin W. Flory.

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