How to Write Specifications for Mobile or Web App

29 November6 min read
How to Write Specifications for Mobile or Web App

There is no doubt in the fact that specifications are excellent tools for ensuring the development of mobile and web apps. Without a suitable strategy, our development will be laid on unstable ground, causing delays followed by the need for continuous improvements. In this article, we will dive deep to discuss the specifications for Mobile or web app development to gather better insights. 

What is Mobile and Web App Specification?

The foundation of a digital product is an app requirement document often known as a PRD (Product Requirement Document). The documentation should be highly detailed in outlining the capabilities of the future app. In order to keep up with the business objective, it's essential to gather required data before preparing the specification in regards to the target group, competition, or technology. the app's ideation is only preliminary to the functional definition. A specification should consist of non-functional requirements and info about the communicated database APIs. Furthermore, the inclusion of features and functions in the program such as data security, social media integration, and payment mechanism is necessary. 

As per the architectural analogy, a lack of specification may result in the request to build a house based on information about the size and no. of rooms. Although, it won’t take too long to figure out that the ultimate result will be much different from what one might expect. The development team can comprehend the core functionality, prepare solutions, identify hazards and plan the next stages of production as early as the planning stage with a mobile or web PRD (Product Requirements Document). This is the only technique to determine the specific size of the building in the case of an external software house and a fixed price. Thus, the poor construction of functional specifications may frequently result in underestimation and delays followed by the collective interest of both two parties to plan energy in detail. 

Preparation of Product Requirements Document

Functional document specification for a digital product is not a standard and is not confined to a certain set of rules. The first and foremost thing to consider while preparing a document is that it should be readable and precise. It must consist of basic elements including a general description of business goals, the general operation of business goals, the general operation of the program and profile of the target user followed by technological requirements, and several other traditional information. Each chapter should address a no. of issues followed by keeping up with the minimal content. 

General Description

It’s essential to introduce yourself while you’re outsourcing the development of an app to an external team. It’s not about showcasing the company’s history but rather discussing the business objectives of digital products and their foundations. A well-defined foundation will allow the software house to define the requirements of your company. 

Over 5 million apps are available on Google Play and the Appstore. Each one of them aspires to meet the demands of unique users. Some are aimed at specialized, limited categories, such as specific occupations while others are web extensions or sales platforms and offer aggregators followed by others being stand-alone entertainment products monetized through microtransactions or advertisements. These are just a few snippets of the wide range of objectives that your app should pursue. The introduction of PRD should explicitly outline the program and answer the important concerns about its deployment followed by identifying the demands of the consumers. 

Let’s suppose you own a major online company that sells dietary supplements and wants to launch a mobile app targeted towards young and energetic individuals. The app will be able to recommend exercises based on the user’s specified aim. Firstly, it’s important to focus on the objective of planning cycles for the best results. The goal of your company is to have product suggestions alongside workout ideas with the option to purchase them directly from the app. This short description will provide the development team with valuable information. Furthermore, it is quite evident that the app will need to communicate with your store on multiple levels. You will also require access to the administrator’s panel in order to control exercises and product suggestions. The design is meant to be dynamic and understandable due to the user’s profile and the reliability of the app. 

Technological and Product requirements

It is highly suggested that one should make a no. of critical decisions related to the technological aspects of the app involving the choice of the target platforms and operating systems while still being in the planning phase. The app can be customized for use on a PC, tablet, or smartphone. The interface layout might be different in each situation. Although a native app dedicated to a single system will be economically streamlined, transferring it in the future may increase the required costs. Although, if you’re likely to release the app for both Android and iOS app devices at the same time, one can always look forward to a cheaper and more flexible way that is hybrid. Furthermore, information concerning services, servers, and databases with which the app will communicate and store data should be included in the technological requirements such as Payment systems, social media, CRM, etc. In order to find answers for questions such as Will there be a need for maintenance in the future? Is the company’s API documentation up to date? Will the app’s functionality be dependent on Third-party software? Should the app be connected to other tools analysis software? It is essential to specify the criteria under which company employees have the access to the administrative panel under different levels of authorization. All relevant technologies should be indexed and their use should be explained in the next chapter. 

Description of functionality and app operation scenario

The document should point to the core functionality of the app along with defining the additional functions of the apps. It’s necessary to take the coders step by step through the user’s journey. The user can already choose from the alternatives during the logging stage. Each subsequent action or function should be explained in all potential scenarios and the more complicated the app, the longer it will take to describe its functionality. 

Various other elements that should be included in the feature description are a collaboration with servers, offline operation (data buffering), the usage of social media and geolocation, payment mechanisms. Push notification, the structure of the application menu, design along textual content. Although not every module is required each one of them adds to the cost and expands the implementation time. Some companies focus on offering a product that simply accomplishes its fundamental goal in order to gather market interest before deciding on the complete version of the application (MVP). Furthermore, the documentation should list all the materials that are accessible to the agency. Alternatively, one can specify the precise scope of the work from app or web developers. 

Returning to the previous example, the user can log in using an existing supplement store (vice versa) as well as Facebook. After successful login, the user will see a human body map with the specified muscles by clicking on the appropriate section, the user will be navigated to a list of most popular exercises and recommended training cycles. The user can only access previously opened exercises stored in the phone’s memory when operating offline. Each exercise board should offer a product idea along with a CRM description. Reminders regarding future training and promotions can be displayed via push notifications. 

Importance of PRD and Final Thoughts

The functional specification of an app is the most important factor for an organization or a freelance developer to consider while accepting or rejecting a project. With reference to the above, the software house examines the work required for execution and identifies the dangers beforehand. The company can easily determine whether it has the appropriate technical and substantive resources as delay in time might sound costly for both parties. The workflow is likely to suffer due to the client’s solution to the problem which might lead to a delay in the delivery of the project. Thus, it is also essential to validate the participation of the customer in the project.