Writing Specifications for a Mobile App Development Project

mobile apps development

How do you write specifications? It’s a very often asked question if you decide that you need some software to be developed for your business.

Companies, especially if they are not involved in the software development area, can be really confused when the need for specific software writing comes arises.

For example: If you need a mobile app and decide to ask another mobile application development company for help, they will probably ask you for the specifications of the project.

In this post, we’ll look at the most common things that any specification should have and explore mobile apps development specifications.


What are Specifications?

technical specification is a document that defines a set of requirements that a product or assembly must meet or exceed. A product or assembly that does not meet all of the specifically expressed requirements does not meet the specification, and often is referred to as being out of specification or “out of spec.” Specifications are used when a contract for technical products or services is issued. The technical specification defines the requirements to fulfill the contract.


Why do we need specifications?

  • Specifications ensure that the client gets the product or service required.
  • Specifications spell out to the contracting party precisely what is wanted.
  • Specifications help to correlate expenditures with a budget.

Create the Specification

There is no general formula for writing specifications. However, the most common plan for writing specification for any software development product is often:

1. Introduction
The introduction should include the purpose, scope, definitions, technologies to be used, the timeframe for product delivery, budget. The introduction should describe what the specification consists of and explain how the specification is organized.

2. Overall Description
Include such items as product perspective, product functions, user characteristics, constraints, assumptions and dependencies, and requirements subsets.

3. Specific Requirements
This section should contain all the software requirements to a level of detail sufficient to enable designers to design a system to satisfy those requirements, and testers to test that the system satisfies those requirements.

4. Supporting Information
It includes: a) Table of contents, b) Index, c) Appendices.

5. Concerns / Queries / Doubts if any:
Here you list any question and doubts concerning your project, and technologies that you use.


Mobile Apps Development Specification

So, let’s have a more detailed look at how to write a good mobile app development specification.

1. Introduction 

1.1  The idea of the project – Give your service provider as many details about your mobile app development project as you can.

1.2  Determine the key goal of your mobile application – Provide a brief but accurate explanation of what you would like to achieve.

1.3  Specify what platforms your mobile app should work on: AndroidiPhone, BlackBerry, or any other, whether it should be a cross-platform or not.

1.4  Graphical design – Clarify whether the design will be outsourced. (If so, specify who will be working on design-related tasks: contractor or a freelancer, …)or whether this will be done internally.

1.5  The budget of the project -clarify your budget limitations.

1.6 Desired time-frames for product delivery – Specify the date and milestones when you would like your mobile app development project to be delivered.

2. The details of the project

2.1 Screens  – Screens (tabs) should be presented separately, with images available, presentations, and all other visual materials.

2.2 Social media integration- Clarify if your mobile app should be  integrated with social media (Facebook, Twitter….).

2.3 Landscape mode – Clarify whether you would like a landscape mode to be implemented in your mobile app.

2.4 Offline work – Mention whether your mobile app should be able to store any data on the device.

2.5 Server collaboration – Clarify whether your mobile app will have to send any data from/to an external server. Provide some general description of the server part.

2.6 Printing features -Point out if your mobile app should be able to print  the information, and, if so, what types of data will be made available for print.

2.7 In-app purchases integration – Mention if your mobile app users should be able to buy content inside the app, and, if so, what type of content will be sold.

2.8 Geo-location services – Point out whether or not your mobile app will have geo-data functionality.

2.9 Push notifications – Clarify if your app will have push notifications for enhanced user interaction, and, if so, what types of notifications will be implemented.

3. Market information

3.1 Target group – Present your ideas about potential users of your mobile app.

3.2 Competitors – Mention competitive products you want your potential service provider to have a look at before giving you any project assessment.

4.Various issues

4.1 Responsible people from your side – Clarify who and how many people will be involved in leading your mobile app project management in your company.

4.2 Communication – Describe the  desirable method(s) of communication you wish to have with your service provider.

4.3 Complementary information – Provide any other project-related details here, questions, etc.


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