How to Create an App Design Brief for your Developer
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
If your reading this blog post it most likely means that you have come up with a great idea for a mobile app, or are looking into expanding your business to an additional platform, with the App Market Boom you have made the right choice. but what's next? unless you are an app developer yourself you will want the assistance of an app developer, who will be able to work to your requirements and develop exactly what you want with the help of a product brief that you can provide. If you are still perfecting your app-business model, you can start by reading "What to Know Before Having your App Developed" which will give an outline of how to get started.
Why is Product Brief Important?
The mobile app brief serves, above anything else, to fulfill one objective; to provide the information that will suit the exact product you need, this can be done through the developers understanding relevant details of your business and your vision of the end product. This document will help you to start negotiations with the software development company that will realize your project, allowing them to understand the specialization, target market, and objectives of your business.
The developer will be able to be more accurate and helpful in their provision and use of certain technologies, tools, and methods through the brief, which will allow them to learn the ins and outs of the app you want now, as well as what you are considering adding int he future, as well as ensuring that the finished product matches your expectations.
Essentially, a product brief will prevent complications in the process between the customer and developer arising as a result of miscommunication or lack of information, it will help the project stay within the proposed time scale and ensure that you get exactly what you want for your app!
What Should I Include in My Brief?
Here you will find 9 items that you should include in your brief, the more accuracy and detail you provide, the more likely the development process will be smooth and the end product will match your expectations and requirements.
1. Introduction; Describe Your Idea
This can be a brief introduction to what you are hoping to achieve, if you are struggling with starting, you can use the following sentence structure: This application uses [core feature] for [target audience] to solve/help [the key problem or goal of your target audience].
2. Goals and Objectives
In this section, you can go further into depth about the goals and objectives of your app, and what you hope to achieve with it.
3. Target Audience
Give the developer a brief insight into your target audience; their needs and interests. As the target audience is the driving force for the creation of the product. Giving key information to the developers will equip them with full knowledge about the audience and this is essential in building the optimal user experience and features for your app.
Which platforms and devices do you plan to develop your app for? Firstly, explain the types of devices that you want your app to be compatible with: smartphones, tablets, or all devices. Further, define what platform you’ll be developing for; Android, iOS, or cross-platform. This choice is critical as every platform has a different development approach.
If you want your app to have high performance, native mobile development is a better choice. However, if you’re building an MVP and want to launch your basic product quickly, hybrid development is a better choice (you can find out more about the differences between these in our post "What to Know Before Having your App Developed").
5. Feature Prioritization
What is the main feature of your app? Specify if your needs, this could include; geolocation, push notifications, and other capabilities. If you have many features that you want to add, specify which app features are essential for your goals, and note which features are less critical. If your plan is to build an MVP , prioritizing features will be a huge help to yourself and the developers. Indicate the prioritization of the features so developers know what to focus on first, you can use a prioritization method called MoSCoW by marking them as Must, Should, Could, and Won’t.
6. Interface Design
This involves designing the layout, a prototype, and gaining a picture of the finished design. If you are in the stages of developing the design from scratch, you may want to go back to basics and draw out how you want your app to look on each page and placements of certain features. This will help you build on your vision and also give your developers a clear picture of what they are working towards. For this you may want to look at apps that you find particularly appealing or those that you look towards for inspiration, you could even give a few of these examples to the developer to give a clearer picture of what you are aiming towards.
7. Navigation sequence
Describe and map out your application sequence that your users will experience while using the app, this involves developing and capturing the UX. Include information about features that show in the initial use, including user registration as well as user preferences (sound, notifications, product preferences e.g. clothing style, favorite games, music genres). You can then map out what the user will be doing next, making navigation accessible and simple for the user, describing the application’s home screen and the user’s step by step journey.
8. Technical Requirements
Choosing the mobile platform of the app is not the lesser of the technological decisions you will be making; you will need to consider other system requirements and identify them in your brief, they will be closely related to your features and requirements of the target audience.
This can include considerations of integrations with third parties such as payment systems, data update methods, website or database interactions, as well as other items such as geofencing, location services, continuous operation (for limited connectivity areas). The technological requirements for each app will be different, there is a huge range of technological capabilities that you can incorporate into the app, choosing which are most relevant, essential, and useful to the user is an important part of the brief.
9. Budget and Timeframe
What is your project budget and how much time do you plan to allow for development? Implementing the features and technologies you want to see in your app is going to add up, setting a budget for the project will help you prioritize the key features of the app, break down the costs of development and ensure that you get a high return on your investment.
The budget will be affected by the overall scope of the work, as well as the desired timeframe and the price charged by the development team, as well as other factors.
At Proteams we have an extensive portfolio of mobile app and software development projects, we put this experience towards helping businesses achieve their targets with the right technological capabilities.
Visit Proteams.co.uk to find out more about how Proteams can bring quality software platforms to transform your business.
Great apps start with Proteams.