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Writing brief for mobile app

How to make a good application brief?

Creating a brief for a web and mobile applications

A brief of a web and mobile application is in other words its specification - more or less detailed description, containing the most crucial information about the project. The brief is the most useful when we want to receive an estimate of our project. It sometimes happens that the idea for the application isn’t supported with any specification or list of functions. Then developers may have a problem with defining how much work the applications require and in most cases they’re rather advanced projects which can’t be estimated vaguely. Creating a good brief for the application may seem more complicated, especially for people who don’t deal with technology on a daily basis. It’s nonsense, because we only have to answer the questions for which as the originators of the application we probably already know the answer. We shouldn’t be afraid of a lack of knowledge of technical terminology. The most important thing is to convey what we want to achieve through the application. Below we have prepared a few aspects that will help you to establish it.

1. What is the type of application?

First of all you have to define if your application is web (dedicated for desktop devices) or mobile (available on smartphones and tablets). In the case of a mobile application, we have to state if the application will work on Android, iOS or both systems. We can also distinguish other types of applications like web view or PWA. If you’re not familiar with these terms, talk with developers. They will tell you what is the best option for your project. If you have a greater technical knowledge and want to base the application on a specific technology or framework, such information will be also very useful.

2. What is the goal of the application?

It is a fundamental question to ask when we create the application. What is the application for? Why do you want to create it? What role does it has? What problems does it solve? The answers for these questions will bring substantial knowledge of how to build the application and in which direction we can develop it. While considering these things you have a chance to think better about the performance of the application and its functionalities.

3. Who will use the application?

Establishing a target group is a valid task already at the stage of creating the application. It won’t only help you to specify major functions of the application, but also to plan further marketing activities, which will increase the reach of the application. It’s significant if the application will be used by everyone or if only your employees will use it. Another relevant thing in the application is if it includes any groups of users and roles. Think if you can distinguish any specific groups of users and give them individual authorisations and functions.

4. What functions will the application have?

The list of web and mobile applications' functions is very crucial, especially in estimating workload on the application. We have to think what admins and users will be able to do via the application. It is also good to say if you already have a plan for expansion of the application. Thanks to this the developer can match proper solutions, which can be developed in the future. What is more, consider if you want to start with an MVP application (Minimum Viable Product - containing only key functionalities) or you want to implement all of the functions. Also take into account if there are any functions that should be assigned to the particular group, if such exist.

5. Will the application be integrated with external resources?

Do you want to connect your application to an external system? First of all, you have to check if a chosen system has the API, which will help to connect our application with this system. If integrations are indispensable for an application's performance, it is good to verify this at the early stage of planning the application.

6. Will the application be monetised?

Forms of payments in the application may be more or less complicated. If using the application will be charged, think if you want to provide a one-time or recurring payment.

7. What will the application look like?

If you prepare a graphic lay-out of the application, it’s out of your way. If you still have to do this, think about the way you want your application to look. Is there any project which can be used as the inspiration and which reflects what you like? Do you want to create advanced animations? This additional information allows for more precise estimation of the project. If you don’t have any precise preferations, talk with the developer who will for sure help you to create the application's front-end.

Answering these 7 questions will help you to prepare an accurate brief that will help you to estimate lead time and budget for the project, as well as to create a schedule of work on the application. Do you want to check if your brief has all of the necessary information? Send it to us and our developers will assess if everything is clear.

8. MoSCoW analysis

It’s a way to specify priorities for our application. This analysis includes the division into 4 categories (Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, Won’t Have). To learn more about it, read our article - MoSCoW Analysis. It is a great way for a simple and clear organisation of application’s elements, which will be useful both for you and developers.