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How to write a good requirements specification document
The most important step in an app development or app design process is the perfect communication of the requirements. It is necessary to make sure that your technology partner knows exactly what you want to develop, by creating a document that clearly presents what you want. The document should be complete, clear and solid, avoiding any possible ambiguities.
Let’s have a look at what all a requirements document should include:
- A brief about your vision and mission
- What is In Scope and What is Out of Scope of the Application
- Whether Designing is required or not
- Reference Applications (If any)
It is always better if you can mention what is the problem that you address by developing the application. Or in other words what is the app basically supposed to do.
For Example: The idea is to develop a perfect online taxi booking application, that helps users to find cheapest options to travel
Before getting into any feature listing, such brief descriptions will help to bring the one who reads the requirement document to the right context.
This is the place where you can mention what the app is, and what not the app is. For example, here you may describe: “This app is for booking taxi for short distance traveling, but it does not include an option to book a shared ride”
It should also be specified whether designing the UI/UX is also a part of the requirement.
Are there any similar applications available on the market today? If so, it would be great to include those references which can give a clear picture.
2. User Personas
You may have many user personas using the application. Each one may require a different flow all together or with small variances.
For example, a Taxi Booking App may have user personas like:
So, it would be great if you can specify the user personas that you expect in the application and also align the feature list accordingly.
3. Features List
You can list out the set of all the features that you require in this section. It is better to make it as descriptive as possible, so that there is a better understanding about the details.
Here is an example of feature list of a Taxi booking applicationAll Personas
- Home Screen
- Login/ Registration
- View bookings, Start / Deliver / End Ride.
- Route map to passenger location by button to (google maps)
- Accept/ Reject Rides
- Calculate Price
- Manage Profile
- Browse Options
- Book a trip
- Track driver/car
- Provide feedback
- Contact Admin
- Store payment details
- Make Payment
- Manage driver and passenger accounts.
- Manage Cars Categories and Availability of cars.
- Manage and Confirm Bookings.
- View and respond to feedback
- Generate Reports
- View bookings
4. Platform Considerations
Here, you may describe on what platforms you require this application. Is it for Desktop, or Web or Mobile or All three? In Desktop, you can mention which OSs to cover out of Windows, Mac OS X and Linux with version details. Similarly you can mention which browsers and versions to be supported by the Web Application? Is it going to be responsive or not? For Mobile Apps you need to specify whether you want to cover both Android & iPhone or only one and which OS versions need to be supported?
For example: “The user app and driver app should be for android and iPhone, and there should be a web application for admin”
5. Technology Stack Considerations
You may have some specific technologies to be considered for developing the application. For example for Mobile App if you are considering developing it using native tech stack then you will choose Swift for iOS and Android/Kotlin for Android. And you are considering building native Mobile App using a Hybrid Tech stack then you may specify React Native or Flutter or Xamarin or Iconic. Similarly for Web Server Side Development you may prefer Node.js or Spring Boot or .Net or Django Python or PHP and for Web frontend you may want to choose AngularJS, React.js or Vuejs and HTML5, CSS3 etc. You can mention the set of technologies you prefer in the document. For cloud you may have preference for AWS or Azure or Google Cloud or Digital Ocean etc.
6. UI/UX Considerations
In addition to technology considerations, you may have some preferences in regards to the UI/UX. If you have any concepts in mind in regards to the design, it is necessary to mention that as well.
For example, you may require heavy usage of In-app animations and design elements inspired from some other reference applications. You can state those in your requirements document.
7. Third Party Integrations
If you have any third party integrations like payment gateways or sms gateways or Social media integration with FB/Twitter/Linkedin etc. to be included appropriately in the application, you can go ahead and mention your preferences in the requirements.
It is not necessary that you should have technical knowledge to mention all these preferences. You can mention all your functional requirements, and your technology partner can take care of those considerations. However if you have any thoughts in regards to the Third Party Integrations, you can include it in the requirements.
8. Architectural Considerations
There are important architectural considerations like whether the App should be single tenant or multi tenant. If you have a great technical knowledge, you can definitely mention those architectural preferences in the document.
9. Security Considerations
Security is vital for most of the applications, and a good technology partner will take care of those considerations by default. But if you have some specific requirements in regards to security, it should be mentioned in the requirements.
10. Compliance Considerations
Compliances like GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA etc., can be a specific requirement depending on the category or functionality of the application. If there are such specific considerations, it is necessary to communicate it as a part of requirements.
11. Performance Considerations
If there are any specific requirements in regards to the performance of the application, you may include it in the document. It can be parameters like load speed or screen resolutions or time to interact.
12. Other Considerations
When it comes to customized app development, there may be many preferences which are specific to the functionalities of the particular application. More you get into detail better will be the communication of the requirements.
13. Timeline or Budget Considerations
If there is a specific budget or timeline that you have in mind, it would be great if you can include that also in the requirements document. It can enable your technology partner to come up with a better approach or suggestions to move forward.
If you need more help in framing your requirements, or if you feel that you are stuck in the process of realizing your app development idea, please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or book a free app consultation at www.synclovis.com