When you consider the amount of time and money you’ll need to create a mobile app, you’ll want to do things effectively right from the beginning. This will save you time and money in the long run. Let’s look at how a product specification document fits into the process of creating a web or mobile app and why you need one.
What Is a Product Specification Document?
A product specification document, sometimes called a blueprint, is the end result of a roadmapping session. It is a document that is professionally created by experienced app developers, where we take your app idea and detail out all of the critical functions in writing. We flesh out your ideas and put them into the real world so to speak, so that both you and our developers can see exactly what should be built. As a result, the product specification document allows us to more accurately estimate the cost of your project.
Why Do You Need One?
There are five big reasons you need a product specification document:
- It Defines All Features – Consider that every screen of any mobile app or system has a lot of obvious and many not so obvious functions. All these need to be detailed out and itemized so that nothing is forgotten or overlooked.
- You Get Professional Recommendations – During the process of creating a product spec, each screen is given significant attention from app development professionals. Suggestions will be made about missing or valuable features you should include.
- It Eliminates Uncertainties – A product specification document helps you and the developers avoid costly misunderstandings or assumptions as to what should be included and what shouldn’t. This is the biggest cause of project cost overruns and upsets, because there can be huge disconnects between what the developer thinks you want and what you actually want. A product specification document minimizes or eliminates this altogether.
- It Gives You a More Accurate Estimate – Once the document is developed, the project can be estimated with a much higher degree of accuracy, compared to a ballpark estimate. This help you avoids unexpected cost increases during the development process.
- It Can Help You Get Funding – Once completed you can share your document with investors, which can be impressive and helpful in raising capital. It shows you’ve done your due diligence and invested in your idea and that you’re serious and prepared.
Just like you wouldn’t build a custom home without professional help and a blueprint, you don’t want to build a web or mobile app without a product specification document.
What is the Result?
A product specification document contains roughly 20-30 pages in most cases. These pages detail every single screen of the system in detail. In addition, the document will contain sections covering areas of your project such as:
- Core System Functions
- Messaging / Communication Functions
- User Functions
- Subscriptions or Payment Processing
- Any other system-wide features
- Cloud Storage Architecture
- Server Recommendations
- Administrative Functions
In many cases we may also develop low or high fidelity wireframe mockups so that your team and ours has a definitive visual mockup to discuss, consider and improve
How Long Does It Take?
The time it takes to create a blueprint document varies, however in general:
- Small projects take 5-10 hours and cost $500 – $1,000. If sketches of the app are included, add another $300 – $500.
- Medium projects take 10-20 hours and cost $1,000 – $2,000. If sketches are included, add another $500 – $1,000.
- Large projects take 20, 30 or more hours and typically start around $2,000 and go up from there. If sketches are included, add another $1000 or more depending on the number of screens that are created.
Got an Idea? Create a Product Specification!
If you are considering building a new web service or mobile app, you owe it to yourself to do it right the first time. You do this by building a product specification document. You can learn how to do a bunch of this on your own by doing some research or you can hire professionals to assist you. We have a lot of experience building product specification documents and we’re ready to help you with yours.
We have an experienced team of developers ready to help you flesh out your web or mobile app idea. Since 2003 we have been building websites, mobile apps, web apps, and other digital products.
We can take you through the entire process which will help you gain a lot of certainty about your product idea and ensure that it is successfully built.
Request a call or contact us at 727-562-5161 to find out more about how product specification documents work and what we can do for you!