How to Write a Good Brief for a Mobile App Development Project
When you’re developing a mobile app, a brief can be the document that serves as a basis for all those who might be interested: the general public, investors, future users and people working on the app.
The brief is also tremendously important for your staff members – if it’s well written and to-the-point, all of the team members working on the app will keep getting back to it. If it’s not, it will be like it doesn’t exist at all. This is why it’s worth it to invest some time and effort into crafting a great brief for a mobile app development project.
Here is a general overview on how to do it with the least amount of resources and at top quality:
Start with the Table of Contents
A good brief always starts with a precise and accurate table of contents. However, compiling this is much more complicated than inserting a Table of Contents from Microsoft Word. We’re not talking about the technical side – but what’s actually quite challenging is coming up with the form of your brief.
If you start with a table of contents, you automatically have an ordered draft for everything you will be writing about in the brief. Needless to say, it’s also beneficial for your readers, who will most likely use the table to peruse the parts which interest them the most.
Leave the Intro for Last
The first step is always the hardest, and a project brief is definitely no exception. Your mobile app idea might be something that you know inside-out; you know exactly who will work on what and when, but how do you start the first sentence? What’s the first paragraph like and what’s the first page all about?
To resolve this annoying issue, start writing the introduction only after you’re done with everything else. By then, you’ll already have a systematic and orderly mind-map of everything you have written about in the brief, so writing the introduction will be a breeze.
Even the best mobile app can fail if it doesn’t capture the right audience and doesn’t make the users want to engage. Therefore, defining your target audience (the users of your mobile app) is not only part of marketing but also a part of the development process.
Present a Short Market Analysis
Don’t go too far and wide, but definitely mention some similar apps that are out there, what they’re doing right and what could be improved. You can always use competitor products as guidelines for both good and bad examples during your development project.
Produce a text section that talks about the strengths and innovations with your mobile app. To do this, you need to compare yourself to the competitors (if you have any) and analyze the state of the market for your niche.
Of course, the resources you’re able to invest in your mobile app development project are an important part of your brief. Just like with all other things, keep it concise and to the point, because there will be other supporting documents where you can explain your resource allocation in detail.
Describe the Stages
Next to resources, you should also break up your project in smaller chunks and set different timeframes and resources for each. As a rule, every development project is done in stages due to multiple benefits. Firstly, it’s easier to focus on the task at hand when it’s clearly outlined what’s coming next. Also, it’s proven to be much more effective in terms of organization and correct planning.
Assign Team Members and Time
According to the stages section (especially if you formatted it as a calendar), assign individual team members to each task or stage, so that it’s always clear who’s working on what. This will not only serve as a plan for time allocation but can also help other team members in the future find out who’s working on a particular task – especially if you’re working with big teams.
Explain how you will Tackle Difficulties
This is something a lot of brief writers do not include in their documents, but having this section definitely has its benefits. Statistics show that more than 40% of projects exceed their original planned budget. This is just one of the basic difficulties you are likely to come across during your development phase. Another common one is missing stage deadlines or missing the final deadline for the launch of the app.
Use Clear, Direct Language
Many content writers tend to say that simple and clear writing can often be much more challenging than poetic, novel-like texts. For clarity, it’s crucial that every type of user, no matter their age, education or culture understands your text perfectly.
This can be incredibly hard to achieve, so you can use some of these online tools and services to help you: TrustMyPaper (a writing service website where you can hire writers), BestEssaysEducation (another great writing service), Readable (a tool for checking the readability level of your brief), SupremeDissertations (a website where you can hire brief writers).
Eliminate Everything Unnecessary
Finally, it’s important to remember that a brief should be exactly such: brief. Cut out everything that doesn’t help the reader understand the project to its core and that distracts the reader from crucial pieces of information. Given that it’s hard to look at your own document with another set of eyes, ask for a second opinion from a colleague on what should and could be eliminated.
Writing a simple text about something highly complex and intricate can be quite challenging. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the difficulty of writing a good brief: either invest a lot of time and effort to do it right or outsource the work to professionals.
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.