How to prepare a mobile app brief
If you’re at the planning stage of creating a mobile app for your business, you’re right where you need to be. In this article you’ll find some very useful tips on how to prepare a mobile app brief – a document that will help you define all the features in your planned mobile app and all your requirements related to the app building process.
Remember that if some parts of the template will be too hard for you to complete by yourself, you can always ask the mobile app development team for help. You don’t have to be up to date with all the technologies, frameworks etc.
What’s a mobile app development brief
A mobile app brief is a document describing the general assumptions and purposes of your mobile app. It’s a great idea to bring a document like this to the mobile app development team or agency you want to work with. How is it helpful? The brief will:
- Enable them to estimate the time and cost of the next stage in the mobile app project,
- Give the team an insight on what you’re planning regarding the features and the look of the app,
- Show them what the app will consist of in terms of technical requirements,
- Make it easier to decide what to do next.
What does the mobile app brief include?
Let’s dig into each step of creating a mobile app brief. You can use it as a template to create your own document, but if you’d like to use a convenient mobile app brief template in PDF format, jump to resources from FiveDotTwelve. You can print it and take notes or you can edit it and bring it straight to your development team to kick off the mobile app project!
Basic information on your mobile app development
At the start, provide the basic information on your app idea. These would be:
- Your app name – for example: My workouts App,
- Purpose of this project – try to describe what your objectives for the app are, for example: creating an app with fitness workouts and tips,
- Secured funding – your budget for the project,
- Expected start date – when would you like to start your mobile app project.
Scope of work
This stage is for describing what services you need or you estimate to need. You might be unsure about all the services as you might require providing advice, such as whether to choose native app development or a cross-platform solution.
Even if you’re not sure about that, try to describe your requirements. The services you’ll need might be for example:
- UX/UI design
- Android and iOS app development
- Quality Assurance
- Project management
- Setup of mobile analytics
- Backend development
This phase consists of your other than functional and technological requirements list. These can be for example:
- a polished user interface (UI)
- preferred design style
- industry-standard security protocols (SSL)
You should also provide information on the languages in the app. If you want it to work in more than one language, list them at this point. Basically, you should describe everything you want the app to include and that isn’t related to creating features themselves.
Languages & Frameworks & Tools
What technologies will be used for mobile app development? Again, you might be a little lost at this stage and require the help of the experienced team. As long as you’ll be able to describe the rest, they will surely advise on technical matters concerning used frameworks and tools, which can be for example:
- Kotlin for Android app
- Swift for iOS app
- Figma for design.
There are lots of possibilities – for example you can choose cross-platform development instead of native apps, or you can decide to build a web app. If your plans aren’t really defined, taking the team’s advice is recommended.
Third Party Services
It’s time for third-party services that you’re planning to use to meet the functional requirements. This can relate to different actions taken before, during and after the process, like analytics tools, crash reporting, notifications service, sign in/sign up integration etc.
Third party services used for these actions might be for example:
What device compatibility and special requirements should be a priority? There are some special requirements you should consider that are important at the beginning of the process, as they will give hints on the next steps.
These requirements for your mobile app might, among others, define the minimum version supported, specific devices on which the app should work, and others, for example:
- Android 9.x and newer
- iOS 13.x and newer
- Apps should support portrait mode only
- Tablet support.
Business and mobile apps metrics
It’s the stage to describe your market research and goals. Before the work on the app starts, it’s essential to get through the market analysis and assess if your product actually has a chance to become competitive and how to make it profitable. Lots of software projects fail just because it turns out that there’s no need for this kind of solution on the market.
To help you find out about the above, here you’ll find a 5-steps guide on how to create a user persona and here are lots of hints about the competitive analysis.
On the mobile app brief, place general information about:
- User persona – for example: people from big cities in the UK, interested in sports, 24–36 years old
- Market size – this information can be extracted by executing the competitive analysis, for example: 750 000 people (users)
- Predicted app downloads – even if it’s not obvious, you should try to estimate how many downloads your app can reach, for example: 50 000+
- Predicted daily active users – for example: 15 000.
In short, the better prepared you are for the development of your mobile application, the quicker you can start the app development process, the more efficient it will be and the sooner you will receive the time & cost estimates. It will be much easier to understand your business goals if the team (especially one that has not been involved in project activities before) has a full picture of how you want your product to look and perform from the start. Choosing the right services and the right way of communicating and operating on the project is essential for your success, may it be a team of freelancers or a mobile app development company.
Here are some more useful publications for those who are at the beginning of their mobile app development project:
- Find out things every app founder should know before developing an app from here,
- See what each step of the mobile app development process looks like here,
- Here, learn what is Product Discovery and how you can make your app really prepared to hit the market by means of it,
- And from here, you’ll be able to find out why software projects sometimes happen to fail and maybe even more importantly, you’ll get to know how to avoid this kind of situation.