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How do I create specifications for my website/app?

Why make specifications ?

The specifications are a document that sets the framework for the realisation of any project (writing, building, design, development, maintenance, etc.). Writing one allows the person/service provider to whom you entrust the project to have all the cards in hand to carry it out according to your expectations. The more precise it is, the closer the result will be to your expectations.

Note, however, that the more precise it is, the more confident you should be: too much precision prevents the professional you call upon from proposing alternatives that might in fact be more interesting / better thought out / more practical. It is not for nothing that you call on an external person to carry out this or that, so remember to give them the opportunity to express their suggestions and alternative proposals (with reasons, however).

How do you draw up specifications?

Work on the specifications necessarily begins with a stage of introspection: rethink who you are, what you do, what you aim to achieve; why you are asking for the creation/design of such and such a tool or service; what you expect from this tool or this service; etc. These elements are essential.

Sometimes the specifications stop there, adding only administrative and legal information: who to contact; location of the service; requirements for submitting a bid and conditions for its acceptance; methods for selecting the service provider; intellectual property mentions; etc.

Most often, however, it goes on and lists the expectations. In the case of a website or mobile app, you will then specify the technical and practical functionalities desired. For example, you want to have a map to show several points on it; have a specific animation effect; you need keyword search, filters; you want users to be redirected to such and such a place; you need there to be a link to such and such a database related to your business; you know you will need to load a certain type of media; etc.

Detail the environment in which the product/service/website must fit (other parent sites? Social networks? Existing extranet / intranet? Etc.)

You can then compare with the blocking or missing elements of your current platform if it exists – making comparisons or proposing references is always a plus and allows you to refine your proposal even more. So if you have seen a feature or effect on another platform that you like, put the link in your CDC, to show what you are talking about.

After the features, you should indicate whether there is already a logo and graphic charter developed and to be integrated, or whether it is to be created from scratch, or whether, as an alternative, these elements exist on paper but need to be adapted to digital (which will require a redesign).

Finally, and ideally, specify the desired post-launch maintenance time and the lifespan of the project. Will it be an event-related site – so with a limited lifespan, or a corporate site for the next 10 years? Do you want to take care of the hosting or leave it to your future provider?

Depending on the project, a CDC can be long, very long, or even very very long. Don’t be afraid to list all the background information, questions and expectations – the providers who will respond to your CoC are there to answer your questions and provide solutions. The more specific you are in your request, the more concrete and relevant what will be presented to you will be (both in terms of functionality and in terms of the budget and schedule announced).

If, however, you are still nervous about the idea of starting this project, we can also help you establish what you need to put in the CDC so as not to forget anything. Just contact us!

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