With the smartphone revolution mobile apps seem to be gaining increased popularity and utility amongst the smartphone users. But just building apps for them will not serve the purpose. You need to have a well designed strategy and clear objectives right from the beginning to fulfil the needs of millions of mobile app users.
The enterprises must understand that the optimum usage of mobile apps strongly correlates with user context and relevance. And to achieve positive results they must practice what is called as creating a good “App Brief” document. This is the simplest and safest way of ensuring that all the necessary elements which the User needs are included in an App. It is the best way the developers can assimilate Client requirements. The App brief is important as it can serve as an enlightening process for both developers as well as the Clients. It initiates a thought process and can provide answers to the What-if situations that arise. The main intent of the App brief is to focus on the User and what they need, based on this you can develop the features of the App.
The App brief makes it easier to obtain a realistic quote, and prevents the risk of additional charges. If you have an app idea, a simple mock-up clubbed with the app brief works wonders for investors in understanding and considering your vision clearly.
What are the important things that must be included to make the App Brief and ultimately the mobile app a success?
If you invest the right amount of time, effort and resources to create your mobile app brief then you are already beginning to lay a strong foundation for a mobile application that meets the needs of audience, achieves its objectives and solves the problems you want to resolve. Here are ten important things that a good App Brief needs to include:
1. Enterprise Portfolio: The app brief must include details of the solutions and service offerings that the enterprise provides. The guidelines, processes and activities followed for Sales, pricing, development must be mentioned. Product or Brand philosophy needs to be shared along with research activities that are required.
2. Why a Mobile App: Are you reacting to competition or is there a real need to create a mobile app. What exactly is the purpose of the app and how will you allow users to meet their goals. Why do you need a Mobile App has to be mentioned and the valid reasons behind it such as for data collection, awareness, loyalty, trial, etc. Is the mobile App going to deliver services, or does it have some other purpose to serve such as staying in the competition.
3. Competitor Brief: The app brief must include the names of minimum three of your competitors, and their websites. Study other brands as well and how they are doing it. Keep a watch on the moves of your competitors to get a better idea for promoting your brand.
4. Define Scope of the Project: The app brief should include In-Scope and Out-of Scope details. It should include all the factors such as content, technical functionalities and specifications of the mobile app.
5. Devices, Operating Systems Platforms and People: 5. The OS platform of choice should be mentioned as it will affect costs and lead-times so spend some time defining why choose a particular OS platform and which version. Based on that you can choose the devices and resources with the skill to build the mobile apps. Mention all the details in the App brief.
6. Keen Analysis: Keep measuring the standards of your app by finding how will it look like and what will be the outcomes after its launch and where the app will be used? Defining where the app is going to be used provides a lot of information to the design and development teams and will be helpful in the early development process, feeding into the architectural blueprint and wireframe phase of the process.
7. Audience and Clients: The app brief includes description of both the buyer and the user. It contains information of primary and secondary audiences and also for whom the app is being built and how you can communicate with them. It also includes the information about those influencers who can influence the purchase of the app. Also, a brief of why you think people need this app, and how will it be beneficial for them in the long run.
8. Timing and Budget: While building an app the most crucial elements are budget and timings. Specify a live date with the reasons. Organize the timeframe as well as the budget by understanding what time constraints the design and development team has and how to overcome them and deliver a viable mobile app on time and within the budget.
9. Single Minded Proposition: Find out the crux with which you have created the app. Be single-minded, and put down in words that one thing which you focused on while the designing and development of the app.
10. Limitations: 10. Include limitations of the app. List all the functional, technological, and legal limitations of the mobile app for transparency and in order to set the right expectation of the final outcome.
The above ten items can be included while creating your mobile App Brief. One good thing about the App brief is that it is capable of kick-starting discussion between the stakeholders involved e.g. the Client, the development partner etc. The App brief may go though a few versions of the document before all the concerned stakeholders agree upon the final copy and specifications. Following the above ten items will definitely help to minimise any last minute surprises when the process of design and development actually begins. The App Brief is a very useful document from the developer perspective in order to get a clearer picture of the requirements and to begin development in the right direction. It also creates a great foundation for the creation of a really useful, well thought and designed mobile app for its Users.