How to write a good brief for a software house?

Finding a good app developer is not easy – that’s true. But a lot of clients admit that trouble doesn’t end here. After picking a potential cooperator, they end up with a request for a brief and they just don’t know what to mention there. They are stuck.

If this situation looks familiar, read on. We have a perfect briefing guide for you!

WHAT’S A BRIEF FOR A SOFTWARE HOUSE?

When you are considering a certain software house to build your mobile application, you need to show them your idea first so that they can suggest available solutions and give you a cost estimation. Here’s where the brief comes.

A brief is just a short (= brief) description of the project you want to develop. It shouldn’t be confused with an app specification, which is more technical, includes a lot of details and ideally is prepared with the help of your developers after the project has already started. Instead, in a perfect brief, you should briefly cover the basic information about the scope of the project.

In order not to forget any of the information that might be important for a software house, here’s a quick checklist. Remember to answer the following questions and your developer will be able to better understand your idea and give you the most precise cost estimation.

WHAT IS THE MAIN GOAL OF YOUR APP?

First of all, the general idea. What does your app do? How does it work? What do you want to achieve through it? These are the most important questions you have to consider here. Your answers will show the software house how big and complex the project is and how to approach it from the very beginning.
 
Ideas
 
In this part, you can also include more detailed information about your app. For example, it is good to mention the following issues:

  • App’s target group or – even better – a persona if you already have it.
  • Your inspirations – there were surely apps or ideas which have inspired you. They can be really valuable tips for the developer to understand your general idea.
  • Competitors – no product is a lonely island, they all exist in some market niches. So what’s yours? If there are apps, websites or other services similar to yours, it is a good idea to list them.
  • Monetization strategy – that’s something a lot of companies still forget about, but an app is there for a reason and this reason is – among others – giving you an income. Describing your monetization strategy will help your developer to better adjust your app for your business goals.

WHAT ARE THE APP’S PRIMARY FUNCTIONALITIES?

After describing the general idea of your application, it’s time to get more detailed about what the software should actually do. Will it include a CMS (Content Management System)? Do you need a built-in search engine? Will your app use GPS technology? It’s important to mention the functionalities here so that your developer can include them in the cost estimation.

Remember especially about external features of your application – plugins and connections with external services. Do you plan it to use Beacon technology or be connected with wearables? Will payment options be included? Are you going to connect the app with popular social media or chat? It is often forgotten, but such functionalities should be listed at the very beginning.

WHAT ARE THE PLATFORMS OF YOUR PROJECT?

The basic question every app entrepreneur has to answer is: Which platforms to choose?

The most popular platforms on the app market include Android (supported by Google) and iOS (used only in Apple devices). Both are preferred by some groups and can turn out better for certain apps.
 

 
How not to get confused in all this? Check our expert e-book which compares the pros and cons of both platforms.

 
Of course, you can also choose to have a Web application or use other platforms, less popular but still preferred by some target groups. Our developers are experienced in such technologies too and will be glad to assist you.

WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET FOR APP DEVELOPMENT?

It is understandable that you don’t know exactly how much it will cost to develop your app idea – that’s what a cost estimation prepared by your software house is for. However, your developer does need to know how much money do you want to invest in your mobile application.

Why is it so important? The goal is to suggest you tailored solutions.

Every new functionality takes time and money to develop. However, some of them are more important than others and some technologies are easier to implement. Knowing how much money you want to spend on your app help your developer to choose solutions that best fit your needs and resources.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR YOUR APP DEVELOPMENT PROJECT?

Do you plan to launch your app next year and don’t know exactly in which month? Or do you have a launch date already set and a detailed strategy and timeline? That’s one of the basic information, too.

As experienced developers, we know how much time each iteration will take and can flexibly adjust to your needs. But we need to know what pace you prefer. Do you want to go really deep in the process or just need your app to be ready as soon as possible? To fulfill your needs and suggest the best solutions, we need to know the deadline.
 

 
Want to learn how to get your app even 60% faster and save 70% of your budget? Check our innovative MVP method.

DO YOU ALREADY HAVE MOCKUPS OR WIREFRAMES?

UX/UI is one of the most important aspects of your mobile application. No wonder that many app entrepreneurs come to a software house with a thoroughly considered visual part of their project. If you also have mockups or wireframes, it is wise to mention it in your brief.

But what exactly are mockups and wireframes? Sometimes confused, these terms differ greatly.
 
Mockups
 
A mockup is a realistic representation of what the product will look like. Sometimes your final app will be quite similar to this first mockups. Other time, it will be a variation of it after version revisions. But in general, a mockup is a visual layer.

A wireframe is all about functionality. It can be a really simple sketch that demonstrates how the app will perform or a complex project. But it is more about functions the app has, not the graphic design.

DO YOU WANT TO SIGN AN NDA?

A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a contract signed by an app entrepreneur like you with your software house to ensure your developers don’t share app details with anybody.

Although in Ready4S we don’t give any of your company secrets or app ideas out, we understand that such agreements are valuable for our clients and don’t hesitate to sign them. If you want to have an NDA with us, please let us know in your app brief.
 

 
Do you want to know more about NDA and learn how to keep your innovative idea safe? Check our expert NDA guide!

 
 
Do you already know how to write a good brief for a software house? Fill in the form below to get a free app estimation prepared by our experts.

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Katarzyna Lorenc
Marketing Specialist

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