How to give a developer the perfect brief

If you’re thinking about creating an app or a website for your business that matches your personality, it’s essential you know how to master writing a brief. If the developers in charge of constructing the project are to fulfil your expectations, it’s down to you to write an easy to understand brief and communicate your ideas clearly. We have seen far too many mistakes made when there's a real lack of communications between parties. See our guide to make sure you don't suffer the same consequences!

You have to ask yourself “what do I want from my app or website?” The more detailed you are in your brief, the easier it will be to determine what should the priority be and what should the finished article look like.

Writing a great brief will not only give the developer an insight into what is required from them but it will also highlight the important stages of the process and be a great project management experience and prepare you for similar duties. 

So let us tell you how to master the perfect brief for a tech developer...

Where do you start?

First and foremost, you need to tell the developer a little bit about yourself and give an introduction about the project. If you get this out of the way then it’ll create an instant relationship and saves a lot of time down the line.

In some senses, writing a brief for a developer is project management task so its essential you’re fully prepared for the ups and downs. Introduce yourself, give some background information about your business and ensure you don’t beat around the bush. Cut to the chase. It may be worth doing this part in person so that the developer gets to experience you and your business for themselves.

What are your business’ objectives?

Once the nitty gritty stuff is out the way, hit the ground running and explain in detail about your business. Tell the developer how it all started, why it all started and discuss where you want to be in the future.

To help the developer, you should discuss the current functions of your app or website and what vital aspects you think are required to ensure it has the desired impact. How will the app or website contribute to your business?

Make sure you highlight the importance of the project to the developer and ensure they’re aware of the objectives from the off. If it’s a website you’re in need of, discuss SEO and how important certain aspects of your homepage are to bringing in traffic. 

What is your budget and timescale?

Money talks at the end of the day. This is a vital aspect of writing a brief and you should take your timing discussing your timescale and budget. With any project, there’s always a possibility that something could go wrong and you need to be prepared for this.

It’s important to be specific in the brief rather than leave a certain aspect open for discussion when an issue occurs. You can never be too detailed, so explain everything, even if it seems simple to you. When you're outside of a business, a written description can mean something totally different to the reader.

Be firm with your timescale and ensure you prepare for the worst, so when it does happen it’s not a shock to the system. If it’s a website, you should give plenty of time to load content to the website and the testing period for developers.

Getting back to your business objectives, ensure you’re realistic with the budget for other projects too. It may help the project if the developer is aware of your day-to-day commitments and how much time you can give to the project. 

What are your requirements?

What do you want from the website or app? This is one of the most important aspects of the brief and you should be specific and detailed when discussing your requirements. If you’re launching a new website, discuss the bad aspects of the previous website and how you now want it to look or function.

You should discuss how you want the website to be used and how your audience will use it. For each aspect, have a focus and suggest alternatives if it has the potential to be unrealistic.

It always helps to discuss other websites or apps that you think look great so the developer can suggest ways in which your project could follow suit. But remember, this is your project - your baby. So make it personal, make it yours and ensure it represents your personality! 

Who are your audience?

Give some background about your audience and what you expect they’d want from the website or app. What’s your USP? Don’t expect the developer to have researched your brand or know exactly what you want. Don't assume they will fill in the blanks - tell them how you want to be perceived and use keywords you'd like your customers to describe you as. 

If your business is doing something innovative or you’re disrupting a crowded industry, use this to your advantage and make it stand out when potential customers visit your website or use your app.

This is your project and ultimately, the amount of effort you put it will determine how great the finished product is!


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