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Product Requirements Documentation for Mobile App Development

    a mobile phone displaying a number of apps, showing the importance of product requirements documentation for mobile app development

    With the number of people using mobile over desktop continuing to grow, companies have realized their need to utilize mobile to reach more people. Studies have shown that 85 percent of users prefer mobile apps over mobile websites. As more people are using mobile apps, it is important for companies to assure that their apps are optimized for a better user experience. To produce the best app tailored to boost user experience, product requirements documentation is essential as the basis for this goal.

    Product requirements documentation (PRD) outlines a product’s purpose, features, functions, behaviors, and how it meets customer needs. Developing this technical documentation early on in the creation of an app (or any other product for that matter) is vital. This helps keep developers on track and avoids any unnecessary confusion later on in the production process. If this documentation is inadequate at the beginning stage, this may completely sidetrack the creation of an app as changes may have to be made at inconvenient stages of the development process. Product requirements documentation helps developers stay on schedule, keeps stakeholders happy, and makes it easier for marketing teams to then come up with ways to market the app to customers. 

    What goes into Product Requirements Documentation?

    Product requirements documentation is what steers the development team, creates a common understanding of what the product is supposed to look like, and how it benefits the user. It is crucial that this type of technical documentation is clear and concise so as to prevent any misunderstandings leading to costly and time-consuming fixes when a product may already be fully developed. A PRD is similar to the blueprints of a building. A construction team must have the blueprints to understand what the end product is going to look like and how to get there. A PRD is the same in that it gives the development team a sort of “blueprint” to follow in regards to what is expected of the product so they know what and how to build. Among the many questions that must be answered by a product requirements document is the following:

    • What is the purpose of the product?
    • What problems is it trying to solve?
    • Who are the clients?
    • What should the end product look like?
    • What are its essential function and features of the product?

    Product Requirement Documentation for Mobile App Development 

    Product requirements documentation defines the features, functions, and user benefits to the mobile app development team so they are able to build an app around these specifications. The PRD for a mobile app should address such issues as navigation, including how the user can interact with the app, and the overall user journey. Any difficulty in navigating an app can deter users from continuing use, so this aspect should be clearly outlined in the PRD. This document should also make mention of any existing apps that could perhaps inform the development of your app and provide an example to follow. Furthermore, the document must also include any technical specifications, like what operating systems it will run on and if any maintenance will be needed in the future. There are a variety of aspects that must be considered before actually developing an app and the product requirements document helps provide a guideline of the development process. A PRD should also be easy to follow and accessible for all involved in mobile app development to understand the process, a skill technical writers have honed. 

    Statistics show that about 24 percent of users abandon apps after their first use. Given the amount of money, time, and effort put into the development of mobile apps, if you want your app to succeed it is imperative that you have a solid foundation to start on. Users tend to lose interest in an app quickly if it is too difficult to use, has too many or too few features, is not adequately optimized, and has a general negative user experience. One such prominent example is the Quibi app, which offered content for people to watch on their phones but lasted for only a few months. One of the reasons the app failed was due to its lack of ability to stream on another device besides your phone. Such issues could be addressed by a thoroughly developed product requirements document that could have caught this issue before beginning the development of the app. 

    How Essential Data’s Technical Writers Can Help

    While app developers are highly knowledgeable in the work that goes into developing an app, this may not necessarily translate into an accessible product requirements document. The PRD should be easily understood by all in the development team, so it should be written in an uncomplicated language. If the marketing team needs to use the PRD to come up with a way to sell the app, it would do them no good to be met with technical jargon. In this regard, EDC’s technical writers have experience in taking difficult and technical language and produce universally understandable writing. With years of experience producing technical documentation including training materials, procedural documentation, and a variety of other types of technical documentation, our tech writers are well equipped to produce comprehensive product requirements documentation. 

    Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

    Written by Diana Guerra

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