A product requirements document (PRD), also known as the scope of a mobile app development project, outlines the basic functionalities and technical specifications before the app building process begins, acting as a guide and the foundation for the project.
A PRD is where you describe how your app addresses a need and solves any paint points for users, making the product requirements very specific, providing a clear picture of the end results. The document must be easy to follow and the specifications must be realistic to achieve as well. It is important to make sure the information included isn’t vague and that the PRD does not need any further explanation.
This document ensures everyone, including the client and the team of developers taking on the task of developing the app, are on the same page. A PRD describes details like the purpose, objectives, core functionalities and research on competitors, technology and users. The goal is to build a compelling mobile app and so this formal document gives concrete shape to your app idea and shows the groundwork for the whole project.
Steps to Writing a Great Mobile App PRD
The following are some important steps to consider when writing your product requirements document. This includes giving a purpose statement, showing the sequence of the app, mentioning existing apps, features you wish to include, outlining the technical specifications, giving the most important details for the project, the wireframes for the app and any limitations you might encounter.
Describe Your Idea
It is important to begin the document with a description of your mobile app idea which should be able to fit into one sentence. This is where you can define the purpose and direction of the app, making sure it is delivering superior value to users and the marketplace. Readers should be able to understand the main objective and goal of the app and how it is going to help users solve their pain points. This is also where you can mention your audience and targeted demographic.
The Sequence of the App
The sequence of the app gives the basic navigational patterns, showing the different ways the users will explore and interact with the app. This step requires you to describe the sequence of screens like the onboarding, user registration and home screens, giving a sense of the user’s journey throughout the app.
Mention Existing Apps
It can be helpful to look at apps currently existing on the market and the features they have implemented, so you know for yourself what kind of functions you wish to add to your own mobile application. For example, let’s say you really liked the onboarding process in a specific app, you would add this information to the PRD so developers know the specifications you are looking for in that particular part of the app development process.
Identifying Important Features
This step in the product requirements documents gives you the chance to present the features you must have and the ones that can be avoided or are considered less important. Ranking the features helps the developers to know which ones take priority in development.
Outlining Technical Specifications
Outlining the technical specifications includes explaining the platforms and operating systems in which the app will run, this could be a cross-platform app or an app that runs natively on Android or iOS. It is also important to mention the kind of post-launch support and maintenance the app will require, such as when and how often it will be needed.
Give Relevant Details
It can be overwhelming to give every single minute detail about the app like button colour and font styles. These finer technicalities are best to be discussed later on in the development process. The document needs to show some flexibility. By including too many details before the engineering process even begins, some will most likely need to be changed as the project moves forward. It is best to stick with discussing more important information like the functions of the application, what the users can do in the app and how it will solve their pain points.
This section is where you explain any limitations or constraints applying to the project. This includes factors that could affect the budget, timing and resource availability.
Wireframes are the visual concept and representation of your app. This is the equivalent of a blueprint, giving readers of the PRD an understanding of how your future app will work, sketching out the idea before building it. This part of the document complements the textual description, showing the flow from one application screen to the next.
Considering these steps to add to your mobile app PRD will not only ensure better communication between you and your development team but will also better organize the purpose and functionalities of your app project. If you are ever stuck on creating and putting together your own mobile product requirements document, do not hesitate to contact us! We are happy to help with the scope of your mobile app idea.