Almost 90% of web development companies skip the most crucial step when it comes to developing a website: technical specifications. Building a successful website requires proper planning in order to meet the requirements of the client, as well as meeting your goals. If you have yet to start preparing a document detailing the major features of the website, you should definitely start now. Technical specifications are one of the major contributing factors for the success of a website, especially when you offer web hosting SEO services for your clients.
Who Should Write The Technical Specification?
Any trained and professional software managers or software engineers can produce the document for technical specifications. They should be able to know what the client’s expectations are. The technical specification writer should also be knowledgeable in UX/UI and programming in order to fully produce the document. That way, the writer would be able to know precisely how to outline the requirements and expectations that can be converted into code.
What Should Be Included In The Document
A good structure of a technical specification should consist of 7 things:
- The purpose of the document
- User personas
- User stories
- Website navigation and structure
- The pages description
- Any non-functional requirements
What Happens When You Work Without It
Most companies move forward with their website development process by designing the mock-up and getting right into coding. This means the organization is probably fairly new with lesser experience, hence, their team does not consist of someone of a high level such as software managers and software engineers. The team that goes on without any technical specification will probably struggle with many hiccups and challenges along the way.
Main Benefits of Including A Technical Specification Document
By outlining all the necessary tools, APIs and etc, the entire team and the client as well would know the expected costs right off the bat before transferring the design to the programming team. If a website project runs without any technical specification, the programmer could easily add on some additional costs while coding. It could also cause unnecessary friction between a client as they did not expect any additional cost to their project.
It may be easy to just pass over the design to the programmer once it is ready. But there will always be some miscommunication and questions may arise all throughout the project. The time taken for a programmer to reach out to the project manager could be very long and hinder the workflow. A well documented technical specification could save all the extra communications costs by including all the necessary answers in the document. The amount of time taken to write up the technical specification would be much shorter than the time required for communication among the team members.
Satisfy the legal aspects
Anyone who has ever dealt with a website development project would probably face the situation whereby the client is not entirely satisfied with the result. There have been certain cases where the client had different expectations and felt that they were not met. To re-design the entire project could be very costly. Hence, by laying out all the important information and requirements in a document, it can be handed over to the client for them to approve it first before proceeding with the project. Having proper transparency enables you to build a better relationship with the client as well as protecting yourself in any case where the client wants to sue you for being unable to produce the result that they wanted.
Finalize the coding involved
Most of the time, once the design has been handed over to the programmer, they are free to make certain assumptions which could eventually lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretations. For example, without any technical specification involved, there might be certain functions of the design that the programmer can’t do. With a technical specification presented earlier on, the programmer is free to give his own suggestions and opinions on whether it is feasible or not, and if there are certain features which should not be included. The reason is that the design team probably wouldn’t know what a programmer is capable of as they are only familiar with basic coding. Technical specifications are important to ensure both parties are able to produce the expected result by the client.