How to write good a project specification for website projects

For writing a good project specification for website projects

For writing a good project specification for website projects it does not really matter if you are building a great website like Twitter or a small one with a tiny member’s area; the point is to create a perfect manuscript outlining the total working and applicability of the project, giving your developers a scheme to work upon and, more significantly, to ensure that both you and your consumers get to the same page. A good project specification helps your designers to produce more precise mock-ups, developer’s code more competently, notify your customers about what precisely they’re receiving and keep the entire project operating on time within the budget.

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In the first instance writing a brief of the project

In the first instance writing a brief of the project is the key for a good and smooth running project, and is equally important to both the client and the developer/designer. This becomes more necessary if the project is large and includes many exclusive features like content management systems, custom scripts and e-commerce facilities. Therefore the following conditions should be borne in mind before writing a good project specification for website projects.

  • The developer has the knowledge of what is required from them

  • The clients understand that they are getting the value for their money

  • It forms the base for the contract between the client and developer

  • Both the client and the developer sit together and makes the plan and schedule of the project specification for smoother process and end results

The points for specifications

You should start with the points for specifications. There may be differences on the ideas on how the specifications should be written. This is a normal case for working in a team or agency. The questions will be on:

  1. What the thing is all about and what will it do?

  2. How will you contribute for doing the thing so that it achieves its purpose?

Before commencing on the task, you should remember that specifications should not be hard to write or read, because if they are hard, you will be wasting your time and energy on the format itself instead on the project.

Next you should consider that the specifications should not be bigger than what they should be. This can be done by not including any preamble or version history. The project specifications for website projects should not be non committal or unclear. The document should be light enough, useful and honest.

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The Procedure

You should have an overiew of the total process, its’ phases, and what should be completed before beginning the next phase – and s on. This may vary as it will depend on the size and scope of the project. In general the following phases can be considered:

  • Comprehensive site map

  • Frame and temper of mind / investigate and research

  • Wireframes for every page

  • PSD designs for every page

  • Assemble static HTML / CSS for each page

  • Testing on the Browsers

     

  • Constructing custom CMS and enter a few example content.

  • Integrate scripts into the static HTML site for conducting tests

  • Again test the whole thing on browsers

  • Incorporate static HTML into CMS

  • Enter actual content

  • Additional testing on browsers / consumer testing / alteration of codes and scripts.

  • Concluding stage and sign off

What should be included

It is rather difficult to know what should be included as the list is long, but the following ideas will be of great help:

  • Make a list of all the pages proposed to be included in the site

  • List of features to be included in each page. This is required for getting the idea about the page templates that has to be designed

  • The utility of each feature

  • Site hosting

  • Where will the site be hosted / tested?

  • Specify about jQuery / JavaScript / Ajax / scripts. Will the search results get loaded on the page itself, or will the page reload?

  • Whether the information of one page feed go all the way through to a different page

  • Which essentials are needed to update and which bits can remain static?

You can apply the above to any kind of website projects right from a large one to a smaller catalog WordPress website. All you need to do is to just work out the phases you require on a project basis, and then ask yourself or your client where you need to go from there.

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