Web Project Template Files: Solution Design Authors: Sonia Kay, Econsultancy and other expert contributors Title: Functional Specification
About this Guide
The functional specification is a description of what the content is from a user's perspective. You might call it the 'user experience document'. It is not about why the content works or why it is there, but what exactly does it do? If you where a user coming to the site, how would you describe what the web page does? By producing this document you are creating both a blueprint for client sign-off and reference for the design & construction phase.
The Functional Specification template is a MS Word file and contains an explanation at the start of each section. It would be suitable for medium to large projects containing complex applications. For example, the process flow diagrams and action response tables prevent the omission of critical functionality when briefing technical teams. However, rapid prototyping may be a more efficient development technique and for less complex projects a simplified version of the functional specification may be more suitable.
The functional specification (which defines content and functionality as born of user requirements) and the site map (which defines the navigational architecture) are the two key documents that form the basis for briefing your technical and creative resources. Most importantly, the functional specification should be detailed enough to allow the members of your team to accurately quote the amount of time they will need to implement what is specified. The better the functional specification, the more accurate the budget.
Note: the Functional Specification is an important Schedule to the Contract (see Section 2.9.1)