Specification vs. Brief

Often you have to hear disputes about who should write a technical specification for the development of the site: client or studio?

Participants of such disputes can not find a common language because of the difference in the place of work. Typically, the thought that the Spec should be written by the client, insisted by either freelancers or poorly organized teams of newbies, or purely technical teams serving savvy customers or other web studios. With them, however, everything is extremely clear.

There’s not a contradiction in fact. All problems arise because they don’t known the word Brief.

The Specification is by its definition a fairly strict document of several dozen pages detailing the operations of all parts of the site. It is obvious that no self-respecting client can, should not and will not waste time on the compilation of such a document. When creating sites on a turn-key basis, the studio is simply obliged to make a technical specification independently, explain in detail each item to the client and supplement the spec at his request. The client from the very beginning came to the studio in order to remove all worries and make the site just like that. Why force him to do something?

Brief is quite another matter. This term can be translated into Russian as a „short summary“. As a rule, this is a 1-2 page document in which the basic requirements to the site are described in free form or by a template: company name, list of sections, examples of similar works and so on. This is a document that the client can compose himself without having the technical knowledge and without spending a lot of time. And this is exactly the document that most freelancers and small studios are asking from the client, mistakenly calling it a technical specification.