We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Design Specification?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A design specification is a detailed document providing information about the characteristics of a project to set criteria the developers will need to meet. Design specifications are used for everything from laying out plans for a new space ship to addressing the design concerns of a pencil holder. This document provides guidance to the development team and also allows the client to have clear input into the design process. With expectations clearly established at the beginning, confusion on both sides can be eliminated.

One part of the design specification discusses the intended use and the nature of that use. Developers working on a new stretch of highway, for example, would discuss where the road will run, how many lanes it has, and how many cars it should see in a day, based on preliminary research. The purpose of the project should be clear from this section of the design specification to eliminate design problems like failure to prepare for an anticipated use.

The design specification will also include a detailed description of the specifications, including dimensions, weight, overall cost, and so forth. It should discuss laden and empty weights as well as any other topics that may be relevant. The more detail, the more easy it will be for the development team to deliver precisely what the client wants. Details can also be important in the event of a dispute; for instance, if a company orders bookshelves of a specific size and the finished product isn't right, it can point to the line in the design specification and ask to have the shelves made again.

This document creates a useful rubric for evaluating performance. At the time of delivery, the client and development team can go over the document as a checklist to make sure all the criteria were met. If the team can't address a particular specification, they need to provide information about why, and should contact the client during development to discuss the situation and talk about various options for addressing it. For example, if it is not possible to fit six seats in a car, moving the trunk might resolve the issue.

Both sides should read a design specification very carefully before authorizing the next step in development. Clients need to read it to see if the characteristics they want are represented. If something is missing or it does not meet the desired criteria, they should request revisions. Development teams read the paperwork over to plan out the development process, and if they identify something they know will not be feasible or that could create a conflict, they should discuss this before accepting the contract.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a SmartCapitalMind researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.