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A design specification (or product design specification) is a document which details exactly what criteria a product or a process should comply with.[1] If the product or its design are being created on behalf of a customer, the specification should reflect the requirements of the customer or client.[2] A design specification could, for example, include required dimensions, environmental factors, ergonomic factors, aesthetic factors, maintenance requirement, etc. It may also give specific examples of how the design should be executed, helping others work properly (a guideline for what the person should do).

Example of a design specification

An example design specification, which may be a physical product, software, the construction of a building, or another type of output. Columns and information may be adjustable based on the output format.

Example design specification (with a product design focus)
Number Category Demand / want Weighting number Requirement Success criteria Method of assessment Date modified
1 Aesthetics Demand 2 Product must be blue Product is blue Visual analysis 03-21
2 Cost Demand 1 Product costs less than £300 Product is less than £300 Component cost analysis 03-21
3 Function Want 3 Product is collapsible Product can reduce by at least 1/2 its size Prototype testing 05-21
4 ...

Special requirements

Construction design specifications are referenced in US government procurement rules, where there is a requirement that an architect-engineer should specify using "the maximum practicable amount of recovered materials consistent with the performance requirements, availability, price reasonableness, and cost-effectiveness" in a construction design specification.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Rodgers, Paul (2011). Product design. Alex Milton. London: Laurence King. ISBN 1-78067-085-0. OCLC 803965919.
  2. ^ Engineering Product Design, Product definition, published 1 January 2023, accessed 23 January 2024
  3. ^ US General Services Administration, Federal Acquisition Regulation: 36.601: Applicable contracting procedures, updated 22 January 2024, accessed 23 January 2024

Other sources