A guide to writing RFP for mobile application

The right vendor to develop a mobile app is not easy to find. A company has to write complete details of the project impeccably including business needs, unique requirements, and budget. Crafting a comprehensive Request for Proposal stands as a fundamental step in starting successful mobile application development.

The importance of RFP for mobile application development can’t be ignored. It is a guiding light for aligning stakeholders’ vision, outlining project goals, and ensuring clarity in expectations. A mobile app development company can build an effective product when it has a comprehensive RFP from clients.

RFP streamlines the vendor selection process and sets the groundwork for successful collaboration. Writing an RFP is difficult but not impossible. You have to focus on what is important for the project and how to make it possible. Write everything crucial to make a project successful and effective.

RFP comprehensively covers key components, writing strategies, common pitfalls, and essential tips for creating a compelling result-driven RFP.

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What is RFP for mobile application?

RFP stands for Request For Proposal, it is a formal document that outlines the specific requirements, objectives, functionalities, and expectations of a mobile app project. It serves as a tool used by organizations and businesses to get proposals from potential vendors, agencies, and development teams.

This document includes detailed information about the project scope, technical specifications, design preferences, user experience expectations, timeline budget, and many other criteria. They are necessary for the potential vendor to understand the project’s needs and hire the best Android app developer. The RFP acts as a guide for developers to understand the project goals and submit proposals. The proposal explains how they should plan to meet those requirements. It is important to foster a transparent and structured selection process for hiring a suitable vendor to build the mobile app.

How to write an RFP for mobile application?

Writing an RFP for a mobile application includes various steps, intense research, and clarity about the app’s purpose. To make it a little easier for you, my readers, I have divided the writing process into some parts.

  • Understand your mobile app needs

    Before you start writing an RFP, understand the mobile needs effectively. Imbibe every need so that you will not miss out on any while writing an RFP. You can also find a mobile app development company easily. Crafting a successful mobile app RFP is important. It includes the organization’s objectives, audience, and functionalities required for the app’s success.

    1. Identifying objectives and goals:

      You will have to explain the goals that the app has to achieve. Explain what you want a mobile app to achieve in alignment with the organization’s strategic vision. Many businesses want to increase customer engagement, boost sales, or improve brand visibility.

    2. Defining target audience and user needs:

      Find out the main demographic segments the app would target, including age, location, preferences, etc. Understanding the pain points of the customers and explaining them in the document will help vendors understand what to build. They can address the pain points through app features and functions.

    3. Outlining specific features:

      List must-have features vital for achieving the app’s objectives and meeting user needs. Outline additional functionalities so the vendor can figure out what to integrate beyond necessity. Check out some software development trends as well to give an innovative look to your app design and functions.

      This section of the RFP sets the groundwork by defining clear objectives, understanding the target audience, and outlining the necessary features.

  • RFP components for mobile app development

    What should you mention in the RFP document so that developers and vendors can understand what exactly the product is all about? It can be written in more than one paragraph. The explanation will take time and focus. It will require presenting all the aspects clearly so that vendors have fewer questions to ask.

    1. Project overview and context:
      • Project summary

        This section offers a concise summary outlining the purpose, scope, and the objectives of mobile app project. It provides context to potential vendors or mobile app development companies about your organization. What is the use of the app and which problem this app will solve?

    2. Technical requirements:

      Detail the platforms like iOS, Android, and Web, the app should support. And any specific technical infrastructure requirements like servers, databases, and APIs.

      • iOS, Android, Web

        Specify whether the app should be compatible with iOS devices, Android devices, web browsers, or a combination of these platforms. The mobile app development company must have clear information about the same.

      • Technical infrastructure requirements

        Detail the hosting requirements, whether on cloud servers like AWS, Azure, or dedicated servers. Consider factors like scalability, reliability, and security. Specify the type of databases like SQL and NoSQL. It is required for storing app data efficiently and securely.
        Identify any third-party services or internal APIs that the app needs to integrate with. It is important for functionalities like payment gateways, social media logins, or external data retrieval.

    3. Functional requirements:

      In this part of the RFP for mobile applications, you have to specify functional requirements such as user authentication, content management, social sharing, push notifications, etc. The examples of various functionalities and features the mobile app should possess are as follows.

      • User Authentication: Define how users will register, log in, and manage their accounts securely.
      • Content Management: Outline how content will be presented, uploaded, edited, or managed within the app
      • Social Sharing: Describe how users can share app content and activities on social media platforms.
      • Push Notifications: Write about how the app will send real-time notifications to users for updates, alerts, or personalized messages.
      • In-app Purchases: Specify the functionalities for enabling purchases or transactions within the app to a mobile app development company or a vendor.
      • Location-based Services: Also talk about the features of the mobile app that how it utilizes location-based features.

      Additional functionalities:Include any other specific functionalities important to achieving the app’s objectives or enhancing user experience. You should specify what are must-have and nice-to-have features and functionalities.

    4. Design and user experience:

      You have to describe the desired look and feel of the mobile app. Here are the points to write about in your RFP for a mobile app.

      • Wireframes: Provide wireframes depicting the app’s layout, page structure, and navigational flow. It will aid vendors in understanding the app’s structure and functionality. Many companies provide consulting services for tech startups in which they create wireframes as well.
      • Color Schemes: You can specify your preferred color palettes or themes, considering brand identity, user engagement, and accessibility standards.
      • Navigation Patterns: Define the navigation flow, how users will move through the app, or access various features or sections. A mobile app development company can easily understand what you want an app to do.
      • Existing Branding Guidelines: If it is needed in your project, share any existing brand guidelines or design elements that the app should align with.

      User Experience: For a better user experience emphasize ease of use, intuitive interfaces, and seamless interactions, to enhance user satisfaction. Ensure the app is for many people having diverse needs.

      User Interface: Provide insights into the desired UI elements such as typography, imagery, and interactive elements.

    5. Legal and compliance requirements:

      You will have to talk about legal constraints, privacy regulations, or compliance standards, that the app must adhere to.

      • Privacy regulation: Specify compliance with data privacy laws like GDPR or CCPA regarding user data collection, storage, and usage.
      • Security standards: Highlight the required security measures to safeguard user information and prevent data breaches. Read the safety and security policies of a mobile app development company.
      • Industry-specific regulations: If the app is related to a specific industry like healthcare or finance, mention any industry-specific compliance and standards such as HIPPA for healthcare apps. Many problems in your project can be eliminated in MVP app development.
      • Intellectual Property Rights: Mention the intellectual property rights associated with your mobile app project. It will ensure that your app’s content and features do not infringe on the existing copyrights or trademarks.

        Outline any necessary contracts or agreements such as end-user license agreements, and terms of service that users must agree to when using an app.

      User Experience: For a better user experience emphasize ease of use, intuitive interfaces, and seamless interactions, to enhance user satisfaction. Ensure the app is for many people having diverse needs.

      User Interface: Provide insights into the desired UI elements such as typography, imagery, and interactive elements.

    6. Questions and clarification section:

      In this section of the RFP for a mobile app, you will have to write about the contact details of a specific person or department for vendors to seek clarifications or ask questions related to the RFP.

      • Clarification process: You have to provide information about a person whom vendors can contact to ask any queries related to the project. They are responsible for managing queries and clarifications related to the RFP. So, provide clear and comprehensive contact details, including email address, phone number, and office hours if required.

        The vendors can find solutions to their queries quickly and easily otherwise it can be a sticking point to whom to approach. Specify the preferred mode of communication (email, phone calls, virtual meetings). Mention the timeline within which responses can be expected.

      • Queries handling: Set deadlines for vendors to submit their queries and requests for clarifications to ensure timely responses. You can maintain fairness and transparency in the bidding process by keeping all the potential vendors aware of questions and answers.

        The best way is to establish a systematic protocol for responding to queries. It will ensure that all vendors receive the same information.

    7. Budget and Payment Terms:

      The budget and payment term section within an RFP for a mobile application document focuses on financial aspects. It also gives clarity regarding project costs and payment arrangements.

      • Budget Range:

        Mention what is the appropriate budget for the project or the budget range allocated for the mobile app development project. Offer transparency by providing realistic estimates to guide vendors while preparing their proposals. Know the cost of an eCommerce app for an idea.

        You must create a budget that has some scope for scalability and flexibility because an exact budget will not be efficient at this stage. Provide a range that allows for negotiation and discussion. A mobile app development company can understand how much you can spend on the project so it can decide on features accordingly.

      • Payment Terms:

        Outline payment milestones or phases where payments will be disbursed to achieve specific project deliverables. Define the payment schedule, whether it is a specific payment (Monthly and Quarterly) or based on project milestones like completion of the design phase, and development phase, etc.

        Specify preferred payment methods like bank transfer, checks, and online payments or any terms related to invoices and receipts. A clear understanding of financial expectations, allows potential vendors to align their proposal with the budget constraints.

Looking for developers who can easily and clearly understand your app requirements_

Key tips for writing effective RFP for mobile application

Till now, you have read about the importance of writing an RFP for a mobile app. Now move ahead to know how to write it impeccably in a short time.

  • Write requirements

  • Set realistic timelines

  • Create evaluation

  • Write communication guidelines

Learn about all the key tips for writing an effective RFP for application.

  • Write clear requirements:

    Clearly mention the project scope, objectives, and expected outcomes. Mention what are the technical requirements and functional requirements in detail to avoid confusion. Avoid assumptions and clarify requirements properly

  • Set realistic timelines:

    Completing the project on time is necessary, but it doesn’t mean you should set over-ambitious goals. Set achievable milestones and project timelines considering the app’s complexity and vendor capabilities. Clearly mention what you want vendors to do for each phase and milestone.

  • Create evaluation:

    Clarify what will be the evaluation parameters such as technical expertise, experience, cost, and time limitations. Ensure transparency in communication to foster a collaborative environment. Conduct Mobile app market research for writing better evaluations.

  • Write communication guidelines:

    Clearly mention communication channels so that vendors can get answers to their queries easily and quickly. They will know who to approach for what matter or problem. The more clear the communication the more easy to move ahead in the project.

Common mistakes to avoid in RFP writing

Since an RFP for a mobile app is a long document, there are chances of mistakes as well. So, be careful while writing this document by avoiding the below mistakes.

  1. Vague Requirements

  2. Ignoring legal aspects

  3. Lack of clarity in the budget

  4. Improper communication channels

Understand the common mistakes properly to avoid unnecessary delays in the project completion. Here is the description of these mistakes.

  1. Vague Requirements:

    Avoid using unclear language that may lead to misinterpretation of project needs. Write clearly about the requirements so that vendors can understand them without any confusion. Unclear language can lead to misinterpretation of the project’s needs.

    Provide specific and detailed requirements to avoid confusion. You can get the needs checked by a reliable person and ask what you understand from it.

  2. Ignoring legal aspects:

    Don’t underestimate the legal constraints. Address these constraints and requirements accurately as they can lead to complications later. Include all necessary legal, privacy, and regulatory considerations. Create a separate section of legal constraints in your RFP document.

  3. Lack of clarity in the budget:

    How much should be the budget for your mobile application project? Knowing about the cost of mobile app design will help you get a clear idea. Ambiguity in budget expectations can result in different misunderstandings. Clearly define payment schedules, milestones, and expectations.

  4. Improper communication channels:

    Proper communication is crucial for conveying the message without confusion. Insufficient communication methods create problems for vendors seeking clarifications or sharing insights. Offer multiple channels for vendors to seek clarifications or provide proposals.


RFP for mobile applications is crucial as it ensures the project’s success and helps to find the right vendors for the project. A well-structured RFP streamlines the selection process and aligns expectations. Focus on the steps mentioned to write an engaging RFP document. For this, follow the key tips for writing an RFP for a mobile application and avoid mistakes mentioned in the blog. If you face any problems or issues while deciding aspects for your application project, contact experts at Technource.

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Mr. Sanjay Singh Rajpurohit, An early-aged entrepreneur who always leads his team from the front and achieved success. As the founder & CEO of Technource, a top mobile app & Web development company, he made a global presence in a short time by offering custom software development, premium mobile apps, and website development services to global clients. In his free time, he loves writing. He is featured on Hackernoon, Dzone, Enlear Academy, Articlesfactory, and much more websites.

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