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Design Specification

A Design Specifications Document is also called "Design", "Architecture", "System Architecture", “Design Spec” document. A design specification document contains design decisions, system architecture and tests that attempts to meet the requirements (that are determined earlier).

This type of report is used in industry and provides a plan for engineers other than the system architect(s) to proceed with a project.

A Design Specifications Document should include

  • Requirements (as well as assumptions, caveats and design guides) that are determined at the initial stages of a project
  • How you plan to implement the requirements
  • Calculations, code, circuit and schematic diagrams, mechanical drawings and other technical information to illustrate the designs (only design-related implementations should be included). For example:
    • Power supply: Weight, capacity, voltage
    • Power consumption: Sensors, actuators
    • Physical properties: Dimensions, weight
    • Locomotion: Actuators, mechanisms
    • Sensors: Type, configuration, how is sensor data processed?
    • Algorithms and software

The Design Specifications Document should also include project management aspects (as covered by Ms. Ros Rimington) including * Equipment list: Costs and suppliers * Detailed schedule, Gantt Chart, critical path, responsibility matrix

You need to justify your design choices. For example " told me so" is not a valid justification for a design choice. They always should be based on evidence. Requirements Specification Document will help narrowing down the set of evidence required for a decision.

Topic revision: r1 - 2012-08-26 - AhmetSekercioglu
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