Design Document Template

You can use this Design Document template to describe how you intend to design a software product and provide a reference document that outlines all parts of the software and how they will work. This document gives the software development team an overall guidance of the architecture of the software project.

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Use this template to:

  • Describe structures that reside within the software, including attributes and relationships between data objects.
  • Map information flow characteristics into the program structure.
  • Describe internal and external program interfaces as well as the design of human interface.

This template helps you capture the System Architecture, Data Design, Detailed Design, Hardware Detailed Design, Software Detailed Design, External Interface Design, and Human-Machine Interface.

Design Document Template: MS Word Blue Theme

Design Document Template: MS Word Red Theme

In large software development projects, the Design Document helps coordinate a large team under a single vision when developing applications. Here are some sample screenshots of the MS Word templates.

Design Document Template

Document History

Design Document Template

Chapter 1, Executive Summary

Design Document Template

Chapter 2, Design Overview

Design Document Template

Chapter 3, System Architecture

Design Document Template

Chapter 4, Data Design

Design Document Template

Chapter 5, Detailed Design

Design Document Template

Chapter 5.2, Software Detailed Design

Design Document Template

Chapter 6, External Interface Design

Design Document Template

Chapter 7, Human Machine Interface

Design Document Template

Chapter 8, System Integrity Controls

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Design Document Template: Table of Contents

1.  Executive Summary

1.1 Purpose of this document
1.2 Identification
1.3 Scope
1.4 Relationship to Other Plans
1.5 Methodology, Tools, and Techniques
1.6 Policies, Directives and Procedures

2 Design Overview

2.1 Background Information
2.2 System Evolution Description
2.3 Current Process
2.4 Proposed Process
2.5 Technology Forecast
2.6 Constraints
2.7 Design Trade-offs
2.8 User Characteristics
2.8.1 User Problem Statement
2.8.2 User Objectives

3 System Architecture

3.1 Hardware Architecture
3.2 Software Architecture
3.3 Communications Architecture

4 Data Design

4.1 Database Management System Files
4.2 Non-Database Management System Files

5 Detailed Design

5.1 Hardware Detailed Design
5.2 Software Detailed Design
5.2.1 Module [X] Processing Local data structures
5.2.2 Module [X] 5.3 Communications Detailed Design

6 External Interface Design

6.1 Interface Architecture
6.2 Interface Detailed Design

7 Human-Machine Interface

7.1 Interface Design Rules
7.2 Inputs
7.3 Outputs
7.4 Navigation Hierarchy
7.4.1 Screen [x.1] 7.4.2 Screen [x.2] 7.4.3 Screen [x.3]

8 System Integrity Controls

9 Appendix A

9.1 Requirements Traceability Matrix
9. Glossary of Terms

Free Requirements Traceability Matrix template

Requirements Traceability Matrix

Free Data Dictionary Template

Data Dictionary instructions

Data Dictionary – Sample Entity

Design Document Template: Contents & Format

The templates are in Microsoft Word format
(.doc) and can be downloaded online for only $9.99. The template pack includes the following documents:

2 x Design Document Templates 22 pages Download Word template
Requirements Traceability Matrix 6 pages Download Word template
Data Dictionary Template 8 pages Download Word template

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