A mobile app development company is responsible for transforming business ideas into reality. This blog enumerates points and factors to keep in mind before hiring one.
The world today is completely fascinated with apps, their innovations, varied utilities and user engagement capabilities. Mobile Apps take care of everything including home and life utilities, daily routines, work requirements, entertainment, social media connections, amongst others.
Due to these reasons, Mobile internet traffic accounts for more than half of the total global online traffic. In fact, reports suggest that, ‘There are 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide and an average adult spends close to 3 hours on their smartphones every day.’ Thus, every business, government setup, NGOs and other organizations require their own app that may help either to connect with viewers, users or to supplement workflows.
But, How do you begin? If you have a business idea or a work requirement which an app can solve, delve deeper and analyze its market viability. If you are sure of its workability, you would require a team that would help you transform this idea into its digital reality.
Finding the perfect app developers is another tedious task these days. Mobile app development requires a varied skill set including technology expertise, app user analysis, creative interface designer specialists, innovative strategists, amongst others. Finding experts for each of these verticals and then combining them to form a team is one hell of a job in itself. App development and maintenance is a long term project and requires commitment from both the developer and the app owner. After development, app developers also need to maintain the app. You should thus, be on a lookout for not mere app developers, but strategic technology partners for a long run. Appdexa’s guide to outsourcing app development can help you ease through the process.
So the question that arises herein is, ‘should you designate this complex task to in-house developers or go onto hire a mobile app development company?’
Hiring an app development agency in this case has its own benefits. They have a ready team of expert mobile app developers who have experience in working as a team and have been designing and developing apps for various industries across verticals. Native, web or hybrid; app development companies hire mobile app developers who are good with every required skill in building an app.
Mobile app development is a lengthy and complex process that involves a high cost of app development. Entrepreneurs prefer app agencies with one time work allotment, completion and payment resolutions; as against in-house app developers who are required to be paid high salaries and given the requisite technology toolkit. In case an entrepreneur is unsure about the development process and evolution approach for the app, they may choose to hire in-house app developers and oversee the app development themselves.
Let us now analyze work aspects that need to be taken care of by you before you decide on your choice amongst the top app development companies:
1. Keep a stern check on your competitors
Seek and ye shall find. You know who your competitors are. Check if they have a mobile app version of their businesses and find out everything about their apps including designs, features, UI and UX, services, paid subscriptions, etc. You must also go through their app reviews and social media feedback as well. All of this will help you understand the pros and cons of your competitors’ apps and simultaneously provide insightful information about user expectations from the industry. If an app is good, has some great features or functionalities; find out about its developers. Find out if it is a home development team or an agency?
Competitor Analysis will give you a clear idea to set your expectations and objectives which you can further explain to the agency that you will hire.
2.Tenaciously go through the portfolio of the mobile app development company
The best way to know any agency is to go through their (detailed) portfolio. Give in considerable time and effort to analyze the company’s highlights and achievements, projects undertaken, apps created, their workability, innovativeness and creativity. Also analyze the industries they have been catering to and client satisfaction in terms of deliverables.
A thorough check of a mobile app development company’s previous works and clients will give you a very clear picture of their capabilities in all aspects. Compare and contrast them with your work requirements, in order to find an app development company ideally suited to your needs.
3. Client and App reviews will get you a wider perspective
Client reviews are the best ‘sieve’ that can help you understand a company’s positives and negatives. Go through them thoroughly. Remember that each client is varied, with unique requirements and priorities. Customer reviews will give you a fair idea about each client’s perception of the app development company. Whether it is a company’s team of good developers, promptness in delivery, overall professionalism, fulfilling client needs or their client retention rate; reviews can help you sort through all. Additionally, try and research about the company’s reputation in the industry as well.
For that matter, you may even ask the agency if you can contact some of their clients for a better understanding.
Another interesting way to find out about the agency is to read through their mobile app reviews in the stores. In both Play Store and App Store, you can see their ratings, in the comment section you can go through their positives, negatives, queries raised and solved, etc.
4. Understand their expertise/the process of app development
Building beautiful custom software takes a precise mix of technical expertise and creative skills. Choosing the right freelancers, app development company or assembling your own awesome in-house team is the first and the most important step or achieving it. Remember that a bad hire in this respect shall prove costly.
Understand the process and approach followed by your shortlisted app development companies, to analyze the one closest to your app goals.
5. Set the right pricing but do not forsake quality
In order to hire an app developer, will cost play an important role? Obviously ‘yes’. It always does. You would thus, need an app developer that would work as per your budget requirements.
When you choose to build an app for your business, you could either prepare to invest time and money constantly in leading and managing the overall project, and burden yourself under long term overheads with in house developers or opt for a clear tentative price bracket with clear expectations and deadlines from an app development agency. The process to narrow down on the budget requirements should include:
As the app owner, you should have a clear picture about designing cost, development cost, testing costs, maintenance costs, redesigning costs, etc. Prices for the Admin Panel, creatives and design, testing, web hosting, amongst others should also be clearly demarcated.
Remember, that your app is going to be a valuable business asset for a long time to come. Thus, try and never compromise quality for price. If the agency has a great track record which you can realise from their apps, their portfolios, experience and reviews and most importantly, the determination to do take your project; it’s advisable to not back out if they charge you higher than your expectations.
As per industry standards, the average cost of app development ranges somewhere between $100,000-500,000. The more complex your app or the more features your app has, the costs are likely to increase. The factors to be kept in mind herein, for price comparisons are the app development agency’s size, experience, app complexity, scalability and location. This is the most transparent way of understanding how much do app developers charge.
6. Platform options and technical expertise to be considered
It’s important to clearly understand your app goals and the way you would want it to look and function. Based on these requirements, you would be easily able to shortlist platforms requirements in terms of your app development. Also analyze the user base you intend to target. This includes everything, from the Android and iOS market share in the respective industry, national and regional levels, app submission procedures in Android and iOS, etc. They would help you decide, whether you want your app to be native or hybrid?
Natives apps are made for a single platform. They are extremely fast but highly expensive. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, are results of cross-platform app development. These apps can share a single codebase into multiple platforms (including windows). They are fast (not as Native) and comparatively less expensive.
To get an overview on how to build an app, ask agencies about their expertise, what languages and frameworks their developers are comfortable with. Futuristic technologies like Flutter, React, etc. can be used as per app goals. Google’s powerful open source can be utilised only if the developers know the language well. Question about programming languages (Java, Kotlin, Objective-C, etc.), what open-frameworks are they comfortable in (Ionic, React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, PhoneGap, etc.), knowledge of IDE (Android Studio and XCode) and other app development related nuances are important to be asked. The team with the best app developers will surely be more acquainted with these platforms, with better development knowledge and sound advice.
7. UI/UX- How does an app making agency give importance to User Interface and Experience
If User Interface is the backbone of an app, User Experience is its heart and soul. Thus, both are eminently important. To put in simple words, your app should have a great UI design with lots of features and functionalities as well as an engaging and user-centric UX design. That’s why the companies whose apps generate the greatest experiences and excellent user connections make it to the list of the best app development companies.
A great UI/UX design helps you in a lot many ways like-
The best app builder companies will give maximum priority to UI/UX designs.
8. App Documentation
The paperwork stage is an absolute mandate. The documentation process helps to keep exact records of the app development stage. Every bit of knowledge transfer including the business clause and ethics, files and databases, production issues, installation and code (including comment blocks, specific file documentations, code repository) can be stored in these documents for review and understanding at later stages.
App documentation enables a user to bar app development companies and any of its employees to leak your business idea outside to the business world, before your product launch or without your expressive consent. In a world, wherein good ideas mean good money, appropriate documentation with the correct clause helps business owners keep their ideas safe. These documents will also help you, if and when you change your app development agency but also the latter itself to have validated testimonials of the entire project progression.
9. Not Just Building an App, but Building a Relationship
App development is a complicated process. There are times when you or the agency may have creative differences and putting an end to such issues becomes paramount for both the sides. ‘Communication’ is key here. Ensure that you choose an app development company, with leaders and managers you can easily communicate with. The objective is to work together as long as possible because the longer you work in an alliance, the better will be for both the parties to understand each other’s approach towards things in general and for the app upkeep in particular. It helps in building trust. And once trust is gained, you can hire the same mobile app development company again for further projects as well.
Points to Remember
App development is an intricate job that involves many nitty-gritties. It could end up being a really tedious task, if you do not hire the right app developers. App development process will involve risk, effort and money from your end. It also requires a deft business idea and an app development team that believes in the viability and utility of the idea. If you can somehow find these; an extraordinary app solution is on the cards for you. You can use the above stated points as a definitive checklist for hiring a mobile app development company that will be able to meet your requirements and expectations of quality, value and return on investments. As Stephen R. Covey had famously mentioned ‘Begin with an end in mind’, your objective should be to have a unique app for your business which will help you in bringing profits. A sincere and reputed app development agency will definitely help you achieve that in all earnest.
With global mobile ad spending hitting $190 billion and expected to cross $280 billion by 2022, mobile app marketing is seeing exponential growth.