When it comes to business mobile app development, all entrepreneurs will agree on one point; there is no alternative to a mobile app if new opportunities have to be explored. If widening customer base is a mission,the goal is to exponentially increase conversions and sales. If you are a business owner and want to have a mobile app designed and developed for your business, where do you start? The first step is to hire a developer who has proven experience and expertise in this field. But it is easier said than done!
There is a two-step process involved.
The first step is asking questions to yourself, as to what exactly you want from mobile app development firm or the freelance developer. This is similar to hiring anybody in any industry. You should have clarity about the ideal candidate, whether he/she/agency has the talent and skill set to create a great business mobile app (and not just an ordinary run-of-the-mill one). Once you have outlined the parameters for business mobile app development, you have to proceed to the next stage.
The second, are the questions that you should ask the developer. Many mobile app developers will initially promise you the moon but will fall short of your expectations. It is always advisable to carry out thorough due diligence before signing on the dotted line. You must ask probing questions to the developer whom you want to do business with. Spending a little time upfront with the developer can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. There is no specific template of the questions that should be asked. It all depends on your requirements, the features and functionalities you require from your app.
Each step will now be analyzed in some detail here! Give all of them a lot of thought, and implement meticulously. Otherwise, the outcome can be devastating for your app and business.
Questions to ask yourself before hiring a developer
Which platform do you want to develop the app for?
It is critical to know the devices that you want the mobile app to support. Do not get taken in by developers who can develop for any device. These are the people who will persuade you to develop for multiple platforms. But once you have a clear choice in your mind, you can stay strong on your options. For example, if your target audience is primarily Android users, focus on creating apps for Android users. When developing for multiple platforms, the best-fit developer respectively has to be hired.
Now, what about cross-platform apps? Interestingly, any developer that professes that they can develop for multiple platforms would be a cross-platform developer. However, if you want an app that will get a 5-star rating, opting for native app development is a no-brainer. Hence it is preferable to hire a developer that specializes in a single platform.
In a nutshell, you need to decide beforehand, the platform that you want to develop for. It will save unnecessary iterations and time and will provide quality functionality to users. Then, do you need to hire separate developers for IOS and Android development? The answer is yes! The only exception to this is when you outsource the work to a reputed software and mobile app development agency, which several developers with specialized expertise in each platform.
How to make the Developer understand the project?
Before putting it across to the developer about your plans for the mobile app, you should have an outline before you in very clear terms. If required, get a graphic designer to create a mockup of the app in Adobe Photoshop. Only when you have a detailed and clear explanation of the project, you can provide details to the developer during the interview and ask for feedback to know if they understand your requirements. If they do get it right, you can start on the interview part – if not, you can always point them in the right direction. But this will only be possible if you introspect and get your facts right in the first place.
How to ensure transparency and dependability?
Make sure that you bank only on reputed and experienced developers and do not get drawn towards fly-by-night operators. Some developers are unreliable and forget the commitments made once they bag your project & get the payment. But once you ask yourself and get answers to how you want the project to progress, you can always set milestones to follow. If a target is missed for any reason, you can always red flag the business mobile app development processes to save further loss. You can also fix payments in sync with the milestones reached.
How to judge the expertise of the developer?
When you are new to the mobile app development world, finding the perfect developer, judging the capabilities and expertise can be a challenge if you do not ask yourself the right questions. These include the traits that a professional developer should essentially have:
- If you have shortlisted two or more mobile app developers for the job, how will you determine who is the most capable of your job?
- Evaluating the technologies, languages, and platforms they are conversant with and whether that fulfills the job prerequisites. This aspect will have a significant impact on the performance of the mobile app.
- The type of communication with the developers that you want to establish when the project is being implemented.
Some agencies or developers will prefer to consistently keep you in the loop at every stage of the process and will take your regular feedback as it rolls along. Others might inform you only when set milestones are reached. You have to decide what you want – a hands-on business owner or one for whom the final results matter. This is a crucial factor that you have to decide first.
Do extensive research on these lines before you start the hiring process. Business mobile app development is a huge investment and is the reason why business owners have to carefully consider and pick the right person or agency for the job. It might take time but then, it will be worth the wait in the long run when you get a high performing and optimized mobile app for your business.
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Questions to ask a developer or an Agency before entrusting the work
Now that the whole project is clear to you and you have zeroed in on the factors that need to be evaluated before you take a developer on board, the next aspect is the questions that have to be asked to understand if one of the shortlisted candidates are right for the job. Here is how you go about it and the questions that should be asked!
Can I see your app portfolio?
Do not bank solely on technical expertise; remember that there cannot be any substitute for past results and experience. The prospective developer should be more than happy, and proud to show you their samples of previous work. If you see good results, they can be relied upon. Otherwise, beware! You can even ask if the apps have been ranked in the App Store or if they have been featured.
May I refer to some of your past clients?
Talking about past clients will give you an idea of the rapport and comfort level that the mobile app development company had with them. It will also give an unbiased view of how well the developers perform and have handled client relationships. Once you get the list of past clients, look for ones that are related to your business’ industry and with about the same size and scale of your venture. Talking to the clients will give an overview of how well the developers handled pressure, whether they met deadlines and the quality of their work.
Can you explain your development services?
Find out if mobile app development company carries out adequate beta-testing, if at all. You will surely not want developers who does not offer quality assurance to back up the work. Any experienced and professional developer will offer services such as business analysis, actual development process, and quality testing and will hand-hold you until the successful launch of the app.
App development is a fluid and flexible process that goes through various changes as the project goes along. Hence avoid developers who want to make you sign a rigid and fixed cost and time agreement. It simply shows that the developer wants to complete your project as fast as possible and with little effort to get across to the next paying client.
What app development process do you follow?
This question will help you determine whether you will be working with a developer who can be relied on, and whether they can meet challenges on the fly to create successful apps. Ask about the time taken by them to complete their latest project. If there were any problems, how they coped with them? As a rule of thumb, prefer business with developers that do agile development. Agile developers get things done more efficiently and have a consistent approach to the minimum viable product (MVP).
Do you follow standard coding practices?
Ideally, developers should use web application frameworks that are organized coding systems. It allows them to work quickly and easily on the same project through reusable libraries, tools and components required for code maintainability. It is essential to know whether the developers you hire use these standardized systems. If not, it is a signal that the work being done by them is not optimally organized apart from another disadvantage. If you ever leave the developers because of any problems and opt for others, the new developers cannot seamlessly start work on your project. It is thus critical that you hire developers who follow standardized systems and utilize a framework only.
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Will I be kept updated on the progress regularly?
Android and IOS app development is an iterative process and hence there should be plenty of opportunities for you to stay in regular touch with the developers and exchange feedback. Any good developer or agency will provide regular feedback so that you can know if the project is running as per your expectations. You should also be provided access to project management/collaboration tools for evaluating the progress made in real-time.
A high level of involvement from your end is required too, as the app cannot be developed without your inputs. The developers should tell you about this aspect at the beginning and if they don’t, it is again a warning sign.
Can you build apps for diverse operating systems?
This about offering your users a unique and exclusive experience instead of a common one-hat-fits-all solution. Coding for iOS is vastly different from coding for Android in business mobile app development. It gets more complex if you consider that in iOS, the app designed for the iPhone does not work seamlessly with the iPad. While there are more Android-based devices than iOS, generally iOS users get the best apps first as there are more returns on the developer side with IiOS than Android. This is because studies have shown that iOS users spend more and have more purchase power.
Hence, it is wise to select developers with exclusive expertise in each. Agencies, of course, have developers for different platforms so this question does not arise when you hire a software and mobile app development firm.
Will you maintain my app after launch?
A good developer should not leave you in the lurch after the app has been created. Responsibility should be taken even after the launch from time to time for fixing bugs, releasing updates and adding new features and functionalities. In short, your app is now a live situation that requires regular maintenance. The developer should be able to structure an app support and maintenance program, either on an hourly rate for one-off updates or a monthly fee for continual support. But before you sign the agreement, ensure that the cost per each new release is spelled out, how the developers will handle specific bug fixes, and the level of support, attentiveness, and reliability post-launch.
When it comes to business mobile app development, there is much more to consider than just project budget and development cost. You should ask yourself what it takes to have an aesthetically attractive, user-friendly and an optimally functioning app.
The developers or those at the agency that you choose should have great technical expertise, communication skills, understanding of customers, accountability, and a history of building successful mobile apps. The agency should also have a transparent process and acknowledge that any code that they write belongs to you. Looking for all these attributes under one roof in a software and mobile app development agency? Get in touch with us by booking a free consultation session at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your app goals!