Before Hiring with an App Development Partner, Consider These Factors
Mobile app development is a significant capital expense that you should only entrust with the right development team. A competent development company can deliver an app as per the project specifications,f which is important in ensuring there aren’t any cost overruns. Apps also require annual maintenance budgets, which are likely to be high if the initial development work was not good enough.
Beyond cost considerations, the quality of an app in terms of looks and performance is crucial in determining the performance of the app. The success of an app is dependent not only on the features included but also on how well those features work to deliver a great user experience. Furthermore, the marketing and the rollout process of an app is also important in creating interest in the app, especially when it is aimed at a mass market. A world-class development partner can help bring all the important inputs to maximize the chances of delivering an app with a positive ROI.
If you are planning on hiring a mobile app development partner, here are important considerations when choosing one.
Experience and Portfolio
Working with a mobile app development partner that brings years of experience has several advantages. If they have worked on similar projects, they understand the most important deliverables for the project and can help you identify priorities. For instance, if you do not engage an external project manager for the project, the development company can come up with their own project milestones and deadlines to help you keep them accountable. Such a development partner also understands the pitfalls of such a project and puts measures to prevent them in place.
To ascertain their experience, you should request to see their portfolio which hopefully includes projects that are recent and similar to what you are aiming for. You can engage the services of a consultant to help you assess the portfolio for quality and match.
Technologies in the Mobile App Development Process
When inspecting the portfolio of past projects by a potential development partner, you should also seek to understand the technologies they have applied. The software engineering and mobile app development space is evolving rapidly with new technologies emerging every year. If you are looking to build a future-proof app, deploying some of these new technologies is important. As suggested, engaging a consultant will help you determine whether a given development partner is able to deliver the mobile app using the current best-in-class technologies. Alternatively, the mobile app development partner should be able to talk you through the various options available for use and the implications of each option on the maintenance of the app and the ability to add more features in the future.
Previous Clients of the Mobile App Development Partner
It’s always useful when you can reach out to past clients of the development company to find out their experience. Mobile app development projects take months to deliver and the relationship often continues if the contract provides maintenance services. During that time, there are likely to emerge slight problems or misunderstandings that can affect the working relationship. Hearing about those issues and how they were resolved will help you make a more informed decision.
The most important questions to ask would be whether the project was delivered on time, whether there was sufficient testing before deployment and whether bugs were fixed completely and in a timely manner. Lastly, ask how the company handles communication and whether the liaison person is always available for queries.
During the negotiation process with a potential development partner, you should ensure that they allow you to maintain code ownership of the application. This legally protects you from being tied down to them. With ownership, you can always pivot to another development partner. Importantly, the project specifications must provide for proper documentation of the code so that developers who come along down the road can easily take over.
The issue of code ownership and maintenance is also very important when it comes to the working style of the development company. You are better off working with a company that deploys a team to build your app as opposed to where one developer is expected to handle everything. If that one person leaves halfway through your project, there is the risk of such a project stalling or failing altogether.
Before settling on a development partner, take time to understand their design process because it needs to be elaborate. Let them tell you how they’ve handled past projects. Ensure that there is a thorough preliminary process where they understand all your project needs. They should be ready to provide wireframes and mock-ups before writing the first line of code. Additionally, good practice would be to provide weekly updates. The timelines of the projects ought to be clearly stated.
An often under appreciated phase of mobile app development projects is the testing phase. The testing needs to be rigorous. You must document and fix any problems found before conducting more rounds of testing. This can go a long way in minimizing the maintenance costs of the app.
There are development partners who offer multiple services under a single package. These services go beyond the development of the app and include preliminary work and the launch of the app. Preliminary work is important in ensuring that there is indeed a case for building the app. The analysis helps to decide on the most important features to include in the Minimum Viable Product.
The launch process should build anticipation for the app among the intended users of the app. The launch complements the development work to increase the revenue generated. Hiring a development partner that offers a service package is cheaper than hiring multiple companies to handle different functions.
Other Factors to Consider in a Mobile App Development Partner
There are numerous other factors to consider when deciding whether to work with a mobile app development company. Setting up several meetings with the company prior to signing a contract will tell whether they are a good fit. If they bring a team to meetings, that’s an indication that a team will likely work on the app as opposed to an individual. The company should listen and make adjustments to ensure the app is the right fit for your company.
For pricing, the best practice is for the mobile development company to break down how they arrived at a figure. Pricing should be commensurate to deliverables. A breakdown ensures that the pricing is justified while also ensuring that the company understands the deliverables well. The development partner should sign a contract that specifies all deliverables and remedies for non-delivery. As highlighted, mobile app development projects involve a large outlay of resources. Your company should protect itself as it would in any other capital-intensive project.
If your company is seeking a world-class mobile app development partner, reach out to NS804. Our team has many years of delivering business mobile apps to hundreds of satisfied clients. Schedule a consultation with us h