The ultimate guide to choose mobile app development company
Sushil Monday October 14, 2019
I've written this article for people who are looking for mobile development company. In this article, I'm covering following topics.
- Why choosing right mobile app development company matter
- Where should you find app developers
- How to decide on budget for mobile app development
- Process to choose right mobile app development company for you
- Next steps after selecting mobile app development company
Converting your mobile app idea into real product is a mammoth task. The highly risky decision is to decide on your mobile app development company. If you hired a wrong company, your dream app won’t be successful as it should be.
People are searching it on Google, social media, asking questions on Quora, look for their network, talking to consultants and doing whatever it takes to search a good mobile app development company. Still, finding the right company appears to remain a puzzle as the question is consistently asked.
More than 12000 app development companies are listed on Clutch.co a well-known listing site.
Now the question arises, what you should do to diminish this risk and make your idea come true.
I tried to cover this topic in good details after thorough research and with our own experience of processing thousands of queries for mobile app development at Realmonkey.
Why choosing right mobile app development company matter?
Trust me, a single-company-fits-all model doesn’t work in IT. For every need, the right fit for the IT company “may” vary.
It does not matter how great the company is or what all have they achieved. Your project will be handled by a handful of them, not all. If those handfuls don’t give you the right feel then chances are high that you will end up being unsatisfied.
Filtering the companies on the basis of their reputation may be a good initial filter. Nonetheless, in order to finalize the company from a list of final 5 filtered IT companies you have to focus more on the minute details then the IT company’s reputation.
It is better to spend some time making the right decision than to rush into starting the project with the wrong IT partner and then regret the decision after having spent few months and your hard-earned money.
Where should you find app developers
“While every continent is having their hand in the mobile app development pool, still Asia is reigning in the arena, with about 32.9 percent of all software developers are in Asia, compared to 29.7 percent in Europe, and 29.4 percent in North America.”
When you have an idea for mobile app, you start searching for developers and the first thing you do is Google search for best mobile app developers. But not every company you found on top in Google search result are best for you. Stop beat around the bushes and try to find best information about developers and development companies at following reputed platforms.
These are among the top platforms available for seeking development companies. You can check ratings & reviews, cost to hire a developer along with many other filters like demographics, number of employees, pricing, number of views etc.
One more channel which I highly recommend is LinkedIn. It is the number one social platform for professionals and you can easily get connected to plenty of good resources there. You can apply your own filters (given in the post below) to select right developer for your app idea.
Once you are on these platforms you have make a crucial decision about hiring a development company or freelancer. It is often difficult to choose between a freelancer and a company; both have their own advantages and disadvantages. There are a number of factors that need to be considered while deciding app development firm:
With app development firms you can be sure about quality, confidentiality, regularity in development along with understanding of latest technologies. While these can be issues with freelancers. Regularity is a major issue with freelancers they might disappear and, in that case, it gets impossible to complete development work in time.
Development firms will definitely charge more than freelancers for all the above reasons and I must say it is required to maintain such level of quality and work.
How to decide on budget for mobile app development
Don’t just look at the price. In case of mobile app development cheapest won’t be good for you. To get a great mobile app, it is important you appoint best of the developers to develop it.
Don’t let price drive you. When it comes to mobile app development it is important you get a great product, not the cheapest product you could buy. Keeping within your own budget constraints, let the quality of their previous work and their expertise decide whether or not they are right for the job.
A recent survey by Clutch revealed that the cost of mobile app development ranges between $30,000 to $700,000, with a median cost of $171,450. Keeping this price range in mind, your budget should be flexible before finalizing pricing terms.
If you have budget constraints, it is advisable to make adjustments in your app development approach rather than compromising on good development team. You always have choice to create MVP (minimum viable product) to test your idea and go ahead with full development as you proved it.
At Realmonkey, we always suggest our clients to prove their idea first and then go for full version of app. We always prefer to create MVP first and let client go in market to test it and get feedback, accordingly we proceed further and create final products.
Process to choose right mobile app development company for you
When you are looking for a mobile app development company for end-to-end services, talk to full-service mobile app agency that has dedicated specialists to perform such services. Many companies are not good in advising you on mobile strategy or execute it in design. Selecting such company would be a nightmare, not to mention huge waste of time and money.
Most of the entrepreneurs don’t have a proper direction to qualify teams to hire. So here is a process you should use before hiring any dev team.
"We developed this process after replying thousands of queries from prospects"Business analysts team at Realmonkey
First and fore most create your business profile
It doesn’t matter that you are a single entrepreneur, startup or established company. You should always start with your own business profile. This profile will help you kick off your initial dialog with dev company. Below are some basic questions for you to consider:
- Define your target market?
- What are your goals and business values?
- What does it specialize in?
- Where are you located?
- Who will take care of project development?
- What is the stage of project? Is it in concept stage, ready to develop or established product?
- What is your USP (Unique Selling Point)?
You should start your meetings with all the basic information so you can see if the company you are talking to has the experience you need.
A good dev company will ask most of these questions or at least touch these topics. If they don’t, beware, they don’t have much experience.
At Realmonkey, we ask a set of questions to prospects before finalizing any project, if a client is not sure about what he wants to develop then it becomes difficult to finish project in desired time frame.
Based on replays, we provide our suggestions to develop it as commercially viable product for our client.
Now the next step is to prepare a set of questions for development company. For your help, I listed few rare and common questions with probable answers which you can consider:
Do you understand my business model/customers?
Answer: It’s imperative that the agency you’re doing business with understands your own target audience and your business model, so they can tailor the app they design to your customers in a relevant way.
If the agency won’t take the time to understand your customers’ needs and wants, they’re not going to succeed in developing an app that speaks to their behaviors.
In any case, sit down with the developer and talk to them about your customers, so they can understand that segment for UX purposes.
What kind of special features can you create?
Answer: Apps rarely grab consumers' attention without truly innovative and useful features. Figure out the bells and whistles you'd like and then assess your developer's capabilities. Ask him for his suggestions on features according to your app idea, a wise developer will surely come-up with some good features to add-on in your app.
For example, can your candidate add social media sharing, GPS check-ins or product coupon elements to your app?
Which devices you have for app testing?
Answer: It is your agency’s responsibility to provide you bug-free app. App testing plays vital role in on-time delivery of app. Without proper testing, your app is sure to fail.
Ask your agency about their testing process and which devices they are using to test it. Android and iPhone both have phones with multiple screen sizes and OS versions. Your agency should make sure that, app will run perfectly on all screen sizes and maximum OS versions currently available.
What’s your approach to user experience and design principles in app development?
Answer: While features are absolutely important, design and the user experience in an app should never be sacrificed. Without great design and UX, your app will suffer from a lack of users and popularity.
Since Android and Apple apps account for millions of unique apps altogether, one of the best ways to make your app stand out is superior design and UX.
Trust us: Users are able to tell if an app’s usability is poor right off the bat.
Any worthy agency will succeed at creating an aesthetic app that simultaneously is a joy to use. At Realmonkey, UX/UI design is our core competency.
How you are planning to manage my project?
Answer: Being an app development agency, they must assign a project manager on your project to take care of your business requirements and take hold on development in proper direction. A qualified or experienced project manager ease your task on product development so you can focus on other aspects of business.
Ask your agency whether they are assigning project manager to your project. We suggest always choose an agency who are having proper system of project management.
At Realmonkey, we assign experienced project manager on each project. He is responsible for sound execution of project and make assure that product delivers on time.
Do I own the code?
Answer: Typically, the individual or company paying for a mobile app will own the finished product. To be sure you own all the rights to the app you commissioned, you and the app developer should sign a written "copyright assignment" or "work made for hire" contract. The document should establish confidentiality and state that you own the app's design, source code and all of its content.
Any agency that does even a bit of work for the client should still respect the fact that the code belongs to the client. After all, you’re paying for the iOS app development and other work, so you should own the code.
Even if you jump ship and go to another agency before your app is finished at the first developer’s, the already completed work will serve as a roadmap to guide any other agency you may decide to bring on board later.
Your agency should tell you how they’ll deliver any files and documents to you that they’ve already started working on.
How do you decide when to use infinite scroll or pagination?
Answer: This is a bit of technical question, a proper response to this question can give you better understanding of developer’s technical soundness.
Here is the difference between both and use cases where each one is better fit.
When users depend on scrolling as their prime method of exploring data, it may compel the user to spend more time on your web page, thus increasing engagement. With the popularity of social media, massive amounts of data are being consumed; infinite scrolling offers an efficient way to browse that ocean of information without having to wait for pages to preload.
Users tend to have better experiences with scrolling than clicking/tapping. Gesture controls on mobile devices have made scrolling intuitive and easy to use. As a result, the users enjoy a truly responsive experience, regardless of what type of device they’re using. The biggest challenge is to maintain good performance in an application or website with infinite scrolling. If we see that the app will use too many resources because of size and volume of images or other types of content, then we need to make sure we try out an alternative approach.
Pagination is a user interface pattern that divides content into separate pages.
Pagination is good when the user is searching for something specific within listed content, not just scanning and consuming the flow of information. Furthermore, the user gets a sense of control. Infinite scrolling is like an endless game, while pagination allows us to visually sort different items. This means that if the user was searching for something on a website then he will quite easily find the necessary information on a paginated interface. Pagination is good for e-commerce sites and apps. When users shop online, they want to be able to come back to the place they left off and continue their shopping.
So basically, both approaches have their pros and cons. Which one should we choose?
There are only a few instances where infinite scrolling is effective. It’s best suited for sites and apps that boast lots of user-generated content (Twitter, Facebook) or visual content (Pinterest, Instagram).
Pagination, on the other hand, is a safer option, and a good choice for sites and apps that intend to satisfy goal-oriented activities of the users.
Below is the list of few common questions which are highly important to ask to dev company.
Can I see the apps you already built?
Answer: Qualified candidates should be eager to provide you with a list of apps they are personally responsible for creating -- or at least played a major role in developing.
Even though technical expertise is valuable, there’s just no substitute for actual experience and results in the development process. The prospective agency should be more than happy to show you apps they’ve already built.
If the prospective agency doesn’t have a portfolio of good results (no prominent clients or winning apps available for download), beware. If their portfolio shows good results, then it’s likely a reliable agency.
[Check our work]
May I speak with some of your past clients?
Answer: Unlike reading movie credits, there's typically no way to tell who actually developed an app. This is why speaking directly with candidates' current and former clients can be essential to verifying that the developers actually created the apps they claim to have worked on.
Checking references also gives you an opportunity to ask how reliable, responsive and results-oriented candidates are.
Ask these past clients how the agency did with deadlines, how it dealt with pressure, and how well it communicated with them throughout the process.
How the agency handled these issues is a good indicator of how they’ll deal with you on your app.
What is your app development process like–do you do agile development?
Answer: You want to know how the agency operates in the most critical time—when they’re working on your app. You should know how long the agency’s latest project took, what unexpected problems arose during the process (for example: issues with development cost, etc.), and what the agency did to successfully solve them.
Knowing these things empowers you to determine if you’re going to be working with a reliable agency that knows how to respond on the fly to challenges and can therefore produce successful apps.
Realistically, only do business with an agency that does agile development. Agile developers tend to get things done more efficiently and have a better approach to the minimum viable product (MVP).
How will you keep me updated on progress?
Answer: The quality of your app often depends on how clearly and often you communicate your app design and functionality requirements throughout the development process.
Does your app developer prefer to chat in person or via phone, Skype, instant message or email -- and how often? Or does he or she prefer to interact with you using a popular project and task management system like Slack, Asana, Basecamp? How often will he or she provide you with status updates?
As mentioned, Android and iOS app development is an iterative process, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you and the agency to talk, stay in touch, and exchange feedback. Any decent agency will gladly update you at each turn of the development process to make sure that the progress is meeting your expectations.
We at Realmonkey, provide weekly updates to our clients on project progress. We use Slack for communication and whole team available all the time for any discussion or clarification required by client. Jira is our project management tool. We create stories, tasks and bugs on it for further processing.
What are your fees and payment terms?
Answer: Draft a written agreement specifying that you will pay the developer by the hour or with a flat fee. Agencies, like us (Realmonkey), works on sprints and charge only for work done. Others require a deposit at the beginning of a project, often for up to half of the estimated total cost, with the balance due when the app is completed.
Next steps after selecting mobile app development company
Choosing the right team is the beginning of creating a successful mobile app, these are the further steps you should take before you start on development.
Let’s assume you selected dev company for your project. Now it’s time to go in technical details of the project. Following are the aspects you should decide on:
- Decide on concept of the app.
- Decide on business model of app, how you want to help your users and how app will earn money.
- Which platform is good for your app? (iOS or Android, iPad or Android Tablet)
- Do you want to develop native or hybrid app? If you choose hybrid, single code will be used for creating app for both platforms. In native you have to create separate apps.
- Make a list of complete features and functionalities require in app.
- Creative or design specifications are ready or not.
- Decide on functionality of the app, whether you require e-commerce engine, payment gateway or any other third-party services in the app.
Brainstorm these with your team and develop a good document which you can share with dev team.
Once you’ve made contact with a few potential partners, it’s time to share your vision or plan with each. Begin with high-level discussions. If the fit feels right, move towards a more detailed discovery process. If you think, your business idea is sensitive (and in most of the cases it is) create one non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which you ask prospects to sign before you discuss your plan in details.
Once your prospect sign NDA you can openly share your documents with them so they can accurately assess the scope of work and craft proposal accordingly.
It is advisable to not hold back on any critical aspect of your plan, initially it might please you with lower project cost but later you face missed deadlines, incur cost overruns, or risk your entire investment altogether.
I hope this article would help you in your selection process for development company.
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