Future of App Marketplace
After a predicted revenue of $188.9 billion from mobile app development by 2020, the entrepreneurs worldwide have turned an eye of interest towards the mobile app development marketplace.
Since the app development process is gaining so much traction, more and more entrepreneurs are looking for parameters to shortlist the right app developers. We decided to ease your pain a bit and help you with this process.
Having developed over 80+ apps, we have learnt an important lesson; finding the right mobile app developer doesn’t just imply a good set of skills.
Despite the fact that the developer/developers you have chosen have sound knowledge and decent pricing, it may happen that they are in fact, not right for your project.
You may find some other development team after you have screwed your first project, but that means paying a hefty price in terms of money, time and resources. Therefore, making a careful decision at the very first step can certainly save you.
Tips for Choosing the Right Mobile App Developers
1. Locate your Mobile App Developers
It is advisable to find app developers in your vicinity to avoid communication gap, save resources and time. Hiring developers from your local regions also offer additional benefits such as:
- The comfort of having the same time zone: For the times when you need to arrange meetings with the developers, you will not face any difficulties as the developers will belong to the same time zone as yours. This will save you from the trouble of keeping meetings at odd hours.
- No Communication Barriers: Since the developers will be from your region, you will not face any language barriers and be able to discuss your project smoothly.
Clutch is a research and review platform that helps you make hiring decisions by providing authentic data, client testimonials and case studies.
You can set your desired location in the filter and then sift through the company names that are located in your region.
You can also check out the ratings and the testimonials for the companies listed and that will help you make a better decision about hiring.
2. Perform a Background Check
Once you have made up your mind about the location and have shortlisted some of the companies based on reviews, it is time for a thorough background check.
While gauging the reputation of an app development company, it is necessary to go through the following checkpoints.
Check Out Published Apps
Quality app developers always have an expansive portfolio, showing a diverse range of projects they have worked on. This will give you an idea about their versatility and their experience in this industry.
Do not hold back from asking them the links to their published apps in the app stores. Go through their apps by not just ‘seeing’ but using them as well.
Check out for Visibility
The company should be found easily on Google. It should also have positive client reviews available. This is an important factor to check the credibility of the company. Consider companies with poor reviews and unsatisfied clients as red flags.
See if they Have a Physical Office
Finally, the company should have a physical presence on the map. A professional app development agency has an office where the clients can meet up for the workshops and chat about the scope of their project.
3. Evaluate their Knowledge and Expertise
After performing a thorough background check, next comes measuring their capabilities.
The app developers are expected to have a sound understanding of various app development platforms. They must hold expertise in native as well as hybrid platforms.
If they are specialised in hybrid app development they must have knowledge of frameworks like react, react native, ionic, PhoneGap etc.
If they specialise in Android apps, a sound knowledge of Java, Eclipse, or Android Studio is expected out of them.
Similarly, if they specialise in iPhone applications, knowledge of Objective C, Swift, and Xcode is essential.
Apart from this, look out for the following points:
- They must have a good know-how of the emerging trends and technologies in app development domain. The latest technologies like PWA, AMP, Blockchain, IoT should be at their fingertips.
- They must have the provision of educating their clients about these technologies by holding seminars, lectures or workshops.
- They must have proved themselves as thought-leaders by sharing their expertise with other industry experts and their clients through brochures, ebooks and blogs.
4. Ask about their Teams & Development Timelines
One of the benefits of hiring a company over freelancers is that they provide you with a full-fledged and dedicated teams. A good team is capable of supporting your project from designing to launching.
An ideal development team consist of designers, developers, testers, and project managers. Having multiple team members, each having his own specialisation will reduce the app development time as well.
Development time depends on the project type. So ask the developers about the timeline of their delivery.
To give you some idea of the development timelines, here is a rough estimate of the number of hours that we take.
Simple app- About 400 hours
Medium app- About 700 hours
Complex app- About 1,000 hours
Depending upon your requirements, check how much time is feasible to you. In how much time are you expecting to launch your app? If the app developers commit to delivering on your deadlines, take it as a green light.
5. Consider the Budget for Your Project
Many people consider budget as the deciding factor for shortlisting the app makers in Australia, but I beg to differ.
Although it is necessary to find developers that are within your budget, choosing app developers just basing on cost is a big mistake.
The reason why I say that is because low-priced developers can cost you dearly if they fail to deliver as per your expectation. You will have to waste a ton of money and your precious time in finding new app developers to rectify those mistakes.
While considering the budget aspect, go through the below-mentioned bullet points:
Are they flexible?
The app developers must be able to scale up or scale down the app budget based on your chalked out requirements. They should not be rigid about costing a fixed amount for services that you do not require.
Are they transparent?
The app development cost quoted by them should not come with hidden costs. There should be complete transparency in what they are charging and why they are charging.
What is their payment model?
The payment model can either be an hourly basis, based on milestones completed or a complete payment. This depends on your personal choice on which payment model suits you the best. Whatever best-fit to your needs, discuss with the developers beforehand.
6. Ensure they Have an Efficient Workflow
Another benefit of having professional app developers is that they have a well-established workflow according to which they carry their development process. A typical flow for any app usually looks like this:
Again the workflow depends from project to project.
Ask the developers about the kind of methodology they use for their development. The latest and the best methodology developed to date being Agile.
According to an Agile Report, about 94% of the organisations follow some form of Agile in their processes. It is pivoted on 4 principles according to Agile Manifesto. Here is a complete guide to know what these principles are.
Also, make sure to ask the developers the kind of UX/UI features they are going to deploy and what is their take on testing and how do they plan to execute that.
The best app makers will be able to explain all these details to you articulately, failing which, you should not think of going ahead with them.
7. Check with their References
It is absolutely normal to ask for references from the mobile app developers to cross-check their reliability, dependability and their authenticity. Try to get multiple references and keep the following list of questions handy while talking to them.
Q1. What kind of involvement did you have in the work process?
Q2. Were you satisfied with the processes and the results?
Q3. Was the team able to understand the product idea easily and quickly? Did they recommend any innovative ways to improve your product?
Q4. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much will you rate their qualification of the team?
Q5. Did you like their reporting and meetings during the project?
Q6. Would you like to work with them again for a new app development project?
If their references answer 4+ questions positively, you may proceed to the next step for shortlisting.
8. Moving Forward With Legal Contracts and Documentation
There is a lot more to mobile app development than only the core development part. One of the most critical aspects of developing is taking care of the legal issues.
A mobile app faces various threats post development such as getting the app idea stolen, not getting what you had asked for, not getting maintenance and support services after the app has been developed and many more.
It is natural that in the hurry of executing your brilliant app idea, you forget to look out the legal issues that can prevail; with development. Here are 3 crucial agreements that you and your developers should be aware of:
Source Code Ownership
“Source code is the fundamental sequence of computer instructions that create an app or software.”
Without source code ownership, you can’t modify or update your app under your own accord.
Look for the app developers who agree to hand you over the source code, assign you the ownership and Copyright to it. If you wish to involve other app developers for changes, improvements and updates, you will be needing the app source code.
Under the Australian Copyright Act, a computer program falls under the purview of literary work, which means the creator owns the copyright to it unless assigned to someone else.
Non Disclosure Agreement
An NDA or a Non Disclosure Agreement for mobile app developers is an agreement that is signed between two parties to protect the app idea. It states that the parties that have signed the agreement will preserve the confidentiality of the information and under no circumstances will the data be disclosed to anyone.
In case of mobile app project, the confidential information includes the algorithms and the design of the mobile app. The NDA can be predefined or can even be made as per your specifications. A typical Australian NDA and Confidentiality Agreement per say is in compliance with the Australian laws.
Make sure the developers are well aware of the privacy policies that come with a mobile application. The privacy policies for an app regulates the type of personal data that is collected by the app and its usage. Here are three most essential privacy policies for mobile applications:
Good developers are well versed with these policies and save you from facing app related legal issues in future. Additionally, you can also make an App Developer Contract to reassure that you get what you have paid for. Here is a checklist of details you need to include in the contract:
9. Communication Channels to keep you in Loop
How well your mobile app turns out will depend on how well you convey your vision to your development company. Communication is an essential element throughout the process. So, it is necessary that you are comfortable and at ease with their communication channels.
Enquire about the communication and task management tools they use for interacting with the clients. These tools might include Trello, Jira, Quip, Slack, Skype and Dropbox.
It is also important that the app developers are responding to your queries on time and are quickly working to resolve your issue. Ask them how many hours do they take after a query is raised. Ideally, the initial response time should not exceed more than 24 hours.
10. Support and Maintenance Plan
Mobile app is not a commodity that you can buy every day. It is quite expensive and complex. Often the app maintenance factor is overlooked by people and they fail to understand that it contributes to the app’s profitability. Note that once the app is developed, it needs regular monitoring, engagement and maintenance.
Make sure that your app developers don’t vanish as the project completes. Ask them about their maintenance policies and how they plan to provide assistance once the app is up and running.
It is important to understand that picking the app makers in Australia don’t just depend on time, money and quality; instead, it is a balanced combination of all the points mentioned above.
Many of our clients pay heavily by choosing the wrong app developers before coming to us. Sometimes it costs them a lot of money, time and energy. To avoid being in such situation, act wisely and do your thorough research.
If you have an app idea and are thinking of pitching it to the investors, check out this comprehensive guide on how to prepare an award-winning app startup pitch.