There are only a few ways to get your mobile app designed and developed – do it yourself if you can code, recruit an in-house team or outsource it to a consultancy. And if you hire a mobile app developer, how do you know they suck?
As an entrepreneur on a bootstrapped budget, it may be wise to outsource the development to a consultancy that can provide for a complete team to create the app experience – analysis, design, development, QA, etc. This is by far the most common strategy adopted by entrepreneurs to build their MVP or Version One.
You would want to handover your concept to the best hands in the industry to ensure your app reflects your business perfectly. Parameters to choose an app developer like cost comparisons, references, portfolio, etc are known to all. But, we often overlook some of the most visible signs to make this important decision.
Here are 7 such signs that are often ignored, to help you choose the right mobile app developer for the job.
#1 Email and verbal communication
Your first interaction with the mobile app developer will be over an email or a phone call. Notice the kind of language they are using in their communications. Your app might not require too much of written communication but you will understand the knowledge of the developer on the subject by their written or verbal communication.
Take notice of their inflection and word choices. Pay attention to whether the response is templated or customized.
You should be easily able to judge if the mobile app developer is talking in a jargon-heavy or bookish language. A developer who is using affirmative language and is trying to give an impression that you both are on the same team means they want to create a bond.
Listening is also an important part of communication. Pay emphasis on how much the mobile app developer is listening to your requirements before offering their services.
#2 Social Presence
Social information doesn’t add to the credentials of development and designing the app, but certainly shows the company’s presence and grip in the market and their focus towards building their own brand.
You can quickly evaluate their communication style, focus and outlook towards the industry and the domain through what the mobile app developers share with their audience across social media channels.
How long the mobile app developer took to reply to your sales query? They replied immediately, within a day, in a week, never replied?
Many reports suggest that 30-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. Also, 44% of sales representatives give up after just one follow-up with the client.
Being highly responsive on sales queries shows the eagerness and interest of the developer to provide the services. Most of the mobile application development companies have a system of sending automated replies to Email inquiries. But when you send an enquiry with a brief about your requirements, a human needs to read and respond with a customized message.
#4 Check for Design Support
The design team is an important part of the app building process. They should be involved from the beginning as they create a preliminary sketch of the proposed User Interface Design (UI) and User Experience (UX).
While shortlisting a mobile app developer, check for their designing strengths as well. You will get a glimpse of their designing by checking their portfolio and past clients. Also, checking their own website is good method to rate their designing skills.
Every operating system (iOS, Android, etc) have design guidelines based on the form factor of the device they cater to and the dynamics of how the operating system handles user flows. The consultancy should ideally be able to create custom designs based on the usability of the operating system and devices.
#5 Beware of the ‘Yes Men’
These are the kind of mobile app developers who will immediately agree with you, for everything. They basically agree to everything you propose.
As an entrepreneur who’s conceived the idea, you can highlight the business logic and context, but your mobile app developer should be able to contribute on insights into how technology can help you achieve your business goals specifically with respect to the product.
A good and professional mobile app development company will always guide you through the process of development and also offer you creative input based on their experience. Their task is not limited to development but they will also take interest in your business by giving you honest feedback and explaining the market scope.
#6 Which Smartphone do they use?
The minds building your app should be technically sound to provide you with any kind of solution in technology. Your mobile app developer or the person you’re interacting with should have an active interest in the domain and only if they use a number of apps and know what’s current in the market would they be able to help you develop a better app.
If you are meeting them personally, notice which mobile device they are using. Take a chance and come up with a discussion about the most popular or latest apps. Their answers will help you decide their knowledge of market trends and insights.
#7 Quotation below your expectation
Asking how much an app will cost is same like asking how much a building will cost. It depends whether you are building a dog house or a Skyscraper.
Successful mobile apps require a strong conceptual foundation, good planning, an excellent ecosystem and top-notch talent in both the design and engineering phases.
In the technology business, majority of the capital is invested in software. The software knowledge to design, implement and deploy a quality app comes with market experience. Therefore, an expert mobile app developer will come with a certain price tag and going below that price means compromising on quality.
At Arkenea, we have had cases where startups were not happy with the previous developer’s work and ended up paying much more in the long run by reworking on the codes. It may be prudent to invest in a quality team at the outset.