Choosing the right mobile app development company is a crucial part of the process to transform your app idea into a reality. But, when there are hundreds of information technology consultancies available, it becomes hard to know which one is right for your project. Selecting the company that understands your vision and has technical expertise that matches what you are trying to achieve is a good place to start your app development partner choice.
The Top Three Factors to Evaluate a Mobile App Development Company
- View the work the company has done in the past.
- Explore if you have a compatible style of working and communication.
- Consider the partnership as a long-term commitment and how the relationship would work with this mobile app development company.
Ask for Relevant Work Samples if Possible
The first thing you should do is to look for any verified reviews or case studies on the company’s website. Firms that have experience in working the same domain and technology as your mobile app, are much more likely to be a good fit for your software development project.
For example, we at Nimble AppGenie are experts in developing mobile apps for eWallets, fintech and blockchain, on-demand services, healthcare, enterprise SaaS solutions, and logistics. We have a huge range of work samples that were executed successfully and we believe that you should ask for work samples from your potential mobile app development partners.
Read their Thoughts and Opinions of the Mobile App Developer
Blogs on the company website offer insight into their approach to software development. You can dig more into their blog section to know more about their expertise and their opinion in relation to mobile app development. You can click here to visit our blog section where we keep posting informative articles on a regular basis.
Seek Authentic Collaboration with the Mobile App Development Company
A strong partnership between you and the mobile application developer lies in the ability to collaborate effectively. Authentic collaboration is a mixture of some unquantifiable qualities such as creative vision, communication styles, and strategies. These qualities are crucial to ensure your project success.
To ensure an authentic collaboration, you should approach the mobile app development company with a clear vision of your goals for the app. You should also bring some questions to them that are focused on how they will bring your app idea to life. And yes, be ready to address a variety of questions that may also come from the mobile app developers.
Plan a Long-Term Partnership with the Mobile App Development Company
While evaluating the mobile application developers, it is crucial for you to know that you will maintain a long-term partnership with the company, unless you plan to hire a support team in-house. Unlike some other product development, that ends with the product release, mobile apps need continuous IT support including periodic mobile app updates. The maintenance is very important to keep the app up-to-date with the changing user experience trends and improved security requirements.
The development time and efforts varies as per the scope of the project. In our experience, we’ve found that the time associated with mobile application development is based on the scale, features, and complexities of the application. But the developing methodologies used and the development team composition also plays a crucial role in the development time.
Questions you should ask your Mobile App Development Company
- How does your team approach project planning?
- How do you ensure quality deliverables?
- What are the specific methodologies you follow for your mobile software development process?
- What will be your proposed team composition?
The process of evaluating one another on a strategic level helps you and the mobile app development company to accurately assess if your approaches are compatible. It gives clarity to the scope of the project and drives a successful partnership between you and the mobile application developer.
Q.1 What will be the App Development Cost?
This is the most frequent question businesses ask to software developers, but the answer is not that simple. When it comes to calculating the cost of mobile app development, the following aspects help the mobile app development company to understand your app idea and determine the cost accordingly:
- How complicated the app functionalities are
- Features that are most expensive
- The app platform - Android, iOS, or hybrid
- The post-launch costs and updates
- Project milestones
To get a really accurate price estimate, be as detailed as possible about your project requirements, and how you want the mobile application to work. To put all this information together in an organised manner, use the tips outlined in our article How to write the perfect RFP.
Q.2 How long will it take to build the App?
Generally, it takes three to nine months to build a mobile app. It actually depends on the scope of the project and the complexity of development. However, the most time-consuming phases in larger projects include:
- Writing the project brief: 1-2 weeks
- Idea validation: 4-5 weeks
- Designing project sprints and developing prototype: 6-12 weeks
- Mobile app development: 6-12 weeks
- Submitting to the store(s): <2 weeks
However if you have a very good understanding of what you want to be built, some of the timelines on the steps above can be significantly reduced, such as the project brief, idea validation, and prototyping. A crucial thing to make sure is that your mobile app development company estimates the development stages separately and uses Agile development methodologies for your project. However, if you have a strict budget and know the exact features you want to implement, the Waterfall methodology may be more appropriate.
Q.3 Should I opt for an Android App or iOS app or a Hybrid App?
Deciding the right app platform for you should not be taken lightly. There are many aspects that help the mobile app developers decide whether to develop an app for Android, iOS or both. Some of these aspects are target users, device capabilities, and development complexities.
Both platforms have many similarities in features, but the differences that exist in them can also be significant depending on the nature of your project. The platform chosen will impact the potential features and functionalities that you may want within the app. It is important that your app development company understands the pros and cons of both platforms, and they should communicate the reasons why you should or shouldn’t opt for launching on the iOS and android platform.
Q.4 How will the Project be Managed?
The process of mobile app development will always be divided in multiple stages/milestones no matter who you are working with:
- Discovery phase
- Design phase
- Mobile app development phase
- Application testing
- deployment phase
However, the most important thing in project management is whether the mobile app developer uses Agile or Waterfall methods for the development. Developers often favour using a mix of Agile and Waterfall methodologies, where Agile makes the development process iterative and allows changes to be made in very less time and the Waterfall ensures an effective structure for the project development.
Q.5 How often the App would require updates?
Usually, successful apps that have many active users require at most four updates a month. However, the thing to be noted here is the difference in size between these updates, which differ based on the project complexity. For instance, an update to fix bugs will not take a lot of time compared to releasing an update with various new features.
You need to make sure that your mobile app development company put together the plan (at least a rough one) for the post-launch updates. The plan should be strategic in terms of prioritising new complex features and updates based on customer feedback.
Q.6 How will you ensure quality?
Depending on the stage of project development, there are several methods of mobile app testing that the developers use. Beginning from the wireframes (initial stage of development) to the app prototypes and then the development, testing is a crucial part for each stage of mobile app development. Developers should do the following things to ensure high quality is achieved for the mobile application development:
- Keep looking for several ways to achieve the goals of the client
- Test the app feasibility during the initial research phase
- Iterate designs based on design sprint feedback
- Testing the features and functionalities of the project even before actual development
Q.7 How will you submit my App to the store?
No matter whether you are submitting the app to Google play store or Apple app store, there are things that are complicated and should be taken care of by your app development company. The requirements from your side will include putting together app descriptions, providing listing information for the app store, and deciding when to submit the ready version to go live.
The parts of the app your developer has to worry about include uploading the code to the Google or Apple developer account, issuing test builds and ensuring the app passes Google and Apple guidelines. Apart from this, there is another crucial thing for your app and that is App Store Optimization (ASO). ASO is the process of optimizing your app information (name, description, keywords etc.) to obtain higher rankings on the search results in the app store.
Common mistakes you should avoid during the Mobile App Development process
The list below is your “not-to-do-list”. It is to ensure that you receive high quality development of your mobile app. Missing any of these suggestions may turn out to be a huge mistake for your business. Therefore please try to avoid these on your quest of picking the right mobile app development company.
Mistake no.1: Not signing an NDA
Ideally there should be a mutual non-disclosure agreement signed between you and the mobile app development company. The NDA is ideally signed at the beginning of the discovery phase in the mobile app development process. The mutual agreement ensures that your business idea is protected, and also ensures that the sensitive company information of the development company is safe.
You can ask the mobile app developer to provide you with an NDA, which for any ideal app developer is a standard practice. We would expect that they should have one ready to go. Once both parties (You and the developer) have signed the NDA, it is safe to share the business idea and project goals in detail.
Mistake no.2: Not having a well-thought payment structure
Mobile app development isn’t a small investment, and therefore payment milestones should put you at ease. It gives assurance that you are paying for work that is done that meets your expectations, and it promotes the feeling that you are partnering with a mobile app developer as part of a long term relationship. Generally, the payment structure for the app development is divided into multiple tiers to provide customers with comfort. We at Nimble AppGenie recommend the following payment structure for common mobile app development process:
- Project Initiation fee - 20%
- Document Scoping and Designs - 20%
- Alpha Phase - 20%
- Beta Phase - 20%
- Launch - 20%
The mobile app developer understands that a transparent and reasonable payment structure will allow you to pay for what work has been done. We understand that it may be difficult for clients to pay one lump-sum.
Mistake no.3: Hiring the least expensive mobile app development company
A very common mistake behind most unsuccessful IT projects, is to opt for the IT consulting services that are the least expensive. Of course the mobile app development cost is among the factors when choosing the best mobile app development company. But people sometimes use cost as the most important factor when deciding who to work with, and this is where many projects go wrong.
While it isn’t a bad idea to pay attention to costs, it should not be the primary focus. What is much more important is that the development team you choose to work with have relevant expertise, have great processes, and offer great quality (value) for money. The cost of development is never the only option successful IT projects consider.
The reason is obvious, you get an app for a very low cost and the odds are that it might not be up to the required standard that you need for the app to achieve your project goals. Then the money you’ve spent on the app will go to vain. This is why an ROI driven approach is the best for IT projects.
Mistake no.4: Not deciding a clear scope
When you have decided the app features, payment terms, and project delivery timelines with your mobile app development company, then it is crucial to create a mutually signed Scope of Work (SOW) document. The SOW will contain the app features, flow, design references, budget, timeline, development plan overview, and a brief description of the project limitations and responsibilities for both the parties.
The development company can create the SOW for you, which will act as the basis of the project development process. This process significantly reduces any confusion and mismanagement throughout the project.
A Final Checklist For Hiring App Developers
To successfully hire a mobile app development company that can partner you for your app development, the following is a checklist that you should follow:
- Conduct primary research on your app’s requirements and identify the best platforms and practices.
- Sign an NDA with the mobile app developers.
- Analyse the expertise of the mobile app developers using the above-mentioned guidelines.
- decide an optimum budget and timeline for the project.
- Mutually agree upon the payment structure.
- Ask for the mobile app development company to provide you with the budget estimates for post-launch IT consultancy services for app management purposes.
- Ask for a Scope of Work document from your mobile app development company.
This checklist should be able to help you find the right mobile app development company for your project and get the work done in the best possible manner.