Important factors of a mobile app development company
So you start your search for someone to help you create a mobile app, but you’re immediately confronted with a huge variety of options. It seems like everywhere you look, there are companies and freelancers offering their services. How then do you make sure that you choose the one right for you?
There are a variety of factors to be taken into consideration when comparing mobile app development companies. The ideal company should be robust in a wide variety of qualities, as this will put your mind at ease should any difficulties arise. Of course, information about all of these factors isn’t always available from the first glance at a company’s website or profile, so it is vital to have a conversation with someone from the company in order to get more detailed information.
The portfolio of the company’s experience
A no-brainer when comparing app development companies, as past behavior is the best indicator of future performance. A company’s portfolio will highlight several things, including:
- Their overall experience on the market
- How they approach design and development
- Which kinds of companies they have been comfortable working with
If you don’t have the precise answers to each of these points, don’t worry- a good mobile app team will be able to not only discuss your ideas and guide you through the steps to implementing them in an app, but suggest ideas that can make the app better suited to your goals based on their experience and market knowledge. At Redmadrobot, for example, our first step of development is discussing such information with the client, and our team of business analysts will create function lists and mind maps which outline both what the app will do and how users will interact with it. It is vital that both parties have a clear understanding of the scope of the project from the start.
Sometimes a company’s portfolio doesn’t include specific examples of projects that are similar to yours. In this case, it is important to check for diversity within a developer’s portfolio- if a developer has delivered for a wide variety of clients of different industries and sizes, then it is a safe bet that they have the mechanisms in place to adapt to your needs.
Average effort and cost estimates of projects
While every project is unique, you should have a general idea of how much you can expect to pay for the app you have in mind, and how much effort it will take. Since the mobile software development industry is so diverse, estimates can vary depending on the app’s size. Some clients prefer complete app development, including back end work and integration, while others just need a part, such as development of an existing design or quality assurance. Most mobile app developers will be able to provide you with a quote based on their past experience- those developers with more experience can provide a much more accurate estimate than their greener counterparts.
Once you start speaking with a mobile app developer in more detail, don’t be afraid to honeslty name your budget, as a good developer can understand how much effort is necessary for the project, and if you are a good fit. If so, then the next step is for the developer to provide a document with a detailed estimate of the project, including its features, steps of development, workers involved, and the cost and time for each step. In our experience, we see that the average project has the following breakdown of effort:
- 45% Development
- 20% Design
- 10% Analysis
- 15% Quality Assurance
- 10% Management
The company’s development process.
When you are discussing your vision with a mobile app developer, you should understand which processes they will use to realize your vision. The importance of working with developers who have the proper technical qualifications cannot be understated, but you might be unfamiliar with a lot of the specific technical lingo. Checking out the company’s website or profile for specific qualification certificates or awards will give you a glimpse into their expertise.
You should also know what kind of Quality Assurance and Testing services a company provides to make sure your app will be ready from the get-go. Some may be tempted to do it by themselves to save on costs, but this should be avoided, as it leads to a drawn-out process of delays as opposed to results- it is best to leave such work to the professionals.
The project management process of a company is just as important to understand, as even the best software developers cannot deliver if they are poorly managed. The right project management will ensure that you have a testable MVP (minimal viable product) in a timely manner. There are a few common management methods in practice today, and each has their own advantages. At Redmadrobot we adhere to the principle of developing in short iterations and using short sprints to implement new versions, which allows us to regularly evaluate results and review strategy. Which brings us to our next point…
The communication process.
With instantaneous communication being the norm in today’s society, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be up-to-date with the progress of your app’s creation. It is absolutely essential that both the developer and the client have a clear understanding not just of the project’s goals and steps, but of each other’s expectations and capabilities. Streamlined communication is best when you designate a single person from your side to be the contact point and decision maker, as this allows questions to be resolved quickly.
From the developer’s side, you should also expect constant contact, usually a project manager, who will guide you through the process and be on call to answer any questions. The proper feedback and documents should be provided at appropriate milestones decided on beforehand, but of course it is always good to have someone to quickly make a decision with if something unexpected comes up. Our philosophy at Redmadrobot is that side-by-side communication is better than message ping pong.
So there you have it- the most important things to look for when choosing a mobile app developer. Taking all of this information into account, you should look for a partner which will not only create a custom mobile app for you, but one who will understand your needs, know how to solve them, and work with you to create the best product possible.