So you have a compelling idea for a new mobile app that will change the world (and the resources that are available to do so).
What do you do when you did not employ a team of UI / UX designers and mobile developers in your office?
If time is of the essence, you will likely be looking for an external agency to develop mobile apps. The best mobile app development companies have extensive experience helping startups and have a creative and technical talent to make your plans come to life.
The following guidelines can help you select the right agency that you can trust to turn your multi-million dollar (or billion-dollar) idea into a fully-fledged smartphone application. If you are on a tight budget but would like a comprehensive application, then then this app development company will be your best bet.
In general, app projects fall into one of the following sections:
1. End-to-end mobile app creation:
Some firms, especially startups and small enterprise companies, require outside assistance in all aspects of their mobile app: strategy, design, development, and possibly even advertising and maintenance after launch.
My Advice: A common mistake happens when customers who need end-to-end services prefer an offshore development company that will try to advise them on mobile strategy or help them execute the design. Since such organizations often do not have the right team to provide these services, the result is often nightmares, not to mention an enormous loss of time and money. If you need end-to-end services, contact a full-service mobile app company that has professional specialists in these services. (LinkedIn is a great way to understand the organizational chart of any company.)
2. Design & Development:
You may already have comprehensive specification documentation or a complete business plan. In this situation, you might be searching for help with performing the UI / UX design and developing your app.
My Advice: Stay away from development companies who are trying to combine the design after the fact (often by contacting a novice freelance designer), as UI / UX design requires specific tools and approaches. An agency that offers UI / UX provides an art supervisor and a UI / UX designer for your project. Try to use the same design and development agency if possible, as a collaboration between the two teams is necessary. For example, to ensure that the UI / UI is created flawlessly by the development team.
3. Design only:
You may have a working model, but your design needs some improvement. Perhaps you or your partner can do the development in person, so all you have to do is outsource the UI / UX design work.
My Advice: As in the previous example, make sure the firm you are considering has dedicated experts on UI / UX design and have had successful client experience on the same niche only. Ask questions like what are some samples of work you have done for customers that are all UI / UX design projects with no development?
4. For development only:
If you already have the designs, the closer you are to building your app. You have more choices here and can consider development companies that are nothing but teams of overseas developers and project managers when you are on a tight budget.
My Advice: However, if you have little margin for error or are squeezed for time (e.g., if you face competition in your category), I recommend looking around for a full-service agency, as businesses usually do a more thorough job at Discovery (identify all relevant assets and requirements) as well as communicate with the client. Both of these factors are critical to developing a mobile app that reflects your vision. Working with companies that are only responsible for overseas development can often seem like a black box and is often exacerbated by language barriers.
These are some of the advice you can consider before selecting any firm for your app development.
Here are three other crucial considerations:
If an agency submits the lowest bid but cannot start for three months, your company incurs opportunity costs (reduced speed to market). If, on the other hand, one agency makes the highest bid but can deliver your app four months before the others, that means added value in the form of faster time to market.
The best agency may not always be the best for your project. Ask yourself whether each team understands your vision for the app, has the right resources to make it happen, and above all, cares about your project as more than just a source of income.
· Hidden details:
Some of the most important considerations are not on paper. Ask the firm questions like:
- Who consists of the team project?
- Who will the developers be? Are you a full-time employee of your company? How long have they been working for you?
- What systems or tools do you work with (X, Y, and Z)? Are you practicing the agile or waterfall method or both?
- What do you think of using (SYSTEM A) versus (SYSTEM B) for a project like ours?
- Who would be our first point of contact? How often would we communicate?
- What do you think of my business plan? What would you change about it?
- What do you see as the two biggest challenges when working on my project?
These tips will help you choose the best out of your options. Once you select the firm and handover the project, it is strenuous to turn back from this point. Hence it is vital to avoid slow-witted firms that delay the project and abuse your investment. I hope these points will help you in your future projects. Bye-bye!