Remember those seemingly endless discussions you had with your prospective website developer about building a website that is a true online reflection of what your business stands for? I am sure you asked plenty of questions and thought things through before zeroing in on the web developer who you could trust to deliver the website you wanted. Well, things aren’t that different when you want to choose a mobile app developer.
With less than 0.01% succeeding to grab user attention and delivering on their potential, you need to be very careful about the developer you choose to build a mobile app for your business. Afterall, mobile app development is an expensive and time consuming process and there are no second chances. You get your mobile app wrong and you might not have the finances necessary to revisit its development and take corrective action. More often than not, you’ve got one shot at this and this is why the choice of a developer is so critical to the scheme of things.
Here are five factors to keep in mind while picking a developer for your mobile app project:
(Note: You will find these factors do not include experience, expertise on multiple mobile platforms and budget. I believe these are common (and critical) factors that you will consider without fail. But what are the other factors that must be kept in mind, and which might be overlooked? This is the question, I aim to answer.)
- Innovativeness Laced with Functionality Approach
Thousands of apps are released on app stores everyday. Yes, that’s right, gigantic figure, isn’t it?
Now here’s an exercise for you. Pick a category (on Google Play or Apple’s App Store) and take a close look at the top ranked apps in that particular category. You will find a streak of innovativeness running through them although many of their features will be similar to each other. Also, these apps will not forget to offer immense functional value to users. The best apps are a coming together of a unique value proposition and easy functionality (read familiarity).
When you are choosing developers and actually going through their app portfolio, look for this particular quality in their apps. What’s more, make sure you are aware about their approach towards app development and design. Do they put a premium on functionality? In a saturated category, how do they make sure their app feels different compared to other apps? The answers to these questions should give you a fair idea whether you can work with a particular developer or not.
- Personal Attention
The best developers out there are also very busy. The question is – can they still give your app project the attention it deserves? The busyness of developers mustn’t be a mark against them; in fact it is a point in their favor. But, there are developers who run an assembly line, wherein their approach to app development is almost automated and they fail to give their full attention to each and every app they are developing. Can you work with such developers? The answer is No.
When you are choosing developers, be very clear, you don’t want the developer to scrimp on your app’s development time just because they have a lot on their plate. If you are not comfortable with the kind of attention they can give your app, don’t work with them.
Having said that, I want to reiterate if a particular developer is very busy, this shouldn’t dissuade you from working with him. If he follows set processes that allow him to give his best to every app he is developing, there shouldn’t be a problem working with that developer.
- Seamless Communication Channel
As a client, you will have plenty of suggestions for the developer and will have some concerns off and on about the trajectory of the development process and how the final app will turn out to be. That’s natural. This is why you want to be able to interact with the developer whenever you think you have to, and there is a need to clarify a few points.
So make sure the developer you work with has a communication channel in place that allows you to get in touch whenever you want to. But, be very careful. Concern is one thing, but obnoxious concern is another. Once you have clearly underlined the features and functionalities you need from your app, let developers do their job. The best developers keep giving their clients regular updates, and also enable clients to offer their feedback and share their thoughts at regular intervals. Incessant follow-ups are not necessary.
- ROI Thinking
Some developers believe their app development objective is ensuring the app gets published on the App Store and/or Google Pay or another app store identified by the client. Well, there is no doubt, this should be an objective, but this by no means determines the success of the app. Work with developers whose idea of success goes way beyond getting the app published on app stores.
The ideal developer aligns his development goals with your ROI goals. Most businesses want to boost their profits with an app. So, define the success metrics of your app and make sure your developer understands them and believes the app he develops will come good on these metrics.
Does your app success depend on the number of downloads, user engagement, user retention, product sales or something else? Identify core success metrics and ensure your developer’s final objective is the realization of these metrics and nothing else.
Let’s look at a scenario wherein you identify a developer that is offering everything you need and promises to deliver on all your requirements. Also, you are pretty sure you can trust him. But there is a problem. You just don’t feel comfortable interacting with him. While you know the developer is good, the interaction is missing a certain something and sharing information is a chore.
So what do you do? The best decision here will be to look for somebody else who you can establish a rapport with and who you can interact with comfortably and without any problems whatsoever. The market is brimming with mobile app developers with not just great development skills but also well-honed people skills. Why work with somebody you can’t communicate easily with?
These are just some, albeit critical factors you must consider before you actually pick a developer to work on your app project. Don’t sign on the dotted line before being absolutely sure that the developer can be trusted to deliver. Making the wrong choice is not an option here, so take your time and make sure you pick not just the right developer, but the perfect developer for your app.
By Aigars Silkalns
Aigars is CEO and founder of Colorlib, a company that develops website templates, WordPress themes and is behind several best-selling products. He has been in the web development for 3 and internet marketing for 7+ years and that’s just the beginning.