What to look for when looking for a company to build a mobile app

Getting the right team to build your mobile app means not only getting the work done in time but also gets you a great app that will help you achieve your goals. 

While you may have an internal development team to do the job, you may need to outsource for a number of reasons – you need to use new technologies that your team may not be proficient in, or your team is already swamped with other responsibilities. 

Whatever the reason, in this article we delve into what to look for when looking for a company to hire to build a mobile app for your business.

Know what you want 

You, the product owner should know what you want. This is especially true with regard to the features you want and the app category. The more complex the features you need, the longer it will take for your app to be built. You will also need to hire a company with exceptional developers. 

You want to go for a company that has experience building apps in your specific category. If you want to build a gaming app, for example, you want to choose a company that has built gaming apps before. 

Do they have the required experience or expertise?

You need to determine a mobile app company’s expertise or experience. You can do these in several ways: 

  • you could ask to see their portfolio, or apps on the app store that you can download and analyze. 
  • alternatively, you can check for reviews or testimonials from previous customers. The reviews on the apps stores should also help here. 
  • you also need to determine whether they have built apps using the specific technologies that you need. For example, if you want an iOS app built via Swift, you need to inquire whether they have worked on such projects before. 

Check their Software Development Cycle

You need to understand the company’s (Software Development Cycle) – SDLC. There are different approaches to software development, with the more traditional one being waterfall (where software review is done after the entire app is built). The newer approach is Agile, where reviews are done after a certain period, for example, every 2 weeks. 

While the Agile approach is more savored and projects built using the agile approach are said to be more successful, sometimes the waterfall may be the better approach, depending on your project. 

Are they within your budget?

There are several considerations to make when it comes to the budget that you need for your app development. These include:

  • Maintenance costs
  • Number of features
  • Testing and deployment
  • App type (Hybrid, Native or Web)
  • The number of platforms that you want to develop for
  • Development company location (offshore, nearshore, onshore) 

You need to choose a company that can work within your budget. Better still, one that can break down the costs for you so that you actually get to see where your money goes. 

What is your timeline?

You need to have a particular timeline in mind before you begin your research on the best mobile app company to hire. You may, for example, want to go to market in 3 months. This means that your app needs to be ready in 2 months to allow for ample time for bug fixes and testing. 

Your app’s timeline needs to be feasible. Of course, if you have complex features being built, it may take longer than 2 months. It is also important to note that the time it takes to build your app is directly proportional to the cost. 

Go for a company that can break down the timeline for you. This way, you will be able to determine whether it fits within your planned schedule. 

How well do they communicate?

You are able to pick a few things about how well a company communicates from the first time that you meet them. For example, do they ask for clarification if they have not understood? Are they able to communicate highly technical things in a simple way? 

This will come in handy from the early stages of development all the way to the end. Are they able to create the wireframes that bring out your idea? How much do they involve you in the process? How frequently do they communicate? How long does it take for them to respond to any communication that you send? What communication platforms did you agree on? Are they responsive on those platforms?

Communication is important as it will help you build a great working relationship. This will help as the development process may take weeks or months. Sometimes, it may call for late nights. You need to be working with someone with whom you can easily and honestly communicate with. 

User experience

How your users feel when interacting with your app is crucial to whether they will continue to use it or whether they will uninstall it. You need to ensure that you choose a mobile app development company that is familiar with UI (user interface) best practices – how fast the app loads, how easy it is for the user to navigate and use the app, standard elements like buttons, and uniformity with your brand.

Analyzing apps that the company has built before will help you have a feel of their UI practices. You can also determine how much a company is determined to build apps with great UX (user experiences) during wireframing. If they even go ahead to do a mockup, then they are probably a great fit.

In conclusion

Choosing the right company to help you build your app is by no means easy. As you have seen, there are several factors to put into consideration. 

Depending on the companies that you find, you need to know what compromises you may need to make, should one company not fit all the above criteria. For example, you may find that your budget may not allow for all the features that you want. You, therefore, need to focus only on the most important features. 

We are a reputable mobile app development company with over 5 years’ experience building Android and iOS applications. We have also built hybrid apps for use on both iOS and Android. Contact us today for your app development needs.