There are many app development companies out there, but they are not all created equal. You need to ask key questions when hiring an app developer to discern if they are the right fit for your company and your project.
The most important facet of any app development project is to ensure that the results you are expecting are the results that are delivered. We fully understand that taking your time is not always a luxury that is afforded in the fast-paced modern business world. However, if you make a hasty decision when it comes to app developers, it could cost you more time and financial resources in the long run.
Finding the right app developer can seem like a daunting task, but you can simplify the process by asking the right questions. Let’s go over some key questions to ask app developers and give you a little bit of background on each question so you can get the answers you need to make an educated decision.
What Questions Should I Ask an App Developer?
While this list of questions is not necessarily exhaustive, it will give you a good idea about the app development company you are speaking with. Here are the questions you need to be asking:
- Can you show me apps you have built?
- Can I speak with former or current clients?
- Can you illustrate the development process?
- Do you understand my business/industry/customer base?
- How involved do I need to be in the development process?
- Who will own the mobile app?
- Will you upload my app to the App and Play stores?
- Do you provide ongoing support and maintenance?
Can You Show Me Apps You Have Built?
The first thing you will want to know is the quality of the work done by the development team you are considering hiring. The first part of this is reviewing mobile apps that they have already built. Any mobile app development company should have a section on their website that highlights some of the apps they have created.
They should also provide you with examples or a portfolio of their work if you ask for it so you can get a better understanding of the apps they have built and how they perform. One of the best ways to see if an app developer is any good is to look at their previous work.
Check out the App Store and the Play Store to see how users rate the apps they have built. If the company has few mobile apps for you to view as examples, little to no prominent clients, and no big, positive results, you’ll likely want to consider other companies. Technical expertise is an awesome trait to possess, but expertise is no substitute for industry experience and results.
Can I Speak with Former or Current Clients?
In some cases, privacy may prevent you from speaking to some clients, but if you ask to speak with former or current clients, a quality app developer should be able to provide that for you. It is one thing to be able to view examples of completed work, but these examples don’t give you key information like how easy it was to work with a company, how accurately the project met client needs, etc.
Obviously, if former clients are saying negative things about the development team you are considering hiring, you will likely want to rethink your choice. Former and current clients can offer you an unbiased view into the development process and share important insights into the way the app development team handled themselves when issues arose. You can also find unbiased customer reviews and comments on development industry websites like Clutch.
Can You Illustrate the Development Process?
One of the most important things you need to understand before you can make an informed decision is the development process the prospective development team will employ. They should be able to walk you through each step of the process. If they are unsure or can’t give you a straightforward answer, they likely don’t have a lot of experience, or they potentially cut corners.
Does the company you are considering hiring use Agile development? Will they rigorously QA test your mobile app or just create it? Without testing to back up development work, you could be left in a precarious position. Your prospective app developers should handle your development project from app idea conception through product launch and deployment.
Do You Understand my Business/Customer/Industry?
Every business has different needs and unique customer profiles. App development teams need to keep this fact at the forefront of the project in order to create a mobile app or web service that really works for your business and serves your customers.
A good way to see how much your prospective app developer understands your business and goals is to ask them to explain them to you. If you haven’t given them a lot of information, you shouldn’t expect a perfect answer, but a good app development team will take the time to understand who you are and what you do. Ideally, they will also have experience developing apps within your industry or sector too.
When the development process begins, it is crucial that you meet with your app developer to give them detailed information about your target users. This information will be critical in creating the right User Experience and User Interface elements for your mobile app.
How Involved Do I Need to be In the Development Process?
Obviously, you won’t be building the app yourself. That is why you are hiring a development company, but you will need to be actively involved in the process of developing your app. This is your app idea, and it will be serving your business.
You need to make sure that your input is regularly added to the project. There shouldn’t be any MVPs (minimum viable products), prototypes, or completed apps that are finished without your input. If your prospective development company doesn’t inform you about the level of involvement you will have in the process, it could be a potential red flag.
Who Will Own the Mobile App?
While you are not doing the development work on your own, it is your app idea, and at the end of the day, you should own all code associated with the app. Any app developer that you work with should be upfront about how they will give you the documentation and files associated with your app.
If things don’t work out, you should be able to take your project to another developer. Remember, you are paying the developer, so any work done on your mobile app belongs to you. This includes the code. Make sure you are the sole owner of the code before you sign a contract and begin the development process.
Will You Upload my App to the App and Play Stores?
Android and iOS have different app stores. Depending on the nature of your project, you may have an app to upload to both or just one of these stores. The submission process can be difficult, especially if you have never done it before. You should make sure that your development team will see your project through the submission process.
Your prospective developer should have a submission policy, and they should be able to clearly articulate it to you before development begins. It is in your best interest to choose a company that will submit your app to the applicable marketplaces.
Do You Provide Ongoing Support and Maintenance?
App development is never really finished because apps need constant support and maintenance. This will likely be sold as an additional maintenance service, but in some cases, it might come included for an initial period following project completion.
Support and maintenance are crucial for the long-term health and success of any app. You need to make sure you get a complete understanding of how your app developer will handle app updates, bug fixes, and regular maintenance. You should choose a developer that offers maintenance and support plans.
Now that you have an understanding of the questions you need to ask, let us give you a little bit of advice. When you’re looking for an app developer, you should look for a company that treats you like a partner. After all, app development is a collaborative project, and if you really want to create a successful app, you will need to work closely with the developer in the development process.