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How to Vet for the Right App Development Partner


Starting the process of mobile app development can be a bit intimidating. After all, this app idea is your dream, and it’s got to be perfect. At this point, there’s no more important choice than choosing the perfect app development partner. There are so many choices, and selecting the wrong agency could doom your app idea from the beginning. You need to be prepared with details about what you want and questions for the developer in order to properly assess their worth. Here’s a few points to consider when you’re getting to know your app development partner.

Checking References

Just like any interview, people on both sides of the desk need to see references and examples of past work experience. And, don’t forget that the agency will be working for you, not the other way around. So, for your part, you need to bring detailed assets that explain your vision as comprehensively as you can. It may be worth hiring a graphic designer and/or a professional content writer to help flesh out how you want your app to look and feel, and make sure you have a way to give a digital presentation to the developer.

On the other side, you need to get multiple examples of apps that this developer has created; from inside the development process through launch and its place on app stores, your agency should be able to easily showcase why the app succeeded. You should be able to whip out your iPhone or Android device and download and interact with the app on the spot, also. It’s imperative that you see for yourself how seamless this process is. You’ll also need a list of current and past clients to do your due diligence on their track record, and take special note of any omissions that don’t line up with the apps on their resume. Doing extra research on the archives of a social network like LinkedIn may give you contacts that may otherwise not be evident.

Communication

Here’s a subject that absolutely cannot be ignored or marginalized. Mobile app development is a complex process, and it may encounter various speed bumps and challenges along the way. It’s imperative that your developer is locked in with you as far as how and when they’ll be keeping you in the loop with any updates. Maybe you prefer phone calls or emails, or a more modern interface like Skype or Slack, or even a project management platform like Basecamp.  Point is, they need to meet you wherever you are most comfortable, while also offering additional options that might give you a better picture on how things are progressing.

Development Processes and Services

Walking in to a meeting with an app development partner without a firm idea of what you expect is not a position you want to be in. Equip yourself with a list of services and processes that you’d like to see provided or explained.

  •  Process: Are your developers agile? Do they have a good history of providing MVP’s? Do they subscribe to the DevOps philosophy? The agency that you are considering needs to be at least familiar and at best experienced in these progressive processes, and be able to prove it. They also need to be able to prove history and accountability as far as timelines and budgets go. Remember, this isn’t just a technical journey…it’s a philosophy that should encourage collaboration and communication throughout.
  • Services: Your business analyst should be able to provide detailed information about all the individual and collective services they’ll provide throughout development and operations. This is not a stage to accept any compromises; UX/UI, quality control, extensive  testing, and pre- and post-launch support are all services that need to be provided. Ask for specific examples where the agency has gone above and beyond to provide them. You don’t want to be in the middle of a development stage and find yourself lacking any of these services.

Check out this infographic of the various services you should expect.

How_to_Vet_for_the_Right_App_Development_Partner_infographic

Basically, you deserve the best. Any worthwhile app development partner should be easily able to demonstrate their excellence in these processes and services upon request. You just have to ask.

What to Watch Out For

Unfortunately, there are many app developers that aren’t completely on the up and up. As such, there are a few red flags that you need to be aware of when communicating with any given agency.

  • Any rigid or absolute document that allows for no flexibility or adjustment in the timeline, budget, or scope of the project. App development is necessarily a dynamic and fluid process, and the ability to be agile and responsive to problems, improvements, or other unforeseen issues should be embraced, not contractually forbidden.
  • Inadequate communication at any stage. There’s no excuse for it, and you need to be assured that a project manager will quickly and knowledgeably respond to you at any time.
  • Fixed costs. Yes, every agency needs to be transparent with their fees, and make sure that you’ll be able to pay them for what they are doing. Yet, an agency that has absolute fixed rates for specific tasks should be regarded with a bit of skepticism. Things change, and so do budgets,

You should be able to sniff out dubious agencies during the vetting process, when you ask for references and examples, but anyone who presents these warning signs should be approached with caution.

Summary

In summary, you don’t ever want to be unprepared when approaching such an important discussion. Provide as many assets and examples as you need to properly represent your vision, and ask all the tough questions that require the best answers.

Are you ready to enlist the help of a developer for your great app idea? Get in touch with us today for a free consultation!



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