Mobile apps are transforming the way we interact with the world, offering us new and innovative ways to find information, take financial decisions, socialize, and spend money. If your business doesn’t have an app, you’re missing out on a great marketing opportunity – especially if your products are services are available online. By bringing your offering to the mobile platform, you’ll literally be placing your product in the hands of millions -if not billions- of customers. Before you get started, the most important thing you’ll need is the right app developer.
1. Know What Type of App Developer You’re Looking for
Apps are big business, with over 2 million titles available for download at this very moment. To keep up with this sea of new software, there are thousands of developers in every city offering their services – not to mention the outsourced app developers based overseas who often provide a great service at low prices. For customers trying to find a good coder, it’s not about finding an app developer but deciding who to hire.
The first thing to keep in mind when you hire an app developer is that not every coder has experience creating e-commerce apps; always ask to see examples of the apps your developer has worked on before – then download them and give them a try. If you find the apps easy to use, well-designed, stable and full of features you’d love to see in your company’s future app, you may have a winner.
2. Get a Good Deal, But Don’t Sacrifice Quality
The cost of having an app developed from scratch can come as a surprise to some business owners, but it’s important to invest in an app that works perfectly and does exactly what it’s supposed to do. The last thing you want is to save a few hundred dollars on a cheap developer who ends up producing something you’re not proud of putting your company name on. Mobile users judge companies on the quality of their apps, and with online reviews and social media reputation becoming essential for any successful brand, your app needs to be a slick, feature-rich ambassador that inspires confidence.
Once you’ve found a developer who can produce the type of app you’d want to pay good money for, at a price that fits your budget, it’s time to get started. The key to a successful app development project is to treat your developer as a partner, and work closely with them to create the perfect app.
3. Make Sure You’re Dealing with a Developer that Delivers
Before you sign a contract with your app developer, you should insist on client references from projects they’ve completed successfully. By following up on references to find out whether the developer is reliable and easy to work with, and test-running the apps they created for clients in the past, you’ll be able to hire your new developer with confidence.
As you check your developer’s references, bear in mind that some clients may be biased or negative due to personal conflicts or faults on their side of the deal. However, if you find that your new developer’s clients are unwilling to give a positive reference or if you hear the same criticism from more than two clients, you may be better off looking elsewhere. Once you’re committed to working with a developer, you need to be certain that the relationship will be positive.
4. Design is Crucial
It’s great to have an app that works perfectly, with integrated payment features, social connectivity and seamless updates – but none of that will attract customers if the design is bad. Ideally, you’ll want to hire a developer or team that combines technical and design competence. Users are more likely to use an app that looks good and is easy to use, while apps that aren’t visually appealing tend to get deleted sooner rather than later.
A developer with excellent UX skills is an asset to any project. The ability to quickly create and test great-looking app features and correct bugs instantly is invaluable in a developer – and you’ll want to pay extra for someone who has this skill set.
Getting your app design right is priority number one when you work with a developer. Features and functionality can always be added later in the process, but a bad design is incredibly difficult to change without re-making the app (and increasing your costs). The best approach is to work closely with your app developer during the design phase, and only approve the design once you’re 100% satisfied.
5. Your App Developer is a Long-Term Partner
Some businesses treat their app developers like IT support engineers or short-term contractors, giving them vague briefs and making too little time available for contact sessions and progress assessments as the app development project goes along. Faced with too little information and contact with you, most app developers will end up guessing what you want – and that’s guaranteed to leave you dissatisfied.
The closer you work with your app developer, giving them as much input as you can about the design and features that you want, the better the end result will be. This partnership doesn’t end when the app is finished either, because you’ll need to add new features and updates over time. For these reasons, it’s best to choose an app developer who is genuinely interested in your business and brand and committed to making your app a success over the long term.
Finding the right app developer can be challenging, but once you find them, you’ll never look back. Working with a highly-skilled, creative developer on the app that will boost your brand presence and attract paying customers to your products should be rewarding for everyone. With a developer who understands your business goals and is committed to supporting them, you’ll soon enter a new world of mobile commerce that can take your business to the next level.