With literally thousands of Mobile App Developers in the USA and overseas, what criteria do you use to find the one company that you will trust to carry out your vision and build a killer app?
The answer is “ask lots of questions” of your prospective developers. If you take the time at the very start to know who you are dealing with, you’ll be much more likely to make the right choice.
Here are the six most important questions to ask your Mobile App Developer.
- How much experience do you have developing software, and mobile apps in particular?
If the answer is “I just got into this business last week because it’s a hot business” then this may be a bad sign. However, since Mobile apps, like iPhones, iPads, iPods, Android Phones and tablets, and Blackberries have only been with us a few years, it’s a very good idea to look for a company headed by people who have been developing other kinds of software for a long time.
- Who would be my primary contact?
App developers can be individuals, small companies, and even large companies. Regardless of which company you hire, you want to make sure you know who you are dealing with. You need to find out who will be your primary contact during the various steps of the app development process.
If the person you’ll be working with when developing your app is the same person you’ve been talking to during the interview and assessment process, you need to know that up front. Is this person’s primary focus sales or project management? Having a dedicated project manager provides you with someone who is committed to seeing your project through and won’t be distracted by other duties, such as sales.
Also, what time zone are you in and what hours does your dedicated project manager work? Finally, what is your project manager’s primary language? Are you able to easily communicate with him?
- How can you, as my developer, add Value to my App?
Some developers are simply programmers. Others are designers. But the best ones are marketers, business people and visionaries who quickly and easily understand what you’re trying to do, have experience with apps similar to yours, and can make suggestions that add value not only to your app, but to your business as a whole.
In most cases, you aren’t just building an app. Rather you are building an app-based business. Does your developer understand how to market your app? How about revenue models? Make sure that you have a developer who understand all aspects of your app-based business.
- What is your development process?
If the answer to this question is “We’ll start coding right away” then be careful. Software development is a tricky process, and full of potential for misinterpretation of requirements and details, delays and cost overruns.
That’s why you need a developer who has a specific, documented process for developing apps — a process that is front-loaded with steps to document what the app will be like when it’s done. A quality developer will have a systematic process for making sure that what you ask for at the start of the process is what you’ll get at the end.
- What kind of documentation do you provide?
Documentation is the heart of any app development project. Without proper documentation, building an app is like an abstract painting. But with thorough documentation, building an app is like building a house. Could you imagine building a house without blueprints?
It is the same thing with app development. Starting a development project without proper documentation leaves the details of the app open to individual interpretation, which can result in massive change orders and budget overruns — two things you want to avoid.
- Do you warranty your work?
Apps are complex, and it’s not uncommon for a bug or two to be buried somewhere deep in code. These bugs can sometimes remain hidden for weeks or months.
Some developers want to wash their hands of your project as soon as they get paid. But your business depends on this app, and so you should get a warranty from your developer that promises to fix any problem with the software, or any feature that doesn’t match the specifications, for a significant period of time long enough for those hard-to-find bugs to be discovered by your users.
Warning Sign! If, when you ask your developer, about a warranty, they say they never have bugs in their software, run away. There are ALWAYS bugs in software. It’s just a matter of time until they are found. It’s critical that you work with a company that doesn’t try to hide this from you, and deals responsibly with any issues that may come up.
As you ask your potential developers these questions, take note not only of their answers, but how they answer. If they are offended by your questions, are evasive, or slow in talking to you about how they work, it’s time to move on to someone else.
If you’d like to ask us these questions, we’re happy to answer them all for you, and any other questions you might have. Schedule a Free Mobile App Feasibility Consultation with us. Let’s talk about your mobile app plans, and you can pepper us with questions and challenges.
We’d be happy to hear from you, and to help you turn your great app idea into an even greater finished app.