Choosing a mobile app development company for your next project can be a daunting task when you don’t know what you need to look out for.
Your app idea could be the next best thing since sliced bread but an inefficient or inexperienced app development agency could significantly stunt the success of your product.
In order to make an informed, well-balanced decision that will pay off in the long run, there are a number of points to consider within the development company selection process.
Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of things needed to be considered when choosing a company for your app development project, as well as highlighting some key questions you should ask any mobile app development companies that you shortlist.
Things to Consider When Choosing an App Development Company
There are a number of points you should consider when selecting the best app development company for your individual project, including the following.
Client Feedback and Reviews
A great way to determine whether an app development company is a right fit for your business is to go through the reviews and feedback previous clients have left them.
These might be readily available on the development company’s website or you may prefer to contact the clients directly for more information on the quality of their project.
It’s also worth considering how many years of experience the app development company has so you can make sure they have the capability to complete your project to a high standard.
You can find reviews on third-party review platforms such as:
Clutch is by far the most popular review platform on this list being designed specifically for companies that offer development services.
App Idea Security
It’s vital that innovative, new app ideas remain secure and protected from any risk of replication to avoid compromising its position in the market. Slack security within the development company could result in a low-grade version of your app idea launching to app stores before yours is ready.
Because of this, development companies should be willing to sign non-disclosure agreements and ensure the idea or concept is treated with the utmost confidentiality.
One way to ensure this is by working with ISO certified companies.
Effective Project Management
Find out if the development company in question has any project management service standards that they are required to adhere to.
Often, mobile app development projects fail because of inadequate communication and inefficient project management – but ensuring that the company has robust project management strategies in place will mitigate the risk of your app meeting a similar fate.
Check which development methodology they use and ask for extra information on their system for transparent communication if necessary.
Case Studies and Portfolios
The amount and range of projects an agency has worked on will give you a good indication of their level of experience and the quality of the work they produce. You’ll be able to get a solid understanding of their technical expertise, preferred sectors, usual types of clients and more.
If the development company has case studies on projects that are similar to the requirements of your project, you’ll be able to ascertain how well equipped they are to complete your project and decide whether you would be happy if this was the end result you were presented with. If these are not readily available on a website – you may be able to request more information on proprietary work the company has worked on via contacting them and signing an NDA.
As well as this, you may benefit from reduced costs in comparison to a development agency that doesn’t have experience within your sector or niche. Any challenges the development team faced building apps similar to yours will have already been identified and resolved, which means if they occur again with your project the team will already know how to fix them and won’t have to spend your time or resources figuring out solutions.
Long-Standing Business Relationships
A mobile app development company that has strong, long-term relationships with its clients is indicative of the quality of its service.
This is not to say that companies without existing long-term relationships are by default incapable of handling your app project, but apps often have to go through numerous development cycles until an optimal product is created.
You need to ensure that the development company you choose is going to stick by you throughout the life cycle of the product, making regular improvements based on user feedback, rather than abandoning the product as soon as it is first launched.
When it comes to mobile application development, quality should never be compromised to cut costs.
With the growth in popularity of the app development industry many low budget app solutions have emerged, but cheaper solutions are unlikely to provide the high-quality finished product you are looking for.
In fact, opting for a low budget company might even end up costing you more long term if you have to pay another development company to fix mistakes made by the initial, cheaper agency or to implement features that the first agency didn’t have the scope or expertise to do themselves.
There’s nothing wrong with getting quotes or cost estimations from more than one company in order to compare them, as this will help you get a good idea of the market average and help you decide which one offers the best value for money.
It’s also worth noting that tight time limits and the location of the app development company are likely to increase any cost estimates you receive so try to be flexible in these areas wherever possible.
Full Package Service Offerings
Look for development companies that can offer all the necessary mobile app development services to ensure that every aspect of the app development project is completed to the highest standards.
Innovative Design Focus
A mobile app’s design is the first thing a user experiences when launching it for the first time and can easily impact how engaged they become. Whilst the app’s usability and features are also of high importance, users are unlikely to stick around to discover your app’s unique functionality if the design is poor.
Therefore, ensuring that your app is designed well enough to capture the target audience’s attention is critical to the success of the app. Seek out app development agencies that understand the importance of good UX/UI design and are confident that their team are able to deliver on this.
Offshore Mobile App Development Centres
Offshore mobile app development centres support clients in sourcing and hiring the best mobile app developers for their projects, assisting with processes such as interviewing, recruiting and hiring as well as facilitating developer-client interactions and sometimes project management.
One of the main benefits of using offshore mobile app development centres is that you’ll be building a bespoke team specially selected for their expertise and ability to deliver high-quality results for your project.
Test Previous Work
Hiring an app development agency without testing the apps they’ve developed is like buying a car without first test driving it.
Find and try out any apps that the company has developed for other clients for research and testing purposes. You could even ask a core section of your target audience to try them out to see what the overall opinion on the quality of the app is.
Support and Maintenance
App development agencies that offer support and maintenance packages tend to be more committed to ensuring the long-term success of their clients’ apps.
With every app development project, there is always the chance that issues will arise after the development cycle has reached completion. Seek out development agencies that offer post-deployment support and maintenance packages to make sure that your app is always functional and performs exactly as it is intended to.
Accountability and Trust
You need to be able to trust that the app development company you choose will stay accountable for their actions and has the integrity to deliver on what they promised, within the time frame agreed. Failing this, you need to know that they will communicate any issues with you at the earliest opportunity and will endeavour to solve them as soon as possible.
Wherever possible, opt for the development team that comes across as organised, professional and appropriately communicative from the outset in all interactions you have with them.
Mobile App and Data Security
Strong security measures are essential for any mobile app project and without them, users are at risk of having sensitive information exposed to malicious hackers and cybercriminals.
Therefore, it’s vital that the app development company you choose is educated and skilled in implementing stringent security features so that user trust is not compromised.
Users who have had their trust broken by insufficient security are highly unlikely to ever use the responsible app again and will probably discuss their experiences with friends, family and social media audiences – leading to significant reputational damage.
Apps within the financial industry, for example, are likely to require very high-security measures so it’s vital that the mobile developers responsible for producing apps within this sector are able to implement what is required.
Whichever platform you want your app to be developed for, your app development agency needs to be qualified and experienced working with in order to achieve the best possible results.
Ensure that the relevant qualifications are held (and aren’t expired) and the best app development frameworks are being used.
Discuss each app development company’s available tech stack and ask them their opinion in relation to your app idea. This will also make it easier to select the right technology and best app type for your project.
It’s important to be aware of who has ownership of the code the development company you select writes, you should also find out whether the code will be hosted in any code repositories such as BitBucket or Github.
By finding out these details, you’ll be clear on whether the code will be stored safely and ensure that you’re always able to access it.
There’s nothing to say that a large company will definitely provide better results or that it will complete projects more efficiently, however, larger teams are more likely to have members that are well experienced within your industry than smaller teams are.
Passion and Enthusiasm
If you’re passionate about your app idea, the developers who build it should be too. People who are forced to work on projects that they don’t have any care or enthusiasm about are likely to negatively impact the success of the project entirely.
Ensure that the team you choose to work with shares the same passion and enthusiasm as you do in order to ensure optimum results.
QA and Testing
Thorough QA and testing methods need to be a priority for the app development company you choose. Mobile applications that cause frequent interruptions to the user’s experience as a result of bugs and technical errors are likely to become unpopular with the target audience very quickly.
Therefore, it’s vital that the app agency follows the most comprehensive QA and test methodologies to ensure the app is kept free of bugs and other similar issues.
Find out whether the development agency you’re considering has the availability to work on multiple projects. If not ask them when they’d be available to work on yours and when they estimate it would be completed.
You might prefer a development team that can work on your project exclusively until completion so that any unpredicted issues or challenges can be tackled effectively so this is important information to have.
Questions to Ask When Selecting an App Development Company
To gain a clear understanding of how well suited an app development agency is to you and your project, you should ask them the following questions and take their answers into careful consideration.
- Will you promote my app once it is ready to launch?
- Can I hire a development team to work exclusively on my project?
- What types of mobile apps can you develop?
- How will you ensure my app will be developed securely?
- Will you deploy my app on the relevant app store(s)?
- What platforms do you develop for natively?
- Do you develop cross-platform apps or native Android and iOS apps?
- Will every stage in the development cycle be covered?
- How will my app generate revenue?
- How will you communicate with me throughout the project?
- What QA and testing methods will you use?
- Are you using the latest tech, if so what is it?
- Does your team have the relevant qualifications and experience for this project?
- Do you have any awards for the work you have completed?
- Do you have experience with IoT apps?
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and questions may vary depending on each individual case. If there are questions or concerns that arise throughout your communications with any potential app development partners, be sure to discuss them before you agree for any work to begin.