1. You Won’t Be Involved in the ProcessWhen you hire an application developer, it can be tempting to simply hand over the project and expect the developer to handle the details, and come back with a finished app before the deadline. Then you can cross that task off the list and move on to other priorities.
The reality is even if you work with an app developer or app development company, you are going to want to be involved with the app design and development process. Most app developers want to work closely with different levels of your business, from the executive teams who provide the vision to the product managers and marketing who specify the requirements to the internal engineers who may be providing backend development for web services and ongoing support and maintenance. Expect to spend time not only planning the project with the developers, but participating in an ongoing feedback loop to ensure that the finished product meet’s your business, functional, and user needs.
2. You Need an App Developer Who Is an Expert in iOS (or Android, etc.)When comparing app developers, you might think that working with a partner with expertise in one particular area is the best bet. However, unless you only plan to develop an iOS app, or you only want your app to do one specific thing, you need to focus on finding a multi-faceted developer or work with an app development company.
A team experienced in cross-platform mobile app development, and that is skilled at looking at your entire business and developing solutions for the business as a whole, is going to create a more finished project than a one-trick pony.
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3. Getting the App Done Quickly Is the PriorityYou might think that hiring an application development company is the best way to get an app to market quickly. If you don’t have the staff or the skills to get the project done in-house, it probably will be faster. That being said, when app development is done well, it takes time. Sure, a company can promise a finished app in a few weeks, and even complete a simple one-page application in a day or two, but you may not be thrilled with the results.
Depending on the complexity of your project, it can take time to fully understand what you’re trying to accomplish, writing to code for the solution, and testing and refining the solution. The more complex the application, the longer this process takes. If you want the best results, you need to be willing to wait for the developers to address all aspects of the project. Otherwise, you could find yourself facing more serious issues in the future that will lead to costly downtime, dissatisfaction, and other problems.
4. You Need to “Speak Code”When working with a developer, you might feel like you need to learn a new language. Unless you “speak code,” you might believe it will be necessary to explain not only what you want to do, but how it needs to be done.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When meeting with a developer, you need to focus on communicating your ideas and what you expect from the application, and then let the developers work out what needs to be done to bring them to life. It’s their job to translate your ideas into code.
So don’t worry if you can’t explain the technical side of your project; you only need to be specific about your expectations and let the experts take it from there.
5. Design is Not as Important as EngineeringDevelopment and engineering is only part of the process when creating an app. Your app also needs to have a functional design that your users actually want to use. In fact, the usability and user interface design of your app is just as important as its function, so you need to find a development partner who can create a functional and attractive design that will bring value to the product, in addition to being able to manage the technical aspects of the project.
6. You Have to Work with the Same Team ForeverOne of the primary reasons companies outsource app development is that they don’t have the internal resources necessary to get the job done. Yet often, that decision to outsource is often made with trepidation about the need to maintain an ongoing contract with the development company.
While application development is an ongoing process and you will likely need to keep a team engaged for at least a while after your app is complete, you want to work with a developer or development company that is interested in helping your company develop the business skills necessary to build your mobile program yourself. Ideally, you should feel empowered by your developer, not like you need to continue the contract in perpetuity. And of course, there should always be an “out,” in case the relationship isn’t productive. In the end, you are in control of your project, and the developer should respect and support that.
Hiring an app developer can make the difference between a so-so application and one that wows and accelerates business objectives. It will take time, but when you find the right partner, that time will be well spent — and your business will reap the rewards. If you’re ready to get started on your company’s app, reach out — and we’ll get started on your vision.
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