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Natalya Brinza Project Manager
artjoker blog your guide for reaching success
in the online-business

Outsourcing Free of Losses: Choosing a Development Team to Design a Mobile App

The time has come! You need a mobile application.

Consumer market isn't stable. It is changing, as well as consumer needs do. New platforms to communicate with audience appears, and companies face them. A mobile application – is one of these platforms.

Could we manage just a mobile version of a site?

A mobile version – is just an adaptation of your website that gives an opportunity to surf it through a smartphone. A user can't do it without Internet connection. An application is set up on a gadget and easily works without network connection. Functionality is actually the same.

Mobile apps are in heavy demand. Statistically, users spend 86% of their time working with the apps, and only 14% browsing the Internet.

Depending on a business domain, you can use the app to:

  • help clients make purchases faster (in case of managing online store)
  • widen your target audience
  • increase sales (purchasing through the gadgets is a tendency now)
  • launch push notifications (notification about favorable offers)
  • promote business (including social media integration)
  • develop brand
  • work with leads (a person setting up the app is optionally loyal – he's already interested in your services; you just have to provide him a relevant content)
  • and a flexible variant: meet the challenges of business for both great staff and clients usability.

A bonus: a method of making the app usage popular with its users is to give them unique and useful content.

For example, you own healthy food restaurant. So the application should contain useful advice related to this topic. If you are a shoemaker, tell your clients how to take care of their shoes and keep their original appearance. Dream it up so you can give your clients something unique, which none of your competitors haven't implemented.

Don't be confused, as developers will offer plenty of variations of technical characteristics. What should you now do so as not to get mixed up and finally get the product that will develop your business?

choosing a development team

Which platform to choose?

Definitely, iOS and Android are buzz words, but still there are other ones you can consider. What platform to invest in?

It is optimum to analyze the statistics of site sessions. In this basis, you may choose the platforms that gives you more leads.

Read alsoHow to Choose a Mobile Development Platform?

What technologies are apps built in?

Ask your contractors this question. This way you can check them if you are offered to develop the app on cross-platform frameworks (Xamarin, PhoneGap, ReactNative). I guess this team hardly can develop something really working. Sure, this variant is rather cheaper, but products of a high quality are developed on “native” programming languages (Swift for iOS and Java for Android).

For now, when you are technologically advanced, let's choose your development team.

Companies or freelancers?

The application is an integral product that translates business goals and values. Imagine that one freelance developer is coding and another one is working on the design or testing the product. Even if you coped with the clear SOWs and sent all the documents, I can't promise top-to-bottom look. There won't be integration and unity in their work.

In a solid company, a team will work on the app. It develops a product according to certain methodology, and all the members communicate with each other.

The juiciest part is the company choice.

What we should take into consideration before paying a contractor. I've divided the factors into external (company's face) and internal (what should development process look like).

1. Good organization

A serious project = a serious team

If your goal is a custom mobile app with wide functionality, look for companies with 50+ staff. Such company is ready to allocate specialists just for your project, provide professional testing and assure maintenance.

Your dream team is located in one place, communicate with each other, and develop the project in the right direction.

2. Involvement

You'll be required to perform a certain task. And, what if you haven't thought over all the app details yet?

The company should come up with their own decisions: to provide business analytics, competitors and their goals, your company values, and analyze target audience. Professionals are fully involved to carter for the needs of a customer's business.

Read alsoWhat to choose: Onshore, Nearshore and Offshore?

3. Relevant experience

Study portfolio! Look for companies that have similar service projects to yours. If there is no portfolio at all, guess:

  • The company was established relatively recently, and there is a lack of experience in projects realization.
  • The projects are not allowed to be shown to a wide audience. So you can conclude that the issue is about NDA or just low quality. It's up to you to choose.

4. Self-discipline

Pay attention to methodology that is used by developers to design a project. Chaos and messiness won't work for your project.

We recommend you use Scrum. If your subcontractors already use this methodology in their workflow, you might be let in on how things are going, able to be present at daily meetings (virtually) and update your requirements. Well, you actually get your piece of cake at the end of each sprint – a product feature that is ready to be launched.

Companies or freelancers

5. Price factor

Quality product has its prorated price. If you want to get maximum profit from the app, don't seek low prices. See the cheapness? Be ready for failed deadlines or functionality.

6. Deadlines approximation

Deadlines. Sure, you are worrying about the day users will be able to set up the app on their smartphone and bring profit to your business.

Being a customer, you should understand that launching of the app is the long-term process. If an agency promises to bring the product into production in a short period of time, you should consider this.

How to determine development time?

Application complexity and the number of platforms it is going to be run in are the factors you should first pay attention to.

If the company can't set well-defined amount of time, this points to the fact that it lacks experience and has troubles with management.

The average time it takes to develop an app on one platform can be up to 400 hours. 20% of the time is allocated for QA testing. Another 80% is distributed between development and design.

7. Maintenance

Project maintenance after its development is equally an important factor. A professional team should offer marketing services, deliver the product to the AppStore and Google Play, and provide reassurance for 30 days. Users test the application, and if something goes wrong, the company updates it without an additional cost.

8. Execution of business terms

To avoid failure, it would be better to assign the commitments in the agreement.

The key moments are:

  • App distribution. Settle among yourself whose name will be in stores as “Publisher”
  • Find out if you will get design sources, and what format they will be in (AI or PSD)
  • Ask for detailed SOW with the screen requirements

Closer to inner workings:

Work out the SOW together with the team. It would be a document you wager on when checking the requirements the company works with. The SOW should contain mock-ups, screens map, functional and non-functional requirements. The profit is:

  • Common concept of work and understanding of its amount
  • Visualization of all parameters you invest money in
  • Partnering

Testing. Learn how the apps are tested in the company. QA specialists should be equipped with appropriate gadgets: from old phones to fresh smartphones with different platforms.

Choose the team carefully, and get a ready functional application that is to develop your business.

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