Widle Studio LLP
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Widle Studio LLP

7 tips for choosing an App Development Partner

Already on the rise, the success of mobile apps is growing amidst the coronavirus pandemic. As the world faced a new reality and headed for lockdown, people have begun seeking other ways to keep themselves entertained at times of self-isolation at home. Businesses had to find new ways of reaching their customers. Companies looked for ways to encourage remote work collaboration.

7 tips for choosing an App Development Partner — Widle Studio LLP

If there were any doubts about the necessity of digital transformation to business longevity, the coronavirus has silenced them. In a contactless world, the vast majority of interactions with customers and employees are set to take place virtually.

Smartphone usage has only gone up, and it will continue to rise. However, if you take a look at the most recent mobile app statistics, you’ll be astonished by just how popular apps are. We strongly encourage you to do a little research on this topic, but just to name a few:

  1. By 2021, there will be roughly 7 billion mobile users worldwide.
  2. In 2020, the average daily time spent on a mobile device reached 4.2 hours, an increase of 20 percent year-over-year.
  3. Nearly 90% of mobile internet time is spent on apps.
  4. There are over 2.8 million applications available in the Google Play store, and about 2.2 million apps in the Apple App Store.
  5. The expected Mobile App Statistics revenue that will be noted by the end of 2021 is around $582 billion. That is 48% more than the past few years.

For most industries, a mobile app is no longer an option, it is a requirement. One of the biggest challenges businesses face is not knowing how to choose the right app development company — one that really understands their project and empowers them to build a successful app. As a result, we have decided to share our extensive knowledge and experience on what to consider when choosing an app development partner.

Here are our 7 top tips, in no particular order.

Timezone

Indeed, working with someone from the same timezone is ideal, but that leaves out great agencies to collaborate with. There are countless ways of making the most out of remote work and allowing everyone to be as effective as possible, no matter their zip code.

When working together with a remote team, you have to take the time to set up the team for success by implementing collaboration tools so that everyone can stay in sync. Another great tip is to make sure that any critical feature within your app can be remotely configured and controlled. Firebase Remote Config is a fantastic tool for this.

The same thing goes for emergencies — it’s best to settle on a few hours of overlap during the traditional workday to ensure time for collaboration. Most likely you won’t need to wake up your on-call engineer at 3 AM because there’s a glitch in your app; it can probably wait for a few hours.

Expertise

As a product owner, you are the one responsible for bringing the final vision of the product to the table. You are the expert in your field and you have to make sure that your team is building the right product — one that’s usable, serves its purpose, and delivers value.

But there is the other side of the coin: building the product right — one that’s bug-free, secure, and meets your requirements. This is where your development team comes in. You’ll need talented engineers who are also good communicators.

How to sort out the good and the bad when looking for an app development partner? Going for a company with previous experience in your field or business sector might help, but it’s best to find one that is really good at building any kind of apps. Go for team members that are passionate about their work — any agency can acquire technical skills, but they can’t teach themselves to be passionate about what they do.

Team

Get to know the people behind the product. After you’ve shared the scope of your project, make sure that you also get an idea of who exactly you’ll be working with. There are many benefits of creating a bridge between the problem to be solved (clients), and the solution (engineering).

As a product owner, getting to know your team of experts can bring you peace of mind. While it is important that your team has the technical knowledge and expertise to support your vision, you should also make sure that their work ethic aligns with your needs.

Besides, bringing your product to market is a collective effort. Your team should never get a message that says “Huge Client needs a new feature, tomorrow”. Of course, they won’t feel strongly about helping you and they will stick to implementing new requirements instead of coming up with better solutions. They should be given the business context (who you are, how do you work, why do you need that new feature). Putting a face to a name and involving everyone in the development process allows for open communication and keeps the team motivated.

Eagerness to understand your business

The keyword is a partner. Don’t settle on someone who just follows orders, rather go for a team that is willing to go the extra mile in order to exceed your expectations.

An experienced agency should know how to tackle different business objectives and have a deep understanding of how to align your app to your bigger goals.

The most successful cooperations start with commitment, so it’s vital to find the right agency that will not only be another name on your payroll list, but also a partner.

References

Let’s say this is your first time working with an app development agency. You’ve tried asking your network about successful outsourcing experiences but to no result.

The next step that you should be taking is browsing the agency’s portfolio and identifying a list of clients and their references. Testimonials from a company’s clients can tell you more than several meetings with their team. Even better, reach out to some of their clients directly in order to receive more honest feedback. Of course, you also have the option to ask the agency for references, although you’ll probably only get positive reviews from previous customers rather than real ones.

Remember, if a company can’t demonstrate past success, they can’t guarantee yours.

Transparency

Does the agency have clear development cycles that include you as often as you need?

Do you have access to all communication channels for your project?

Do you have access to current code, designs, and product definitions from day one?

The answer to all of these questions should be yes.

Transparency ensures an open forum where stakeholders and the entire delivery team are given total access to the status of all aspects of a project. One way to achieve it is to use online Project Management tools so that both the client and the IT outsourcing company can follow the progress of the project. You’ll be able to see who is currently working on which task and you can also track the overall progress of the iteration and the project.

Transparency in app development outsourcing is not impossible to achieve. It just takes a little effort from both sides. The agency has to be ready to involve the client as well as the client must be ready to be actively involved. It’s not an easy process, but it’s the right one.

Maintenance and Support

You might have built the perfect app, but how long can it remain active and not pass out as obsolete without proper maintenance? Chances are that you are about to start a long-term collaboration with the development team.

Releasing the first version of the app is only the beginning. Every competitive business needs to constantly manage and enhance the solutions that have been developed in order to stay relevant and meet customers’ ever-evolving needs. An app that doesn’t require maintenance and support is usually an app with no users.

App design and development is not a one-time cost. When creating a budget be sure to leave room for ongoing maintenance and updates. Find out how your potential partners can help you with maintenance and support. Do they charge a retention fee? Are they available for changes on demand? Will they make sure that the app is compatible with new operating systems?

Regularly maintaining your mobile application helps create a sustainable brand image in the minds of your users.

We hope you find these tips helpful in guiding you towards a successful, collaborative relationship with your next app development agency.

Feel free to reach out if you want to give any of these tips a test drive!

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Bhavik

On a personal level, I consider myself a young dynamic open-minded person with a particular interest in entrepreneurship and new technologies.