You need a new mobile app to enhance your business performance. However, you should understand clearly why you need it and what features it should have to comply with your aims. Then, decide about the mobile app development process – where to find a good developer, what tasks are essential, and how long it should last. That is why prepare a set of questions beforehand the answers to which you would like to receive from the potential developer you would like to hire.
The Meaning and Procedure of an App Development Process for Mobiles
Tablets and smartphones require specific mobile applications to correspond to their characteristics. The most essential demand is that the app should be applicable to small devices with tiny screens. However, such an app should also be similar to those you are already using for the desktop and web.
The development process differs very much because a new app should make use of the features that have already been developed for the mobile platform, such as an iPhone accelerometer for gaming.
The built-in features and applications of both iOS for Apple devices and Android from Google should be integrated with the app. For instance, iOS uses a full web browser and the Apple App Store, while Android apps become available via the Google Play Store.
The Most Important Questions to Ask a Mobile App Development Company
You may have decided already on the necessity of having a business app for mobiles. The next step is to find a reputable developing company for this project. Get in touch with some developers or companies and try to find out as much information as possible to decide whether they can do what you need from them. A set of essential questions you would like to ask your potential developer should be ready before you start communication with them. Here are some suggestions.
Is an Android or iOS Mobile App Better?
Start with the choice of what kind of app you want to develop first – for iOS or Android. Think about the number of target users on each of these platforms, how often they utilize their mobile devices, and how complex the project should be to fit your budget. If you cannot decide on your own, have a talk with experts and marketers. The software company’s specialists can help you a lot because if you continue the cooperation with them they will know for sure what your requirements are.
Learn everything about both iOS and Android and their stores. You need to know how efficiently they can spread the app among the users.
What Is the Cost of the Mobile App Development?
The price of the development is essential for every client. You should clear up this point with the developer you want to hire. The matter is that you will never pay a fixed price because it is influenced by many factors. They include:
- the complexity of the app involving its users’ ability to create profiles, communicate in different ways, pay for extensions, products, or services via the app, and other consumer-related features;
- a set of additional features, the amount of data in databases, compliance with servers, efficiency of customer support, the choice of domain hosting, and availability of automatic updates.
Thus, how much does it cost to build a mobile app? The cost of the simplest app can be about $50,000-$100,000, while marketplace and E-commerce apps can cost you $200,000-$1,500,000, depending on thor additional functionality.
The price is also related to the type of developer and the way of performing its functions. In-house and outsourcing teams will cost you different amounts of money. The app prices may also differ depending on the platform they are developed for – iOS or Android. If you enter the website of your potential developer, you can use a cost estimator to see whether the company’s services fit your budget needs. Or you may contact the administration directly to discuss the quote.
Remember that the cost of the post-production testing and further maintenance may also be a part of the quote. Since you will need this support for at least two months after the app is ready, this point is very essential to consider.
What Are the Benefits of Your Company?
Get to know the potential developing company as closely as you can. The first step to implementing this intention is to ask a representative about why you can choose their company and what benefits you may possibly receive. This can be either one of the first or final questions during your talk. Think beforehand about what exactly you would like to receive as a perk. You may prefer to be given some discounts, hear professional explanations of all the processes, or see the list and overall looks of their previous projects. You may also ask how they see your custom mobile app development process. Anyway, their answers will influence your choice.
You can also think about the questions on the developers’ skills, experience, and innovative approaches. So, don’t hesitate to ask them.
What Previous Projects Are You Proud Of?
This question is interconnected with the previous one. You may want to understand how much experience and expertise a developing company can contribute to your project. So, ask them about the previous projects they are proud of because they have proven to be immensely successful. You may prefer to find this information on their website, as well. So, have a closer look at their awards, directories, and referrals. If you see such titles as Wirehive 100, US App, DADI, or Webby, you can be sure that you have arrived at the right place.
You can also speak to them about other awards and achievements during the initial talk. The managers who are ready to show their success will indicate that you can fully trust this developer.
How Much Time Do You Need to Develop a Mobile App?
The question ‘How long does it take to build a mobile app’ is very important for every client. You do not want to wait for your project to get ready for years or months. Keep in mind that the proper time for the mobile app development process is about 3-9 months. It depends on the complexity and additional features you want to have in your app. If the manager promises the project completed within a month or several weeks, do not trust such a company – you won’t get any satisfactory results from such hassle.
It is better if the representative can explain to you the duration of every stage. For example, writing a project brief with a budget estimate, and delivery date estimate, defining goals and metrics, and preparation of a non-disclosure agreement and a request for proposal may take 1-2 weeks.
Discussing research ideas, developing a prototype, completing user stories, and getting MVP (minimum viable product) may take another 5-6 weeks.
You should also consider the time needed for the following steps:
- designing mockups and prototyping (6-12 weeks);
- app developing and coding (6-12 weeks);
- delivery and launch at app stores (more than 2 weeks).
You should provide such essential details as your company’s contact information to receive app features screenshots, detailed descriptions of every component, presentations of app icons, and video demonstration of the app’s performance. They will be helpful for your app’s successful appearance and availability in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
The app will also need checking for bugs, improvements, and modifications within the first two months of its performance. That’s why you will also need to get an answer to one more question.
Do You Test the Apps You Build?
You need to ensure that your app will work smoothly. That is why it needs testing while launched. Find out the details about the testing process – how much testing they do during the development process, how they test prototypes, designs, and wireframes, and what they do about that during the initial phase of launching.
You may also be interested in what you finally obtain from the testing process, how valid it will look for users, and how well the developer can adjust the app to users’ notices and remarks in their feedback. Things such as your commercial strategy, the type of your business, your customers’ behavior, and other marketing-related factors should also be considered in making adjustments to the app’s functionality.
You can ask the developer about the potential problems you may encounter, and how they find the solutions to any issues appearing within the development process or right after it. Of course, you should also ask whether these adjustments will cost you anything extra.
How Do You Manage the App Development Process?
The question of ‘How will the app development project be managed?’ is also very important. Before the final product is launched, you may need to know what to expect from the app development process and its results.
Therefore, you have to think about the management of this process by the company’s representatives at every stage of development. Such stages of management as making a project brief, developing the design, improving the app, and further maintenance can be of special interest to you.
Make inquiries about the type of project management methodology the company uses – Agile or Waterfall. You need to take into account that Agile methodology does not imply too much time and effort for making any changes, while the Waterfall management uses more detailed tasks for every team member for increased efficiency of the development.
How Can I Launch My App via the App Store?
You should also predict such things as the exact name and description of your app, its category, keywords for proper ranking, screenshots of all the features, developing icons, and ratings before you launch your app either on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
The developing company should be able to help you with all these pieces of information. You may also be asked to invest in ASO (App Store Optimization) for better rankings and visibility. You can obtain a more distinct picture related to these points from your developer.
Will My New App Need Updating?
You will need to update your mobile app even if it is immensely successful and has a lot of users. Do it about 3-4 times per month. The automated schedule of such updates has to be included in the overall development plan. You should also ask the developer about the possible strategy of introducing new features on the basis of customers’ feedback.
The strategy should also include bug fixing and constant technical improvements.
How Will I See That My App Is Successful?
This item is also essential, and you can ask your potential developer about it. Providing more conversions and investments is an obvious factor you are sure to notice. So, explain your final goal to your developer and ask them how fast it is possible to achieve it.
Think about special metrics and KPIs, such as engagement, customer activity, outcomes, and retention. Make sure that you will be able to see how effectively the app performs. Consider the times of the day and locations when and where most customers use the app. Your developer should be able to explain all these details and specific app features introduced for these purposes.
Thus, this list of initial questions to ask a mobile app development company before you sign a contract with them is essential and we hope it will help you a lot. Its main purpose is to leave you ensured that you will get the exact result you are expecting. It would be great if you could record the developer’s answers to all your questions so that you can refer to them in case of some issues or misunderstandings.
Apart from being your service provider, your developer should become your dedicated partner. That is why you need to be very careful and specific at the initial stages of the cooperation. You may even repeat your questions in some time if you see that something is not clear or goes wrong. The future success of your mobile app may depend a lot on these points you have to clarify at the beginning of the mobile app development to be on the safe side.