Qualities of a Mobile App Development Company
Are you planning to build a mobile application for your business? Do you want to get it done from the best team of professionals? Are you thinking to hire a mobile application development company? If all the answers are positive, you are reading the right post.
In a world where developers can now be found everywhere and most of them always claim to be the best mobile app developers, identifying the actual top mobile app developers in Johannesburg and Pretoria or South Africa for that matter is a tough task.
One of the biggest challenges’ businesses face is not knowing how to choose the right app development company – one that really understands your project and empowers you to build a successful app.
It is important not to rush the process of hiring an app development company, instead spend an adequate amount of time to thoroughly consider all your options. Spending the effort upfront to comprehensively consider your development options can save you a lot of headaches, time and money further down the road.
But what qualities should you look to find in an exceptional developer? Let’s find out.
1. A top-notch website
Obvious as it might seem an app agency with a poorly designed, unintuitive, uninformative, inelegant, or outdated website – is not one you want to entrust your big idea.
Conversely, a well-designed, easy to navigate, highly informative website that tells you all you need to know about the company’s mission, values, services and portfolio, is one you just may be able to entrust your vision with.
A company that pays attention to the details is worth putting your confidence in.
2. A proven track-record
There’s a reason everyone runs to Eat Out, Zomato and TripAdvisor before going to a restaurant:
“We trust other people’s feedback and opinions”
Just like restaurants, the best app agencies always have a few past clients who will rant and rave about their work and abilities. Good app development companies have proven track records and their clients give positive testimonials about them.
Any app agency worth their salt will have case studies and examples of apps they’ve developed. Take a look through each agency’s portfolio to see if they’ve worked with brands in your space. Chances are, if they’ve built quality apps for other entrepreneurs, they’ll do the same for you.
Be sure to read their reviews on Google My Business and LinkedIn but also reach out to clients of the agencies you’re looking into and ask what it was like working with them.
3. Quick and effective communication
After narrowing down prospective app agencies based on websites and reviews, you’ll want to begin reaching out to the companies that made the cut.
Working with an app agency requires constant communication, so you’ll want to pay close attention to how accessible these agencies are. If a mobile app developer cannot communicate well, the project may not make it very far, poor communication will lead to delays, misunderstood requirements, rework and bugs
Do they make the effort to develop a working relationship? Do they get back to you in no time, or are you left waiting for weeks? Do they respond politely and eagerly, or do they act as though you’re pestering them? Chances are, if they’re not responsive and easy to reach at the outset, they won’t be when you need them most.
4. Teamwork and company structure
Mobile app development involves several stages, from planning to actual code writing, then to after-care service. Every department has a part to play. The quality of the service that is delivered is dependent on the level of teamwork in the company.
Being able to work in a team environment is paramount to an application’s success in the market. The apps need to work well across all functions as well as look good. This requires many different skillsets across the board.
During your initial discussion with a prospective app agency, ask questions about the structure of the company and the people behind the scenes. Every app agency should have quality individuals in each of these roles:
- Project Manager/Strategist– Every team or project needs a visionary at the top responsible for capturing and executing the vision of the app. This person must have a solid technical background, extensive knowledge of the targeted industry, great managerial skills, and a keen sense of responsibility.
- Designers – The designers should be adept at planning navigational functions and creating visuals. They should be open and receptive to feedback and changes.
- Developers – The developers should be experienced in a variety of platforms, such as Java or C++ for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS.
- Quality Assurance Experts – Not to be overlooked, QA experts – the ones who test the entire end product – should be capable of pointing out areas for improvement and suggesting ways to go about it.
- Sales and Marketing Professionals – The sales and marketing professionals turn the product into profit and make sure all of the effort that went into creating it doesn’t go for naught.
5. Creativity and User Experience
UI/UX skills are highly necessary in order to be one of the top app development companies in South Africa.
Regardless of your app idea, chances are there are dozens, if not hundreds, of similar apps available in the different stores. Having a powerful UI/UX skills is necessary to help you stand out from the fray.
It is not enough that an app works well, if a mobile app developer is not very creative, their work will not wow the end user. The more a developer can catch the eye of the user, the more successful the app will be.
6. Understanding client and the market needs
With hundreds of mobile applications being churned out daily, a mobile application developer has to exhibit a clear understanding of the industry, especially the market needs.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but a good app development company should be able to get your idea, as well as take the extra step of analysing the needs of your potential customers and market. They try to understand what the users will be interested in and they go all out to bring that expectation to mobile reality. An app that meets users demand is an app that will sure help a business to be successful.
7. Knowledge of cross-platform development and programming
Mobile app developers that have multiple programming languages in their tool belt as well as knowledge of cross-platform development, are the qualities you should be looking for in a top app development company.
There are several programming languages that can be used for mobile app development; Java, Objective C, Swift, PHP, Python etc. Each of these languages has its pros and cons and have areas where they can be best applied. Good app development companies are knowledgeable, and are proficient, in a wide range of programming languages. This proficiency will help a company to stand out and deliver better quality mobile applications.
Similarly, before hiring the mobile app development company, it’s good to make sure that they are an expert in the platform you want the app for. It can be android or IOS, but they should be well-versed on the technology for which you want the app to be developed for only then you will get a quality article. Because the developing process of both the platforms is different, this question must be asked. Same goes for the cross-platform app which means developing an app for both the platforms.
8. Look for an end-to-end process
The most successful app agencies have a process, a formal series of steps they follow as they design and build apps.
It is utmost necessary that your app is scalable and flexible enough in design and coding aspects. The app development process must be able to adopt the changes, suggestions, and feedback laid down by the project team which is in coherence with brand and services.
Before signing a deal with an app agency, understand whether they have a process, and how frequently they update you about the process of development. Avoid agencies that don’t have a process as that can be an indication that the steps between idea and reality are going to be messy.
Ask about the estimated project timeline. More importantly, ask about their availability as most companies will be working on multiple projects at a time.
How many projects are they currently working on? How long do they think the project will take? When can they deliver your project by? It is important to confirm that there are dedicated resources available to work on your project.
This way, you can ensure that the company can efficiently respond to any iterations or unforseen challenges of your project.
10. After-care service and maintenance:
One of the key qualities that differentiate an average mobile app development company and a top company is the quality of after-care service that each offers.
There is a good chance that after your app is launched in the marketplace you will have to, from time to time, release updates, fix bugs or add new features/functionality. For this reason, it is important to understand a company’s policy around app maintenance and support.
For example, ask whether app maintenance is charged at an hourly rate or a monthly fee for ongoing support. Be sure to determine what the policies are for:
- The cost per each new app release
- How they specifically handle bug fixes
- Their post-launch support
You will want to work with an app agency that’s committed to your success – one that will remain responsive and willing to make changes to improve the app’s functionality and aesthetics after initial launch. In your initial discussion, ask whether the agency is interested in working with you beyond the initial launch, and in what ways they might help.
In this article we described five attributes to seek when looking for a mobile app developer. Creativity, ability in cross platform development, multiple language experience, being a team player and an excellent communicator are top qualities for a mobile app developer.
Much like a hiring manager reads between the lines when interviewing job candidates, you’ll be doing the same when effectively interviewing app agencies. You can learn a lot by looking at an app agency’s website, portfolio, and online reviews. You can also learn a lot by asking an agency about their company structure, history, and team. Also, be sure to ask other app developers who have used a particular agency’s services for insights into what the process was like. The more digging you do, the better informed you’ll be, and the more likely you’ll be to choose the right agency to build your app.