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How To Select An App Developer: A Beginner’s Guide

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Whether you are proud of your screen time or not, no one can deny the ease and enjoyment of a well-developed app. They are the vehicle which captures our inspirations, monitors our money, aids our health intentions, and the many other possibilities they accommodate.

If you have an idea that you want to bring to the market, you need to take a measured approach in how you develop it, or should we say who develops it. Let’s discuss what you should be looking for in your selection, and some considerations as to what the users in your industry are most likely to expect.

What should you be looking for in an app developer

It’s critical that you have some signposts to look out for in your selection process, as this is going to keep you from making a decision based solely off a flashy website and enthusiastic salespersons. As a guide to choosing an app developer, take into account reviews/references (and ideally test-drive these apps), experience (number of years and in what industry), their project management style and the communication process and assessment stages of the project.

Beyond these essential qualifications, you ideally want to have good chemistry with your developer, someone who ultimately shares your vision or can articulate what you are trying to achieve and where it fits in the over-crowded market.

Freelancer or an app development company

Freelancers have to have an edge to exist and excel in the app developing space, but an app development company has many advantages, not the least of which gives you access to a wider team and subject experts across the board.

So who do you choose – a freelancer or app development company? Your decision will also depend on the size of your project, whether it’s your first, and the credentials and on-market apps that they have developed prior.

Ultimately whatever you choose, there will be a trade-off of some kind. The freelance route might be less expensive, but you may not get the same level of communication throughout or reworks along the way as you can expect from an app development company. Define what is your yardstick – quality, communication, speed or price.

Another consideration here is to be future-thinking. What option is going to be best placed to facilitate app growth, troubleshooting and updates? While this might not be a part of the initial scope, get an understanding of what the freelancer or agencies capacities are, so that you are not briefing in the app to another provider down the track. 

Before your search, are you ready to go to market?

A business plan and a user journey map are critical tools when you are working on an app, but there are a number of additional items to cross off the list so that you have a market-ready app. You should have done some robust competitor analysis of similar app products, having done a test-run of their offering so that you can explore opportunities based on their shortfalls or highlights.

Extend your early-stage app to a sample group to see how they handle it and be prepared for some iterations off the back of this. You might also want to ensure that your business is prepared for the boom of the release, but you also want to prepare for a few months of crickets as the early adopters make their way to you.

It’s no easy feat to conceptualise an app, let along bringing it to life and into the hands of the public. You want to entrust this responsibility to the right candidate, so take your time in selecting the best development option that is going to yield a sustainable and useful app.