Help Needed: What to Know When Choosing a Mobile App Development Company

mobile app developer
teresa-square By Teresa Pham November 22nd 2021

As of August 2021, Australian publishers have released more than 14,280 apps on Google Play. The average rating of these Australian apps? 3.12 out of 5 stars.

A badly done app not only gets poor reviews, but it can drive your customers away before they’ve even given your business a chance.

For an app that gets good ratings and keeps your customers happy, the best choice is to hire a mobile app development company. Not only do experts know best when it comes to executing your app’s vision, but they’ll help you set up your app properly from the start.

But how do you know which mobile app development company to pick? Whether you have an idea for the next great app or you want to create an app for your existing local business, our guide has everything you need to know.

Your Business Needs 

Before you take a look at which web and mobile app development company you’d like to work with, you need to understand the needs and wants of your business.

First of all, you need to think about why you’re designing your app. For example, are you a physiotherapist who wants to create an app to make it easier for clients to book appointments? Or are you a time management startup that is beginning with an app?

Once you’re clear on why you need an app, you can identify what you need in your app versus what you want or what would be nice to have. 

Going to our time management startup example, examples of needs would be:

  • Calendar functionality
  • Notifications and sounds
  • The ability for users to create and customize their account

Some wants for this type of app might be:

  • Integration with other calendar software
  • Access to an online community for other app users

As you can see, the more “wants” you include, the more you drive up the time and labour cost of your app. This is why it’s important to set apart your needs so you can make sure you have these covered first.

Budget and Cost

Next up, you want to calculate your budget. If you’ve never hired a custom mobile app development company before, do some research on the Internet first to get an idea of the price range you’re looking at.

This is especially useful if you want to include a few specific features in your app but aren’t sure how much these will increase the cost

You could also make a list of the top 10 development companies you’d like to work with and then contact each of them for a quote. Keep track of the quotes on a spreadsheet so that you can use them to weigh against other factors later on.

If you need many features on your app, you should be ready to have a flexible budget. Make sure you create a range for your budget and figure out the most you can pay. 

When talking about the budget with your prospective companies, make sure to check which services they charge based on time and which they charge per item. This way, you’ll be very clear on what could drive the price of your app up.

Location 

While location isn’t the most important factor in choosing which app development company to work with, it’s still something to consider.

Location affects whether you’ll be able to have in-person meetings, so you need to decide if these are important for you. Keep in mind that if the location of the company is different from yours, you’ll need to factor in different time zones, currencies, and variants of English.

If there’s one company that’s your first choice by a large margin, then don’t let location be the only reason you don’t work with them. 

Instead, make sure that all the information and expectations are clear. Contact the company to see what time zone works best for you both for meetings, and make sure you know exactly how much you’ll be paying upfront.

Expertise

The next thing you want to look at when picking a mobile app development company is how much experience they have. 

Of course, the more expertise a company has, the more expensive it will be. This why knowing your budget ahead of time is crucial. You also need to consider how complicated your app functionality will be, as you need an expert to do the most complex tasks.

Even if you’re on a lower budget, be careful about choosing someone with less experience. You may get a cheaper price at the outset, but this could cost you much more in maintenance costs later on (or even a full redo).

One reason that app development agencies have an advantage over freelancers is that they have an entire team to work on your app.

Each member of the team has different areas of expertise, from development to design to marketing, so your app will be in good hands.

Portfolio

The top mobile app development companies have an impressive portfolio for you to browse through. 

A company’s portfolio is also one of the most important ways for you to check its members’ design skills. Even if the development team knows many programming languages, their design skills need to be level with this knowledge.

Approach to Design

When you’re looking through a company’s portfolio, check if their designs fit with your app’s aesthetic. Make sure you also take a look at how they’ve designed the user interface and user experience

Not only should the design of their previous apps look enticing to customers, but the apps should also be easy for users to navigate. 

If some of these client apps are free to download, you could take your portfolio investigation one step further and try one of these apps for yourself.

This way, you’ll get a sense of the company’s skills in action and can step into your customers’ shoes should you go with this company.

Reviews and Testimonials

Even if a company has a professional-looking website, this doesn’t guarantee that they’re professional or easy to work with. This is where reviews and testimonials come in.

When you’re looking at reviews, make sure the reviews weren’t sponsored or incentivised by the company in any way. Check out review sites like TopDevelopers.co for a more transparent view.

When you’re reading through reviews, make sure you scan for the qualities of the company that are most important to you.

Your app may be simple, so you might be more concerned with communication style and design rather than whether the company handles the most complex projects.

Any reputable app development company will be able to give you a list of previous clients who are willing to give a testimonial. Compile a list of questions (such as how happy the clients were with their results), and contact some of these clients for more information. 

Support and Involvement

Another thing you want to check with your app development company is how much support you’ll get. This includes how much support you’ll get during the project and how much support you’ll get after the project.

For example, what happens if you come across a huge issue after your app has been completed? Will you have ongoing contact with your developers on an as-needed basis? 

You can always get maintenance from a freelancer, but it’s always best if the company that developed your app can help you with ongoing maintenance.

You also want to check how much you’ll be involved in the project from start to finish. This also depends on your own expectations. Do you want to be included every step of the way? Or do you just want to okay some mockups and test the final product?

These aspects of your working relationship with your developer need to be worked out ahead of time so that there’s no confusion or disagreement later on.

Communication Style

Something that people may rarely think of with mobile app development is their chosen company’s communication style. 

The best mobile app development company not only delivers great results but is clear in its communication with you. 

One of the most important communication skills in the developer-client relationship is that of listening. First of all, you want to listen to the developer’s suggestions, as they have the technical expertise required for your app.

But the developer should also listen to you. After all, you know your business best, so you and your developer should have a collaborative relationship. This means that you listen to each other’s ideas and work together to create the best app possible.

And especially if you’re on a strict time frame, you need to make sure your developer responds to all your questions on time. This is especially true the closer you get to the project completion deadline.

Platforms and App Stores

Next, you want to take a look at what platforms the developers at the company are able to build apps for.

For example, you may want to sell your app on both the Android Store and on the Apple Store. You need to make sure that your developer knows which platform to use and how to make apps that work on both app stores.

Remember to check with your mobile app development company to see how much the price difference would be if you go this route.

If having functionality for both Android and iPhone isn’t within your budget right now, it’s always better to pay for a good app for one of these than to pay for an app that works poorly on both platforms. The latter will only create a negative reputation for your company.

Testing Procedures

According to one survey, 88% of users will leave an app because of one bug or glitch.

And if this happens to your new customers, you can guess that they won’t be coming back. They’ll delete your app and go to your competition.

So especially if you have little to no knowledge of programming, you won’t know where bugs most often happen.

The best development company to go with is one that keeps up to date with testing manuals and procedures. Plus, the company should have a good reputation for thoroughly testing apps before they appear on the app store.

Available Packages

Finally, check with the company about any personalized packages you can get. For example, does the company help you with marketing your app, or does the contract end when your app is complete?

If you stick with the same app development company for future technical support, you may be able to get a great price for a packaged deal.

Plus, continuing to work with the same developers throughout your app’s lifetime is better for your app in the long run. Since these same developers were the ones that created your app, they’ll best know how to fix any glitches if they arise.

Let’s say you decide a year into your app that you want to add a new feature that your customers have been asking for. If you have an ongoing package or working relationship with your developer, this will be much easier to put in place.

Plus, your developer should already have signed a non-disclosure agreement, so you can feel comfortable that your business idea is protected.

The best part about working with the same developers is that they already understand your brand and your value proposition, so you don’t have to explain all this again to someone new.

Choose a Top Mobile App Development Company

No matter how good your app idea is, you need to pick a quality mobile app development company to execute your vision.

When you work well together, it shows in your app. You’ll build trust with your customers, get more customers through positive reviews, and best of all, gain popularity in the app store.

At EB Pearls, 44 of the 350+ apps we’ve built for clients have been in the app store top 10. We’re Australia’s most experienced app developer and are trusted by customers nationally and globally.

Ready to make your dream app a reality? Contact us today for a free mobile app strategy session. 

teresa-square By Teresa Pham

Teresa is a highly skilled and technical strong UX designer. She has a really good grip of client understanding and is an excellent scholar.

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