Smartphone usage has reached an all-time high; there are 4.57 billion mobile phone users in the world right now, and that clearly explains why the mobile app industry is flourishing! Businesses across various industry segments are looking to develop mobile apps to extend existing business applications, reach a wider audience, and drive revenues. But they often stumble in finding the right mobile app development partner. Having a partner on board is very important as they will bring in the required experience, expertise, and skill-set required to build modern and innovative apps. So, how do you make the right choice? Here are some things to look for in your mobile app development partner!
Choosing the right partner
You know that your mobile app development partner must be a firm that has spent years mastering the art of coding, who has developed several successful mobile apps in the past, who has the skills and resources required, and who is reliable and trust-worthy. But considering the variety of choice available in the market today, how do you make the right choice? Here is a list of the top 5 qualities your mobile app development partner must have:
- A strong portfolio: Is it more than just a pretty design?
The first thing to look for, while evaluating prospective mobile app partners, is their portfolio. If possible, try using a few apps they’ve developed. Get an idea of the quality of design, the performance, the speed, and the app in general. Go beyond the UI and deep dive into the usability. Does it meet your expectations? Does it perform well across different devices? Is it easy to navigate? Remember, a few extra budget dollars spent early on test-driving the portfolio will prove worth it when your entire mobile app development budget will be on the line.
- Robust support options: Is it all-inclusive, and long-lasting?
Every so often, mobile app development partners will offer a solution that meets your current business needs to the T, but they will not support it post the go-live date. This can spell trouble for your organization, as continuous monitoring and testing is extremely important to ensure the app continues to meet the intended need – and doesn’t crash under high traffic. Make sure the mobile app development partner is in a position to provide assistance in terms of support, monitoring, testing, maintenance, and updates – and is reachable in person, or through telephone conversations – even after your app is live. Make sure to include the support aspect in your contract, to avoid any misunderstandings later.
- Undying commitment: Do they just keep moving deadlines?
Under ideal circumstances, a mobile app development partner is focused and has a clear goal in mind. This will enable them to deliver results with speed. Is this also the case with the partner you are evaluating? Do they possess the knowledge required to develop cutting-edge apps? Do they have experience of developing similar apps, in the industry as you? Are they quick in their work and results? Do they stick to deadlines? Do they discuss strategies, and provide assistance when needed? Do they leverage time-tested best practices, and continuously strive to improve the effectiveness of their efforts? And, do they have the references who can testify to all of that?
- A strong communication model: Is it frequent and comprehensive?
In a highly globalized world, chances that the mobile app development partner you choose operates in a completely different time zone is extremely high. Although with modern technology, this is usually not a problem, it is important you get a clear understanding of the communication model from the very beginning. Companies have considered working with a nearshore partner in the same time zone as themselves -and that has its merits too. If you cannot, make sure you at least have a few overlapping hours. Also, look for a partner who makes change management a breeze because they have the right processes in place. Look for someone who is available to offer the right assistance at the right time, someone who can be more objective, and adds value through expertise.
- Comprehensive skillset: Is it all-encompassing, and everything you need?
In a competitive world, access to skilled resources is not only tough, but also very expensive. Make sure the mobile app development partner you choose has the right set of skills to achieve your goals. This may mean looking at a critical mass of the right kind of resources rather than that 1 super-special resource who can lead the project. Look for someone who has experience in developing specific kind of apps in your industry; they will be aware of common issues and will have the perfect workaround planned for a smoother development process and a cleaner back-end.
Choose a partner, not a provider
Developing apps for multiple devices and platforms is not easy. Add to that the complexity introduced by the need to roll them quickly, build a great UI/UX, enable integration, and to continuously assess app feedback.
While on the lookout for the right mobile app development partner, assess their portfolio, understand the support options, evaluate their commitment, understand their communication model, and closely evaluate their skill set. Choose someone who works as a partner, and not just a provider – someone who is ready to share ideas and work as a team to meet your goals. That’s the right way to a winning mobile app.