You’re looking to mobilise your business processes, you’ve decided a native mobile app is what you need from your initial research but choosing an app development company to tackle the unique needs of your business can be a daunting task.
Furthermore you’ll want to engage a company that can handle your app development requirements in a way that is streamlined, efficient and cost effective while also having the talent at hand to meet business objectives.
To assist you here we’ve identified seven questions you need to ask before moving forward with any mobile app development company.
Getting Started With Mobile
1. What’s Your App Development Process?
Above all else, the development company you partner with should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of your customer base and your business needs. While you may not have to ask this question explicitly, it should be something you explore in depth.
Your selected resource also needs to have a project manager that understands your vision, ensuring that every step in the process follows the direction of your choice. They can also make recommendations on whether the app should be developed with a software development kit (SDK) provided by the operating system vendor (i.e. Apple, Android) or whether to use a Cross Platform framework.
Finally to make this easier, consider building a use case diagram for your app. This will clarify the functions that your app will have and the end goals of these functions for your business.
2. Where Can I See Examples of Your Work?
A strong reputation is a plus, but the development company you choose should be able to explicitly demonstrate proof that they can fulfill your expectations. Prior to signing a contract, be sure to request samples of past work in the form of an app portfolio which should also show their ability to mobilise a brand’s existing development processes. Any company you choose to work with to develop your mobile apps should have a broad history of producing optimised, efficient apps for other companies in your industry as well, indicating success with the features and functions you may choose to offer.
If your mobile software necessitates an app on one OS or another, make sure that the development company you go with has sufficient experience with your chosen platform.
3. How Focused Are You On Design and End-User Experience?
Big dreams without any follow-through can kill a great idea. You should be looking for a company that can follow plans and innovate without losing sight of the end goal: creating an interface that is user-friendly and highly effective. If the brainstorming starts go beyond the realm of feasibility, you may be talking to a company that can’t deliver.
4. How Will We Communicate During the Development Process?
In app development, communication is key. If ideas and processes get mixed up between your team and your chosen development company, you may find yourself struggling to stay on the same page. The goal is to mobilise your existing development process, not set it back to due to misunderstandings.
Throughout the process, you should be informed of every deviation from a plan or independent decision that your development company makes. To ensure this occurs, choose a team with a set approach to staying in touch, not one who will let important details get lost in translation.
5. What Are Your Testing and QA Processes?
Testing is the final step before releasing an app to your audience, which makes it one of the most crucial. Here are a few things that an app development company absolutely must examine and perfect before ending the development stage:
- Text and Images
- Battery and Data Consumption
Make sure technical issues aren’t the only steps in the QA process, however. An app that functions technically but fails to meet your objectives isn’t a very good app at all.
6. What are Your Security Policies?
Before you undergo the earliest processes of development, you must ensure that the company you’re going to be working with is up-to-date on data security and compliance measures. These include:
- Storage of sensitive data and encryption of any data that is necessary to store in-app
- Privacy and issues of “necessary information
- Compliance with data security regulations, most notably the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation that goes into effect in 2018.
A native app that is rolled out without proper attention to security could put your business at risk. As has been demonstrated by large companies around the world, a data breach is a PR nightmare.
7. Who Will Maintain the App When It’s Done?
A reputable app development company will have this discussion early in the process and they will have an agreement in place so that both parties are clear on the maintenance process at this stage.
This can be a maintenance contract which covers major operating system updates and bug fixes, as well as a Service Level Agreement (including out of hours support and disaster recovery procedures).
With the ability to mobilise business processes and make them more efficient, cost-effective, and intuitive, a capable development company can unlock virtually limitless potential. This checklist can ensure you make the right choice.
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