50 Questions To Ask Before You Hire a Mobile App Development Company
Now that you have decided to take your business online, with the fast-changing technology, you will need a mobile app too so that you are just one click away from tapping your potential customer base.
To be able to have a fast, easy-to-use, cross-platform mobile app with an attractive user interface, you will need a competent and capable mobile application development company.
But with the market buzzing with countless mobile app development companies, you cannot settle for some lesser known, shady, or obscure company which will not be able to do justice with your requirements. You just need to have the best for your business.
So here we are sharing some important questions, you need to know before going out there.
First Things First…❗
1. What Is Your USP In App Development?
When we look to hire a mobile app development firm, it is very important to understand that; whether the company is competent to make a mobile app which combines your vision and requirements in one single app.
Getting the full value of your money in the shape of a faster, easier-to-use, an all-encompassing app for your business which will help you conquer the market is not only your need but your right.
2. Which Industry Verticals And Domains Have You Provided Your Services To?
The mobile application development agency should have a robust profile of serving BFSI, travel and transport, retail, Educational Apps, healthcare, and other industries with their requirements served satisfactorily.
3. What Is The Maximum And Minimum Size Of Companies You Have Provided Your Services To?
The app development agency should have served small to medium to the large size of industries with their requirements fulfilled up to their satisfaction.
They should be well versed with the differing cultures or work methodology adopted by different companies.
4. Can You Share a Portfolio Of Your Previous Work?
Past work of an organization shows their skill level, sets foundations for future work, and a reason for the developers to be proud of.
In some cases, the apps might not be built from scratch, but that should be admitted honestly by the developer.
In case you find a developer hesitant in sharing his work, you can be assured that the person either does not have the relevant experience or is not a top level developer.
5. Which Are The Top 3 Geographies, Where You Have The Densest Customer Base?
The company you wish to hire for app development should have a presence in multiple geographies like North America, EMEA, APAC & Japan. This is to ensure that whether the company can provide you with a wide customer base or not.
6. We Have Our Customers Based Out Of Have You Built Any Specific App For My Area Of Work? Where/How Can I Access The App?
It is important to know whether the app development agency is aware of your requirements or not.
Hence, it becomes very obvious to check out the app they have made to check the veracity of their claims. This way, you can also get a fair chance of getting to know the reviews and opinions of the users.
7. Would It Be Possible For Me To Have a Word With Your Previous Clients, or Connect With Them In Some Way?
While hiring a firm for app development, it is really important to know how the company manages its relations with its clients.
While everything can be rosy on the face-value, it is imperative to be aware of the reliability of the company, their level of communication, and how is their performance under pressure and deadlines.
It is important to be aware of how the company/developers have performed in the face of the hurdles, or failure of the set course of work, or how much flexibility did the developers provide the client with.
It might be doubted that the company will provide only those references with whom they have a great relationship, in that case, you may cross check their claims through other channels, like LinkedIn and Facebook to know more about their development skills and capabilities.
8. What Is your Approach Towards App Development Process?
The developers of the mobile app development company should be abreast with the latest market trends, and, therefore, should know which are the latest app development technologies are.
9. Which Development Methodologies Are You Proficient In Working With? Do You Work In Agile Development?
The developers at the app development company must be proficient in both Agile and Scrum, with extensive and expansive work experience in both methodologies.
These are the new-age technologies which have changed the present and the future of the mobile app development.
10. Do You Support And Provide Apps Re-Architecture/Re-Development Work, For Example, Moving From An Older Technology Stack To The Latest One?
Since with every passing day, technology changes its face and its approach; the company should not only be aware of the latest developments but also how to upgrade the older technology stack to the latest ones.
In view of this, the company should be able to shed some light in case of such an eventuality.
11. Do You Support And Provide Optimization Work For Existing Apps?
The mobile application development company should have provisions for this either in their service contracts or in other offer packages.
12. I Would Like To Know More About Your Technology Services And Development Services.
The developer company should have a profile of their technology services and development services ready where their specializations, brief and detailed profiles of their developers, their past projects, and other achievements are listed.
This makes it easier for the clients to have a fair idea about what to expect from the agency who will develop a mobile app for you.
13. How Can I Be Sure That Your Agency Can Provide Complete Dedication To My Project For a Timely Delivery?
While outsourcing the job, there is always a concern with the client whether the developer company would be able to finish the project on time, will it ensure a bug-free, smooth run of the app, will it help in a hassle free submission to the app stores and marketplaces and such other issues.
It is always better to have a clear understanding of the expectations you have from the application development firm. It is good to make sure that in case of failure of timely delivery of the project, they will be considered liable.
14. Are You Able To Understand My Business Model And Target Customers?
It is very important for you and the company you plan to hire for mobile app development to be on the same page with respect to the understanding of your business model and target customers.
Though it would be great if the company has already worked for the clients similar to you, in case of the opposite, you need to see how much keen the developers are to understand and be able to perceive your vision, and requirements.
In case you find them uninterested in trying to understand your business model or rushing through the process, you can very well take a step back.
15. What Is Your Delivery Management Structure, And How Do You Report Back Detailed Status To Your Customers?
The delivery management structure varies from company to company. It is advisable to have a clear understanding of how and when the delivery of the project will be done.
Appointing of single points of contacts from both sides is desirable, along with the escalation matrix of the organizations.
A daily or weekly reporting of the app development phase, and the delivery process can be requested for.
16. What Are The Implicit Value-Adds You Can Provide Me For My Requirements?
Every app needs bug fixing, updation, transfer from an older technology stack to at latest one, among other things.
The client should have implicit value-adds discussed with the mobile app development agency so that they can take the best possible decision.
17. Do You Have Any OSS Work Sponsored And Published On GitHub Or Another Public Git Repo? If Yes, Can You Share URL(s) For The Same?
The mobile app development company should have the URL(s) of OSS work sponsored and published on GitHub or another public Git repo which can help in the evaluation of their work.
About Your Team
18. What Is The Skill Set Of Your Team?
The skill set of the developers helps the clients to determine their capabilities in making the necessary features in the app.
19. What Is The Average Technical Experience Of Your Team?
A mixed bag of old and new can do wonders for the team.
The developers should have experience across the spectrum, right from L0 to L4.
So, always Hire Mobile App Developers who have the skill, knowledge & experience. It matters a lot under critical circumstances.
20. Which All Industry Domains Have Your Team Members Worked Up In Past Engagements?
The developers should have extensive and expansive knowledge of the industry domains and should be well versed with the requirements, challenges, and environment of the same. It would help in bringing out the best possible options
21. I Would Like To Have a Look Into Your Developers’ Profiles. Please Provide With LinkedIn, GitHub Repository, And Other Professional Accounts.
LinkedIn and GitHub Repository are a good way to judge the profiles, and the works of the developers.
The reviews and recommendations on LinkedIn can easily give you an insight into the claims of the company.
The GitHub Repository holds the codes developed by the company. So, the company should provide you with a link to the Repository so that you can judge their work before hiring.
22. Can You Please Provide Me With a Brief Portfolio Of The Developers You Are Planning To Assign To Me?
The application development agency should have a ready portfolio of all its developers. The client has the right to ask about the people who are going to work for his project and may interview them too if the need arises.
23. How Do You Go About User Experience And Design Principles In App Development?
UX strategy is designed and developed in consultation with the customers. It begins with understanding and documenting customers’ preferences around color, shape, usability: accessibility and information flow.
Based on findings, appropriate wireframes and prototypes are designed, which go to the customer for approval. The aforesaid cycle is often repeated, giving customers a large choice around the kind of UX that clicks for them.
After design approvals, respective designs are rendered as a live prototype, demonstrated to the customers and ultimately transformed into the final production UX.
This explains why the client should ask this question before hiring the firm for mobile app.
24. What Is Your Approach Towards Coding Standards And Utilizing a Framework?
There are many good, many more bad ways of writing code. There is an inherent need for adopting specific coding standards to ensure uniformity, similar experience, and cohesive pedagogy.
Without coding standards, any codebase being worked upon by multiple coders would be very hard to fathom, comprehend, and review amongst peers and reviewers.
There are a number of frameworks which are used for leveraging the usability, best practices implementation, standardized rendition, and minimize redundant efforts. Using frameworks cuts down the development time drastically while ensuring non-functional requirements of an app are as per best practices derived from proven, repeatable patterns.
Understandably, the coding standards and a framework are important for the development of an app. The firm should explain this to you on their own.
25. How Can You Assist In Submitting My App To App Stores And Marketplaces?
After the development and testing of the app, the most important step between the app and your customers remains the submission of the app to various app stores and marketplaces, like Apple app store, and Google Play.
It is on to the app development firm to submit the app to the app stores and marketplaces. They should be aware of the ins and outs of the submission process. Apple app store being the most difficult one to make a submission, the developer company should know the “how about’s” of the procedure.
26. What Is Your After-Sales, i.e., Post-App Launch Support Like?
The mobile application development agency should not abandon their customers after the handover of the project. They can adopt/offer different approaches to support their clients.
In the words of an app development company, “after-GoLive, we give our support for an additional 30 days. Thereafter, you’d be required to enroll into our premium support services comprising of an hour- based support model, and an annual support contract.”
27. How Much Involvement From My Side Shall Be Required?
We try to address all issues and concerns with minimal or no involvement required from the customer’s end.
However, we would require your involvement on a variable basis, for obtaining information about the areas where only you hold the knowledge/background, or for your reviews/approvals/acceptance.
28. How Do I Keep a Check On The Progress Of My Project With You?
You will get a weekly consolidated report of the progress around the status of the project, containing information around what was done in the current week, what is planned for the next week, where we are in terms of the big picture, what are the lowlights/highlights, what are the new risks we see, if any, and which risks have been mitigated.
For establishing a regular cadence, we would require you to assign a SPOC from your end to work with us in this regards as well as provide an escalation matrix associated with the SPOC.
29. Will My App, Made By You, Work On Different Ecosystems, Or Operating Systems?
The developers, you wish to hire, should have the experience of making cross-platform apps with the help of breakthrough technologies like ReactNative.
This can be clear with the apps they have already made, and their availability can be checked in the app stores and marketplaces.
30. Can You Make My App Specifically For a Particular Platform?
If you have a particular platform to cater, then the mobile app development company you hire should have developers proficient in the said platform.
You should check the credentials and portfolios of the developers before hiring them.
31. Which Platform Are You Currently Using On Your Smartphone And Desktop? Which Version?
This question is important to know whether the mobile app development firm itself is abreast with the latest market trends, technologies, and software or not.
32. Do You Develop a Wireframe Before The Initialization Of The Project?
A wireframe is essential so that it is clear as an outline as to whether you and the developers are on the same page with respect to the requirements, what course of action shall be followed, and how the delivery process will take place.
As a client, it is but appropriate to ask for a wireframe before the initialization of the project so that you have a blueprint to develop upon.
33. How Do You Test The Apps?
Mobile app testing is done to ensure its functionality, usability, and consistency of the app. A standard app testing strategy should be followed to ensure a smooth run of the app when used. The agency can recruit test participants internally or externally.
The client should be aware of the app testing process being followed by the developer company.
34. How Can I Update My App After The Launch?
You should ask your development company that whether would they provide app updates after the GoLive of the app. You should ask the developer company to structure your package around the maintenance and support system to address any changes to be made in the app in the future.
It may be an hourly package, a monthly arrangement, or an annual package offering you services.
35. What Would Be The Approximate Time To Add Google Analytics, AdMob Banner, Facebook Share Dialog, Vungle, And/Or PushWoosh To My App?
To add the required features, it would take approximately 35-40 minutes. If any company says it would take even a day to add the said features, you can understand that the company might be over-calculating the man-hours.
36. If I Want a Few Features To Be Modified, What Would Be Your Approach Towards It?
The mobile app development firm should have a room for tweaking the features if requested.
The company should be open to making changes according to the client’s requirements with a clear understanding.
For example, the E-Card App needs to have greetings as per the season and festivities.
37. What Frequency Would You Set For The Shippable Software?
Shipping software is specific to product development companies. Since you are concerned with services model where a development timeline is estimated before the commencement, and it is followed as the delivery schedule.
38. Will Your Team Be Able To Work In My Time Zone?
The firm who will develop a mobile app should be ready to work in the client’s timezone in any geography.
This is to make sure that online meetings, telephonic conversations, or any other communication channels are open according to the client’s needs.
39. How Do You Adjust With The Onsite Clients?
After bagging the project, the application development agency should appoint a point of contact from their side, and communicate the same to the SPOC appointed by the clients.
Both sides should be clear on all the communication channels, and the matrix of hierarchy in the eventuality of escalations.
40. Under Which Name My App Will Be Published In The App Stores And Marketplaces?
After testing, the only step for the app to GoLive remains is its submission to the app stores and marketplaces. The company you hire for developing a mobile app should be well aware of the tidbits of the processes of submission and other modalities.
However, it is important for the customer to obtain their Apple Developer Program for Application Subscription, Google Play developer account, and their own account for other app stores and have the app submitted under their account.
In the absence of having the app under their names, after the developer has gone out of the picture, the client has been left in a fix as the app stores did not recognize them as the app owner. They could not update the app or upgrade the versions. Making an altogether new app, and asking the users to download a new app is definitely a no-no.
So, it would be better to have the app submitted under your own account with the help of an app development firm.
Let’s Talk About Finances
41. Do You Offer Any Packages?
It is rather necessary to confirm whether the mobile application development agency you plan to hire offers any packages. Usually, the packages contain processes right from the conceptualization to GoLive of the app along with legal terms and exit options, and you can expect a good deal.
Payment structure varies from company to company. It may be hourly, or weekly, or partial payment before the project and the rest after the GoLive of the app.
You should beware of the companies which ask for the entire project payment upfront, as it will leave you in a tight spot if the company is unable to deliver as per your standards.
42. Which All Services Can I Expect In My Package?
If your mobile app development company offers you a package, it would be better if you and the company are on the same page with respect to the services offered, and their details.
Apart from the development and delivery of the project, it should also contain favorable terms and conditions regarding exit options and penalties in case of delivery slippages.
It is the onus of the client to make the terms and conditions clear before going ahead with the packages.
43. How Much Transparency Can I Expect?
As a client, it is your right to expect 100% transparency from the company you hire for app development. If the processes, progress, and modus operandi are opaque, you cannot expect the desired results in your app.
44. Do I Get The Right On The Codebase Of The App?
An app is made out of the codebase. It is the basis of the special features and requirements unique to the client. The app development companies work on Hire to Work basis, and they are supposed to hand over the entire codebase to the clients.
Hence, the codebase of the app belongs to and should be owned by the clients who have hired the mobile application development firm.
45. What Is Your Delivery Model Like?
The delivery model offered by the mobile app development enterprise should be clear, consistent, and up to the expectations of the client. They should be aware of App Development Lies spreading in the market.
It should have a room for flexibilities, any mid-project eventuality, a space for tweaks suggested by the clients.
46. What Are Your Exit Options?
This is an essential issue for the clients as if any app development enterprise decides to quit on your project in between; it will leave your work in limbo causing you financial losses and loss of precious time.
The terms and conditions of the Exit Options should be included in the legal documents between you and the app development firm.
47. Do You Provide Complete In-House Development Or Outsource Complete/Partial Work To Other Companies On Contract?
To know whether the mobile app development company has its full strength on In-house developers or, does it hire or outsource the work to other companies on a contractual basis is essential to you.
If the projects are completely/partially outsourced to other contractors, you should be well aware of their work ethic, and past record in the field of mobile app development. They should follow the Guide Of Mobile App Development.
48. Do You Offer Full-Time Employees To Work On The Services You Provide, Or Do You Hire Contractors For Short-Term To Work On Assignments?
Though it is a personal requirement as per your business model, it would be better to know about the nature of the developers the company has.
In case of full-time or In-house developers, you just have to check their credentials against as told by the company. But in the case of short-term or hired contractors, you should be aware of their contract period, their terms and conditions with the company, and whether they won’t leave your project mid-way.
49. Do You Guarantee On-Time Delivery Backed By Financial SLA’s?
On-time delivery by the app development organization is an issue which needs to be addressed at the beginning itself as every small delay would lead to financial losses to you as a client. It may derail your other plans which are dependent on the on-time delivery of the app.
50. Do You Support Provisions For Financial Penalties On Delivery Slippages?
The legal documents to be signed between the app development enterprise and the client are full of technicalities and jargons. At times, it becomes difficult to make sense out of them.
To avoid such a scenario, it would be better to make all the terms and conditions clear and come into agreement with respect to the same.
The fees and payment structure, the exit options, penalties on delivery slippages and other things like post-Go-Live support, maintenance support, etc., should be clearly mentioned in the document.
The client should review the developer’s Statement of Work or proposal and should come to an agreement about fees and payment structure, among other legal technicalities.
Now that you are equipped to hire the Best Mobile App Development Company for your business, we wish you all the luck.
Besides, do not forget to spread the word on how did you land with the best app development agency for yourself.
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