Mobile application development is experiencing phenomenal evolution, correspondingly to the exponential growth of the smartphone industry. Statistics indicate that a majority of the 120 million smartphone owners in the United States use a mobile (retail) application for shopping, at least once a month. So, in case you haven't got your mobile app developed for your company or product, then you for sure is missing out on a lot of opportunities.
However, mobile application development is a seamless process and can be easily executed as per your industry requirements, target market and budget. All you need to do is hire mobile application developer who is professionally experienced to handle complex situations. Here in this article we share a few tips on what to consider for hiring a mobile application developer.
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10 Tips: Points to Consider When Hiring a Mobile App Developer
#1. Portfolio – Ask For Work Samples
Always ask for project samples or Portfolio of past work when hiring a mobile application developer for your app requirement. While, this will on one hand help you understand the range of experience the developer has, it will also help you evaluate the developer's aptitude, skills and experience to create the kind of mobile app you have envisaged.
Editor's Note: Qualified and experienced developers most likely would be happy to provide you with their app development portfolio (which they have personally created or played a major role in development) with links to Apple App Store, Android's Google Play, BlackBerry App World or Windows Marketplace.
#2. Testimonials – What Your (Past and Present) Clients Say About You
Refer to testimonials and check references of past and present clients so as to verify app development credentials and ascertain the reliability, responsiveness, work ethics and experience of the mobile developer you are contemplating to hire. This will also help you throw light on the professionalism – their ability to handle work pressure, adherence to deadlines and ability to stay within budget.
Editor's note: Prospective developers mostly offer references (only) of those who have a favorable opinion of them. You may consider visiting a developer's professional network to check recommendations, besides seeking to verify credentials from mutual connections and try to acquire knowledge of the prospect's experience, capabilities and work ethics.
#3. Communication – Understanding The Process
Communication is an integral part of mobile application development process; because, the quality of your application to a large extent depends on how clearly and frequently you communicate your mobile app design and functionality requirements throughout the development process.
Editor's Note: Try to understand the developer's idea of communicating through the app development process. Is the developer willing to communicate in person or via phone, Skype, IM, email or through popular project and task management system like Basecamp.
#4. Industry Experience: Ascertain ‘relevancy' in Mobile App Development
Make a comparative analysis of the mobile app developer's industry experience to your current project requirement (for which you are hiring the developer). Has the developer worked on similar projects and developed similar applications. If yes, then what has been the performance analysis, the app review and ROI?
Editor's Note: Besides checking at the samples of a developers past mobile app development projects, understand the relevance of the developer's projects to your project requirement. Is it a tangible proposition? Does the quality of work match your criteria?
#5. Edge: What ‘usp' You Will Bring in For The Mobile Application
You may very well come across a brilliant developer who is knowledgeable about this trade; however, try to understand if they are driven by ‘innovation' and an urge to be creative for that little extra EDGE towards excellence.
Editor's Note: It is a fact that mobile apps hardly manage to grab consumers' attention unless they are truly innovative and have useful features integrated. So, look out for the developer's aptitude to add that ‘zing' in the mobile apps developed previously and what more innovative elements they propose for your application development.
#6. Viability: How to Ensure That the App Generates Revenue
Decide on the revenue model for your mobile app before you move ahead with the development process. In case you go for a paid version of the mobile app (pay-per-download revenue model), you may charge between 99 cents and $4.99, depending on the number of features your app will offer. And in case you opt for a free app, then you need to know if the mobile developer you are hiring is well-versed in mobile display ads integration, paid subscription services or in-app purchases.
Editor's Note: If your primary goal is to generate revenue with your app, the developer needs to know exactly how to build in ‘features' that will allow you to make money.
#7. Testing – Understand The Procedure to be Implemented
Understand the app testing procedures to be followed by the mobile app developer. Ensure that the prospective developer provides a detailed explanation of how he or she would conduct the app testing procedure with extensive beta test to clear out any bugs. And also the measures the developer would take if bugs are found and how quickly the bug fixation would be executed.
Editor's Note: Generally, the best way to test an app is simply to run it on the mobile platform it will be used on.
#8. Deployment: Will You Submit my Mobile App to App Stores
The very next step in the mobile application development process after you have got the beta-tested version of your app is to ask the developer to submit it to an app store for approval and deployment. As most of you are aware, app submission in the app store (whether App Store, Google Play, Blackberry App world, or Windows Marketplace) and seeking approval is often a lengthy, multi-step process that your developer should be able to navigate successfully.
Editor's Note: Find out if the prospective mobile app developer you are hiring has ever gone through the deployment process and successfully got an app approved at an app store.
#9. Copyright & Ownership: Clarify The Terms For Mobile App Development
Most often, it is the organization or the individual who is getting the mobile app developed, who finance the project – and therefore, will consequently have the rights to the mobile app ownership and copyright. However all said and done, ensure that all the legal formalities involving the ownership issues and copyright terms be documented and signed in the form of an agreement between ‘you' and the ‘mobile developer' so as to avoid future dispute.
Editor's Note: Also, make sure to create proper NDA's (non-disclosure agreement) and assert your ownership of the source code, app design, and content.
#10. Cost: Know The Project Fees (all-inclusive cost) and Payment Terms
Have a one-on-one discussion about the project fees, the payment terms (hourly or fixed rate), mode of payment (Check, Paypal, etc) and most surely draft an agreement with clearly mentioned details for avoiding any future anomalies and dispute. App development is expensive, and the price a developer quotes will reflect the scope of the project and the skill of the developer.
The most basic mobile applications can start between the price range of $1,000 and $5,000, but it could cost many times more if you pay a developer by the hour. Usually, 80 percent of all professionally managed apps may cost between $25,000 and $50,000. While more complex mobile apps, like the ones that involve 3-D gaming or are database driven might make you shell a few thousands extra.
Editor's Note: Remember, just like it is dangerous to hire a ‘discount' lawyer or a doctor, a cheap mobile application developer can be regrettable proposition.
While hundreds of mobile application developers are specializing in building apps on platforms of their choice – iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry; it is recommended that you hire a mobile application development based on their knowledge of the respective platform, and come up with a program that should create a compelling and interactive experience for your clients.
However, one of the foremost things you need to consider before embarking on a search for mobile application developer is to make logical decisions considering what the mobile app you are contemplating to build will do for your business, and how you should approach the development process.
The baseline you need to take while hiring a web application developer is “Not to hesitate to ask question. Is my app idea practically feasible for application development?” This is indeed a great way to judge the developer's aptitude to solve complex issues and ability to handle project technicalities in all form.