You’re thinking of outsourcing. You’ve looked at firms locally, out of state, and overseas. You’ve gone to those popular outsourcing websites your friend told you about where you could spend $5 and get a full-blown platform built…you know the ones I’m talking about. You’ve posted your project online and gotten a range of bids from a hundred bucks to a hundred thousand dollars and all from firms or freelancers who look like they know what they are talking about. They pressure you to pick them: now, do it now, right now! It’s overwhelming, and this is your baby, the idea you’ve thought about every day and night for weeks or months or even longer; this has to go perfectly.
What do you do?
Stop, wait, breath. This is a big decision but there are a couple things to keep in mind that can make this whole process go much smoother. The best thing you can do is take the time to write out a specification document and a flow document. This may sound confusing but you don’t have to be a state of the art programmer to write these. For a spec doc a simple bulleted list of all the features you can think of will work just fine and for the flow document try to explain as best you can what a user would experience when they come to your site or open your app for the first time and then take the reader through the process of what pages or screens the user will see and then which ones they can go to next. These two documents will save you a massive headache as you can give them to every potential developer out there and see what they say. This will be the guide for the developer to make your vision come to life.
After answering any questions from the potential developer on your flow and feature list the next step is pricing and how long it will take to bring the project to life. Development is a sticky business and you get what you pay for, most of the time. If you are hiring the guy that says he can build a full Tinder clone app in four weeks and for a cost of $1,000 you’re in for a lot of problems. We offer free quotes on projects so feel free to send us an email or chat with us directly on our website to get your free quote. Though it is possible that the developer could actually deliver most likely what will happen is those four weeks will turn into six months and when you do see the product it will not be what you were expecting or the developer will ask for more funds at every stage.
Most projects will go over the time the developer says for different reasons but the biggest ones are that some feature may have been listed in the spec doc but had extras that the developer did not anticipate and the client didn’t explain in detail thinking that the developer just knew. Though the developer may or may not charge you extra for these it will delay the project. A simple task that may seem easy may actually affect multiple features and could delay the project significantly. A good idea is to ask your developer for updates often, usually upon some pre-agreed upon schedule before starting the project, and that way you can work through any issues or changes that may come up and keep the project on track.
The key takeaways for outsourcing are to maintain communication with your developer, explain all features and the flow of your project in detail, and when it comes to pricing do your research on potential costs to deliver a proper product.
It doesn’t matter who the app is for, what the app does, or why you’re creating the app, the developer is the one that will turn that idea of yours into a reality.
In a perfect world, the person who came up with the app idea will have all the knowledge and experience needed to complete the project themselves. Unfortunately, developing an app is a difficult process that most idea owners won’t comprehend.
If this sounds like you, there’s a good chance you’re looking for some advice on how to find the right app developer for your app idea. Don’t worry, we understand how much of a struggle this can be and we’re here to guide you through this essential process.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF PRIOR TO YOUR SEARCH
Before you can even start to search for an app developer, there are several questions you need to ask yourself to get an idea of what type of developer you need. App developers all come with different skills, backgrounds, and experience. Your job will be to find the developer that best meets your needs.
Below, we’ll detail some of the more prominent and pressing questions you should be asking yourself when looking for an app developer. Once you understand your vision, you can successfully start to inspire others with that same vision.
ARE YOU LOOKING TO LAUNCH YOUR APP ON IOS OR ANDROID?
When we have an idea for an app, we often think about all the fun and exciting stuff first. Not that it’s a bad thing, but the boring details about the app are just as important and need just as much attention.
You have to keep in mind that not every iOS developer will know how to develop an app for Android — and vice versa. Furthermore, you’ll have to consider who the app is for because certain demographics are commonly found on certain operating systems.
Once you can decide between iOS and Android — or both — you can start to narrow your list of potential developers. If you’re going to start with just one operating system, you’ll be better off hiring a specialist developer rather than a versatile developer.
WHAT TYPE OF DEVICES DO YOU WANT YOUR APP TO SUPPORT?
Much like the operating system, deciding what devices you want your app to support will play a crucial role in what developer you hire. When you finally start to sit down with potential developers, you’ll want to see examples of how their apps function on different devices.
With iOS, there won’t be a whole lot of different screen sizes since most smartphones and tablets are the same size. On the other hand, Android devices come in virtually any size, shape or form. Android developers will have to understand this if they want to successfully develop your app.
In addition to that, there’s a chance you might want your app to be available to web users, car users, smart fridges, watches, and much more. Since you won’t want to switch developers half-way through your project, these are things you’ll want to think about.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR BUDGET AND TIME FRAME IS FOR THE PROJECT?
Most app developers are going to charge different prices for their work. In a perfect world, the more they charge the higher quality you’ll receive. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and you’ll often be forced to stick to your budget anyways.
When you hire a developer, they will typically charge you hourly — the more they work, the more you pay. If you’re looking for ways to cut your budget, you can go through your list of features and decide which ones are most important. By waiting to add certain features through updates, you can pursue a developer that charges more.
Of course, timeframe will also play a role in your decision. If you need your app completed quickly, make sure you account for that in your budget.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A TEAM OF DEVELOPERS OR A SINGLE DEVELOPER?
You’re going to come across a wide range of different developers and agencies, each one coming with its own set of pros and cons. This can make it difficult when you’re finally ready to start searching, so it’s best to narrow this down early.
A team of developers will likely work quickly, be versatile, and have several developers with different talents — giving you range. Unfortunately, agencies are often more expensive, communication can be difficult depending on the size of the agency, and there’s a good chance your developers will be working on other projects at the same time.
With that being said, a freelance or self-employed developer will give you a much more personal experience and communication will be much easier because you’ll know who to contact. At the same time, they are only limited to what they know and they will often go to whoever is paying more — despite them still being less expensive than an agency.
DO YOU WANT AN IN-HOUSE DEVELOPER OR AN OUTSOURCED DEVELOPER?
Whether you’re looking at a team of developers or a single developer, you’ll also have to decide whether you want them to be a part of your brand or an extension of your brand.
Hiring them as in-house developers gives you more control over the work they perform on a daily basis. It’ll also set your app up for long-term success when you start to have developers purely focused on your app.
On the other hand, outsourcing your app development is often much less expensive and allows for much more flexibility when scaling your app. Keep in mind that having someone work remotely will create a communication barrier and you won’t really know how much they have on their plate at any given moment.
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE DEVELOPER PRIOR TO HIRING
Now that you have a much better idea of what kind of developer you’re looking for, it’s time to start finding the right one. You’ll already have a narrow list of developers to look at, but there will be some specific questions you won’t want to forget to ask during the interview process.
At the end of the process, you should be able to confirm four major things about the developers — their experience, their understanding of your vision, how their development process works, and their ability to maintain your app once released.
Since the questions below will likely spark more questions, let’s take a closer look at the most prominent questions to ask your developer before hiring them!
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS AN APP DEVELOPER?
There are multiple ways to get a feel for an app developer’s experience. First, you’ll want to look at their resume and education history because these will give you the brief rundown of everything. Next, getting to view their samples or full apps they’ve created is another great way to see their skill.
In addition to that, it’s always recommended to have them explain their experience in-person or through video chat. An app developer that talks with excitement is likely passionate about what they do. Likewise, you can often pick up when somebody isn’t that interested in what they do.
Finally, you’ll want to see what kind of companies they’ve worked with or apps they’ve built. If they have no experience in your niche, industry, or size, they likely won’t make a good match.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR?
You’ve been thinking about this app for a long time, but you likely haven’t tried to fully explain it to someone — enough that they can develop the app. When speaking with potential app developers, it’s crucial to give them enough information that they understand what you’re looking for, but not enough information that they can steal your idea.
Give them a brief idea of what you need, but focus more on how they would build it and what they could bring to the table. If it sounds like they can add a new perspective to your idea, it might be a good idea to shortlist them for later consideration.
You’ll also want to confirm they’re okay with signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) if hired. This will protect your idea when you start to give them the full details of your app.
CAN I TRUST YOU TO MAKE SWIFT CHANGES AND UPDATES TO MY APP?
Communication is just as important to developing an app as it is to developing a relationship — it takes two sides for it to work. The truth is, there are going to be a wide range of issues, fixes, new ideas, and changes of plans along the way and your developer needs to be prepared for it.
If they can’t respond to you in a timely manner and address core issues quickly, it will lead to massive delays with your time-to-market. Since you’ll also want to keep this developer long-term — beyond the release of your app — you won’t want to hire someone that will make your app look bad to the users.
Don’t be afraid to set expectations for them. Whether it’s response time or following a certain protocol, make sure you and the developer are on the same page.
WHAT DOES UI/UX DESIGN MEAN TO YOU?
If you thought you were going to develop an app without paying attention to UI/UX design, you thought wrong. In today’s modern world, there’s nothing more important to the success of your app than its user interface and user experience.
Most developers today understand this, yet most of them won’t follow the core principles surrounding this type of design process. Asking them what UI/UX design means to them will give you a clear idea of whether or not they even know what it is.
That’s not enough, though. You’ll also want to look at their past examples and ensure that they actually follow UI/UX design principles. You want a developer that walks the walk, not just talks the talk.
DO YOU PROVIDE TESTING, QUALITY ASSURANCE, AND MAINTENANCE OF THE APP?
Finally, we need to ensure your app developer will be around long-term. There’s no bigger frustration than having to hire a different developer to perform testing, quality assurance, and maintenance to the app. It’ll throw the entire project off and lead to further delays.
Keep in mind that your app is going to be prone to errors, bugs, and glitches that take away from the overall user experience. These will need to be taken care of swiftly to avoid users uninstalling the app due to neglect.
You can save yourself from this by building a solid relationship with a quality developer from the start. It’ll also make things easier if you come up with another app idea, since you’ll already have someone to work with.
By now, you should know exactly what you’re doing when you decide it’s time to start searching for an app developer. All that’s left to do is execute your plan and bring that idea to life!
If you’re ready to partner with a professional and experienced team of developers, you’ve come to the right place. Feel free to contact us today with any questions, comments, or concerns you might have about your project!