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Whether it’s enhancing customer experience, increasing revenue, or building brand awareness, mobile apps offer a multitude of benefits to both large and small businesses. Maybe you know over half a millennial-owned small businesses have a mobile app, and you’re ready to add one but you aren’t sure where to start. If so, your best bet is to work with a company that offers mobile app development services.
You’ll get the help you need to turn your vision into reality by making a budget and plan, developing a product, and testing for usability. Read on to discover all you need to know to help you make this key decision for your business.
What Are Mobile App Development Services?
Most of us use mobile apps every day. In fact, Americans spend about four hours a day using mobile internet, with almost 90% of that in apps. We turn on our phones, open our emails, check our calendars, scroll through our favorite social networks, and listen to a podcast or music. Each of those functions comes from an app developed by a team of experienced professionals. Whether it’s for convenience, security, connectivity, or entertainment, mobile apps impact our lives daily.
You don’t have to be a developer or even in the tech world to add an app to your company’s arsenal of customer engagement tools. Companies offering mobile app development services will create the software for smartphones and other mobile devices so you can focus on your core business.
No matter the industry, many businesses can benefit from developing a mobile application. With a growing number of companies offering this service, it’s essential you do adequate research before deciding which mobile app development services you need and which provider is a best fit.
Think About What You Need
When deciding on a mobile application development services company, you will need to have a clear idea of what you want your app to do. While the partner you choose will work with you to refine your needs, results will be better if you do some brainstorming and research before even reaching out to potential providers.
Start with the business or customer issue you want to resolve with the app. What are some of the sticking points for your customers that you think an app will clear up? Consider other options, such as process changes or website upgrades, and compare probable results with those of the app you’d like to create. You may decide to go a different route and choose not to create a standalone app. You may also recognize your current app needs revamping.
If an app is still on your list after this analysis, consider what you want it to do. Dream big! Functions that might seem difficult to you may not be too challenging for the professionals. Make a list of your ideal functions, and discuss it with each potential mobile app development service company you review.
As with most aspects of business, financial analysis will be critical. Think about how much you can spend on development, taking into consideration any increase in revenue you expect the app to provide. You will need to have a clear idea of your budget when speaking with developers.
How to Review Portfolios
Portfolios are an effective way to learn more about a company’s work, but they can be a bit overwhelming to someone who’s not in the mobile app development services industry. Focus on a few key points when deciding between companies:
Platforms: Make sure the company has experience in the platform you’ll be using. Specifically, consider their expertise in creating iOS, Android, cross-platform, and web applications.
Type of app: Think about what you want the app to do and review the portfolio with that in mind. For example, if you’re a retailer, look for examples of e-commerce apps. If you want to include GPS functions for delivery, you’ll want a company with this kind of experience.
Design: Design is crucial for a well-received application, so remember to include it in any evaluation. Look for variety, style, and a modern look and feel.
Professionalism: Use the portfolio to evaluate the company’s services and the level of professionalism you would expect from a vendor.
Related: Top Tips to Stay Current in Tech
Red Flags When Hiring a Mobile App Development Service Company
So you’ve checked out the mobile app development services company’s portfolio, and it looks great. Your research will also need to confirm you’re choosing an honest, reliable, and knowledgeable provider. If you see some of the following behavior, be wary:
Flaky employees: Mobile app development requires trust and communication, and you want to feel like the company has your best interests at heart. Make sure they listen and respond to your needs promptly and respectfully.
Over budget: While there may always be changes during any development process, budgets are necessary for any business decision. Choose someone that will be transparent about potential costs and upfront about the tradeoffs with limited budgets.
No limits: There are many extremely capable individuals working in mobile app development. There are not, however, miracle workers. Be cautious if developers or salespeople try to convince you that “anything is possible.”
Too many roadblocks: While claiming anything is possible can be a concern, so can a tendency to say “no.” You know the functions you want the mobile app to have, but you don’t have the technical expertise to know if a developer can create them. Make sure to get several opinions before deciding to change your expectations.
Bad references: Make sure to check references, ask for referrals, and scour social media reviews. When viewing them, try to read between the lines. Does the client seem satisfied with the final product, the cost, and the process itself? If not, you might want to consider someone else.
What to Expect with a Mobile App Development Service Company
Once you’ve decided on a developer and signed a contract, here’s what you can expect during the mobile app development process.
Research and feasibility study: The company you select will work with you to refine strategy and needs so the final product fits your specifications. You will already have explored some of this, but the developers will now be able to help you refine your ideas and give you feedback on the tech options available to you.
Design: Before starting the code for your app, designers will develop its look and feel. This process includes creating wireframes, which are digital sketches that allow you to see what the finished app will look like. Using these, they will work to build a user journey and refine the user experience.
Development and testing: Once the design is complete, developers can code the app. Testing for functionality, usability, and the overall user experience, both during and after development, is vital, as well.
Launch and maintenance: Also called deployment, the launch is what you’ve been waiting for! But don’t forget about maintenance. You now have a mobile app, and you’ll need to keep it up to date. You’ll also need to process and securely maintain any data you receive through the app itself.
Considering hiring a company that offers mobile app development services? Jackrabbit can help. No matter your budget, timeframe, or need, we can work with you to deliver a product your customers will love. Contact us to get started.
Let’s Make Your Idea Reality
We deliver value to partners through mobile strategy expertise, user-centered design, and lean methodology. Take a look around our work portfolio and drop us a line, we’d love to chat.