App development and design have become an integral part of any business’s success. No longer is it sufficient to provide quality products and services to your target audience because customers are now looking for convenience, ease of use and simplicity. According to stats, the global app downloads will reach 284 billion by 2020 and so you can’t afford to stay out of the app game if you aren’t already in it.
However, the question that comes to mind when you think about designing and developing a spam free app is that who is going to create it? With both designers and developers overflowing the international market, it is challenging to choose one agency over the other, especially when you aren’t aware of what you should look for. You have to remember that while everyone will claim to be an expert in the app development industry because they want you to hire them, you have to be diligent about picking out any company that says it has the experience you need.
To help you figure out who the best possible option is, we’ve constructed a list of things which you need to look for in a creative agency when you want to develop an app for your business.
A rich portfolio
You may be right if you think that you need an agency that specializes in developing apps from your particular industry. But that doesn’t mean that that should be the only experience they have. While it is crucial that they understand the ins and outs of your business and can develop an application accordingly, they should also have experience across multiple digital media channels so they are diverse and can provide you with a wide range of solutions. Also, don’t just look at the portfolio and take their word for it but instead download the apps on your own mobile device and rate them according to functionality and design.
A streamlined process
An agency which has spent years in the industry knows that web apps aren’t developed on a whim. You need proper planning and preparation if you have any hope to survive in the market. The company you’re picking out must have a formal series of steps which they follow when a potential client comes to them.
They should first ask you questions, analyze your business and its audience and then offer possible scenarios of how the app can be developed. Without these necessary steps in a process, you will be trusting newbies that don’t know how to run a digital agency.
An iron-clad online reputation
It goes without saying, the company you’re trusting with your mobile app development should have a stellar online reputation. Check out their website and app and check how it performs on several browsers and smartphone so you can better assess their skills.
Also, check online reviews and ratings. Always remember that no real business can have a 100% success rate, and there will be some negative comments and ratings, but that will be fine as long as most people have good things to say about the agency.
Good reputation with previous customers
Once you’ve been through the portfolio and checked their online status, you need to talk to the customers who have worked with them previously. Find the business on Google, Yelp, and other such communities and don’t forget to ask the company for testimonials as well.
If you want to be assured of the choice you’re making, call the clients and ask about their experience. Remember to talk to them about the areas which are most crucial for you such as the design and features because while one company may provide one functionality, they won’t necessarily offer what you’re looking for.
An open communication channel
Much like any other relationship, if you want things to run smoothly between you and the agency, you need to ensure that both you and they are good at communication. Determine if the company isn’t just telling you about the processes they will go through, but also keep you in the loop during these steps.
Ask them if they prefer using the phone, SMS, Skype or the email as their communication channel and be sure to schedule regular status updates, so you are not kept in the dark until it’s too late.
Also, find out exactly who you’ll be talking with from the agency because not everyone will be able to explain all the processes that go on inside the UI/UX of app development. Don’t forget to ask about the documentation which you’ll be provided with once the project is complete because this is an excellent way to avoid any misunderstandings.
Reasonable pricing options
Finally, you have to remember that because each agency has a unique pricing structure, you will need to ask them about the one they follow. For instance, while one company may charge a fixed rate for a particular type of service, the other will charge you by the hour. Asking this question and opting for an agency which is reasonable will help you avoid any extra costs which may creep up when you’re not aware of what’s being charged. Remember, the company’s job isn’t over at app design and development, and they’ll also need to factor in testing and revision costs before you agree to the terms set on the contract.
Because of the sheer vastness of the industry, it is integral that you consider all of these things before you pick out any agency. However, one thing which you must remember is not to rush the process and narrow down your search to 3-4 agencies, so it is easier to decide. Once you’ve shortlisted the potential candidates, compare them according to experience, services provided and price to be sure that you’re making the right decision.
So, the next time you’re looking for an app design and development agency, make sure you look through this list of favorable characteristics.
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health-related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.