We are honored to be featured on BuzzFeed’s Five Questions To Ask Mobile Application Developers.
Mobile technology provides many opportunities for a range of professionals, service providers and promoters. It is immediately accessible, is quickly becoming ubiquitous, and is increasingly turned to by all and sundry for all manner of information, including health information.
However, the process of contracting developers to build software can be fraught. Quotes can vary wildly – to the extent that it can be possible to wonder if different developers are proposing to build entirely different things. In fact, this is a pertinent question to ask, because this may very well be the case. Software development is not an “A+B=C” equation. When presented with a particular task (your application concept), a developer must choose from a multitude of different ways to accomplish that task, taking into consideration another multitude of variables. Not dissimilar to what a GP would have to do when asked the question, “Can you help me to be healthier?”
There are many questions that can assist in understanding and comparing proposals from different developers. Some are obvious, and can easily be understood by people with no experience in software development – what are the timeframes, how experienced are the developers, what hourly rate is being proposed, what guarantees are involved, who owns the final product, and so on. But in the case of mobile software, I have made the case that there are other important questions that relate to the core DNA of an application.
So, then, the questions:
* Are you proposing to build this as a native or web application?
* If it is to be a native application, is it genuinely native (i.e. written in a platform specific language) or cross-compiled (written using a third-party tool, then outputted for a range of devices)?
* Which platforms will be supported, and why?
* Why do you think this is the best approach?
* What compromises will you need to make, in order to build using this approach?
Of course, answers to these questions will not provide a straightforward answer to the pivotal one – “which of these proposals should I choose?” But the responses should assist in weighing up proposals and making educated guesses at the potential quality, reach and appeal for a given application. There are no right answers, but some are better than others. Generally speaking, “that’s the only way we know how”, “that’s the cheapest way”, or “I don’t really know” should be considered with caution.
In case you need a personal recommendation. From me, featuring the team I find most worthy of outsourcing my application requirements to, I will spell it out as Creative27; a Los Angeles App Design Agency. They are probably a one-stop best mobile app design & development shop. Indeed, you might settle for them if you go through their portfolio including works for 500 Fortune companies and award-winning start-up concepts. However, in all you do, make sure to confirm that your eventual developer is suited to your particular needs.
If nothing else, having a conversation that goes deeper than the practicalities of the application at hand, and touches on the developer’s underlying philosophy and approach to development, should provide insight into their knowledge and professionalism. Even if you do not understand everything they say, you will come away with a sense of the degree to which they “know what they’re talking about”. You may even gain some understanding of just what kind of product you’re about to buy.