April 20, 2017 - Mobile Development

9 Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Mobile App Development Company

by Antoni Żółciak
More by this author

We already wrote about mistakes people make when hiring a web development company.

The same applies to a mobile development company. Choosing a reliable partner who will help to accomplish your goal is not an easy thing. Therefore, we prepared a list of things that you can take into the account before making the decision.

Thinking faster means better

We can prepare three apps for you by tomorrow.

Will they be good? No.

Will they be useful for your customers? Hell no.

What we, and any other sensible company, would advise is to do a little research on your most important objectives and goals. We can help you with that during the project discovery phase.

Then, we’ll prepare a precise software project estimate and we’ll do our best to deliver within the timeframe.

There’s one exception that you can think about, though. It’s called MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Adopting the Lean Startup methodology we can prepare a simple app which sole goal is to outrun your potential competition.

But, if you don’t need an app done fast, you need it done right. It’s always better to take a bit more time and deliver software of the highest quality possible.

Not caring about the design

Function over form or form over function?

We prefer to think both form and function are equally important. Why not make something useful AND pretty at the same time?

Using a mixture of clean code and thoughtful UX we can get your app to rock the potential audience. We believe even a standard corporate app can be made into an immersive and unique product.

Hiring based on the price

This is just plain wrong.

Just as faster doesn’t mean better, cheaper won’t mean superior, too.

If you specify your requirements correctly and work with an experienced agency on turning them into biteable chunks of the project, you’ll get an adequate estimate of the costs.

The cost of a high-quality app may be too much for you and that’s understandeable. In that case, it’s our honest opinion that you should not go for a cheaper option just because of the cost. The solution for your situation will not be Cordova, but rather a Progressive Web App.

Don’t go the easy route. Don’t build a set of apps that are not native and not optimized. This will simply create a crappy experience for everyone.

Working without a Project Manager

Not having somebody who will work as a bridge between you (the client) and the development team is a huge mistake. Fulfilling the role of a mediator, a Project Manager is somebody who takes care of your needs in a specified timeframe.

Project Managers at Insane Lab focus on three issues:

  • Assigning tasks shouldn’t be based solely on skills, but also on personality.
  • You’ll always need an extra hour to finish something.
  • Project management is something that can change in an instant.

If you’d like to meet our PM’s before starting a project, we’d be more than happy to introduce you!

Not having your partner test things enough

Test, learn, repeat.

That’s the philosophy we implement regarding software testing. Before shipping the product we test the hell out of it.

Using both physical devices and Xamarin Test Cloud, we make sure that the apps that are delivered to you work flawlessly on more than 2,000 pieces of hardware.

The testing phase is hugely important. Let’s take Facebook, for example:

  • 1,74 billion mobile active users monthly.
  • 56,5% users that login to the site using only a mobile device.
  • 81% of advertising revenue is coming from mobile.

Do you know what would happen if Facebook shipped a flawed product?

With this number of users, the errors would have been spotted immediately. While the numbers mentioned above are huge, it doesn’t mean that we take testing less seriously.

Being afraid of outsourcing

If you outsource your first few mobile projects – provided you choose your partners wisely – you get a perfect setup for further developing the project yourself.

What you actually buy, aside from the product, is the know-how and cleanliness of the code – one that may be tough to achieve in-house.

There’s an interesting quote on First Round Review regarding developing an app with an outside firm.

It’s like sitting in an optometrist’s chair. Neither of you knows your prescription at the start, but then they ask you to read through a lens. They ask you what’s clearer (…). Through rapid feedback, you both get enough data to arrive at the right prescription.

Thinking in terms of the work they already did instead of the work they can do

Let’s say you’re an owner of a hotel. You’re on a lookout for a mobile development company that has at least a couple hotel apps in their portfolio. That way, you can check out their work before you even drop the first e-mail.

It’s all good.

Also, it’s bad. Especially if said firm is doing all those apps in a similar fashion. Then, you won’t be as original and unique as you’d probably like.

Sure, I’m reaching a bit here, but let’s think about it differently.

If you’re a startup owner and you just came up with an innovative solution, one that simply has not been done before, then, in theory, you won’t be able to find a company that “has relevant experience.”

So what do you do? You hire based on quality. You meet (or e-meet) the team, talk to them, express your thoughts and fears.

Then, and only then, you decide. You take the whole experience into consideration.

Remember, it’s not about finding a firm that’s specialized in apps for a certain kind of business. It should be about finding a firm that perfected app development in general: preferably also one that can support the app after publishing it.

Skimming on analytics

You wouldn’t run a website without Google Analytics (and possible several other tools), would you?

The same goes for mobile. You need to:

  • Look up the number of your Daily Active Users.
  • Check the retention rate often.
  • Try and think of the ways to raise the average time spent within the app.
  • Care for app crashes.
  • Measure the engagement.

An outside company that you’ll be working with on your apps should take care of this (and more, if possible) to make your customers’ experience better.

Not marketing your app properly

If you’re building something big, contact the media 2-4 weeks before the launch. As mentioned on, you should research various blogs and look for journalists who have written about a similar project (if there was one).

For that, I would personally recommend Epictions – a tool that helps you to discover both the content and the respective authors.

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