June 10 2016

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Mobile App Developer

Developing mobile apps is one of the most exciting and lucrative ventures. Because nearly everyone has a smart phone, that makes the pool of potential customers for a new app, huge. As mobile continues to becomes more of a priority for businesses, the need to hire mobile developers becomes a necessity. While you’re on the quest to hire the best developer for the job, it is important to ask these five key questions.

1: What is the difference between desktop development and mobile development?

Obviously, there are a number of differences between developing desktop apps and developing mobile apps. These differences range from different screen sizes and resolutions to limitations of memory and battery power. Asking a potential developer what they see as the key differences serves two purposes. First, it ensures they understand the practical limitations and intriguing possibility of developing for a less robust device than a desktop PC. Second, it lets you measure their assessment of the app user market–the customer psychology that engages someone with a smartphone app that would not engage them in any other medium.

2: What types of apps have you developed in the past?

This is one of the most practical questions to ask mobile developers because while they may not have built an app similar to yours in the past, they may have built apps with many similarities.

Get references. On the most basic level, talking to these clients helps you ascertain the exact role that this particular developer played in the creation of an app. It also allows you to ask if this developer previously delivered products on time and within budgetary constraints as well as how they perform under pressure.

3: How will you manage updates?

One of the most important aspects of any app is that it receives relevant updates. Consequently, one of the most important questions to ask a developer is how they will manage and deliver these updates. This gives you an opportunity to understand how the developer manages workflow, creates deadlines, and communicates with a larger team. All of this “behind the scenes” info is vital in understanding how the developer will create, deliver, and maintain updates to the app itself.

4: Have you ever migrated an app from one operating system to another?

Because of the financial necessity of developing apps for multiple operating systems, it is important to ascertain whether the developer has ever migrated an app from one operating system to another. If they answer “yes,” be sure to ask follow-up questions about unique problems they faced when doing so and how they developed solutions to help successfully transition the app.

5: How can I measure the success of the app?

Just as you would want to review your web analytics to see how your website is performing, the same is true for your mobile app. Ask the developer if there will be an integrated analytics system or if will be a third-party tracking system.  Analytics will help you measure user interaction and behaviors and are critical to the success of your app.

6: Where is your development team located?

Many developers outsource their development to another country. This can be a major concern, especially when it comes to being able to easily communicate with the developers while they are designing the project.  Asking this simple question can prevent a lot of problems in the future.

7: How will we communicate about the progress of app?

The quality of your app often depends on how clearly and often you communicate throughout the development process. Will you receive daily or weekly updates? Will you be communicating with one person or many people? Understanding communication and timelines upfront will make things much smoother and set realistic expectations for everyone involved. The team at Mobilozophy typically meets with clients weekly.

8: Who will own the mobile app? 

Typically the individual or company paying for a mobile app will own the finished product but you may want to ask for a “copyright assignment” or “work made for hire” contract. The document will establish confidentiality and state that you own the app’s design, source code and all of its content.

Choosing a mobile app development company is a crucial decision. It’s best to select your partner in this journey very carefully. The questions above will help you learn more about the companies you’re considering and help you make the right choice for your business.


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