How to Hire an App Developer Primer (part 1)
Every day, scores of apps are being submitted to Apple for the iPad, iPod or iPhone. Just as many apps never make it to the store. They end up only partially developed or not developed at all. I should know – my app is still wandering somewhere in limbo land. The good news: I learned a great deal about hiring an app developer. In this series of articles, I’ll pass on some of the pitfalls and lessons learned.
Good Ideas Aren’t Enough
You are a business owner and have a great idea for an app that will promote your widgets. Great! But, there’s no shortage of inspirations for new apps. That is only the very first step in app development. To have a successful app, or one that is used by your target audience, you need to be totally involved from concept, through design, onto development and then onward to Apple. Don’t expect to just hand the idea over to a developer and expect miracles.
Best case scenario, the app will be completed, but will cost twice as much since the developer had to conceive of all the design bells and whistles. Most companies don’t have their own development team and the budget to play around with ideas. They need to outsource. And, with developers, time is money. Worst case scenario, your app is never finished or developed in an entirely different way than your original concept.
Think of this app as if you were adding a new product to your line of widgets. You need to conduct market research to determine need of your intended users. Also, you have to find out what other apps, if any, are offering something similar. Why are you developing this app? Is it to generate revenue or to market your business? The business model will be different depending on whether you are charging for the app or offering it for free.
Good news: In January, Apple celebrated its 10th billion download. Good with the Bad: A Localystics study showed that at 26% of the time customers try the app once and then never use it again. That first impression has to count, big time.
If you get that you’ll need to spend considerable quality time with this app idea, you got it right. You need a detailed strategy and plan on the development and marketing of your app. You also need to clearly define the purpose of your app, its features, how you expect those features to work, and what are the advantages.
The developer will want to see some specifications that you have defined for the app in order to give an accurate quote. He/she may offer suggestions on how to improve on your idea or alternate features, but this basic game plan is still needed. Once you and the developer agree on the look of the final product, there is a much better chance that your expectations will be met.