Our last blog looked at why you should hire an app agency instead of trying to do the work in-house. Now that you’ve decided to work with an app agency, it’s time to evaluate the large amounts of agencies that exist today.
Embarking on a journey to create an app for your business is both an exciting and daunting task. While the possibilities are almost limitless, this very fact can make the process overwhelming.
It’s easy to get lost in the sea of potential developers and agencies, all promising to turn your idea into the next big thing. That's why it's essential to approach this process with a clear strategy in mind.
Before you even start your search for the right app development agency, your first priority should be to have a comprehensive understanding of your business needs and requirements. It's more than just knowing what you want your app to do. It's about understanding how it fits into your broader business strategy, who your target audience is, what key functionalities your app needs, and how it should interact with any other existing systems or software your business uses.
This understanding forms the foundation of what you're looking for in an app development agency. Here’s how to evaluate agencies to see which one proves to be the right fit.
Understanding the app's objectives and its intended users is crucial for outlining your business needs. The goal may vary from providing educational content, offering entertainment, facilitating transactions, or boosting customer engagement, among other purposes. Once the app's goal is clear, the target audience can be identified. Factors like age group, geographical location, occupation, lifestyle, and tech-savviness should be considered while profiling the users.
For instance, if your app aims to teach children mathematics, your target audience will primarily be children, specifically of school-going age. Consequently, the design and functionality should be child-friendly, engaging, and easy to navigate. Alternatively, an app built for financial management for businesses will target professionals and corporations. This app would need a more sophisticated, streamlined design, and advanced features to handle complex financial tasks.
The scope of the app refers to its reach and limitations. This stage involves outlining the features and capabilities the app will offer, as well as its boundaries. Will it be a simple or complex app? Will it cater to a single function or multiple tasks?
For example, if you plan to develop an e-commerce platform, you need to decide the extent of its functionality. Will it only list products, or will it also support customer reviews and ratings? Will it have a shopping cart and allow for secure online payments? Can users create their own accounts to track their orders and save their preferences? All these factors fall within the scope and functionality of your app.
Integrations are crucial for creating a seamless user experience and enhancing the app's functionality. Depending on the nature and scope of your app, you may need to integrate it with other software or systems. These could be CRM systems, payment gateways, mapping services, social media platforms, or other third-party services.
For instance, an app designed to track fitness may need to integrate with health apps or wearables. An e-commerce app may need to integrate with a CRM system for managing customer data and with various payment gateways for transaction processing. A news app may integrate with social media platforms to allow users to share articles. Identifying these integration needs in advance will help you ensure that your app is fully functional and provides a seamless experience to users.
After identifying your business needs, the next step is to find potential app development agencies. There are several ways to go about this, from online platforms to networking events.
Review and rating websites like Clutch can be extremely helpful in your search for an app development agency. Clutch provides detailed client testimonials, project descriptions, and performance scores for agencies across various industries. These can provide invaluable insights into an agency's competency, reliability, and overall performance. You can also learn about their strengths and weaknesses, which will help in making an informed decision.
LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network, can also be an excellent platform for finding app development agencies. You can browse through company pages, check their services, and view recommendations and endorsements they've received. Moreover, LinkedIn's advanced search feature allows you to filter agencies based on location, size, and industry, among other factors.
Word-of-mouth referrals often prove to be reliable sources when searching for an app development agency. Ask around in your professional and personal circles for any recommendations. Friends, colleagues, or business associates who have had apps developed can provide honest feedback about their experience with certain agencies.
Networking can also play a crucial role in your search. Attend industry-specific events, conferences, and seminars where you can meet professionals from the field.
A basic yet effective method is using search engines like Google. A simple search with keywords related to your app requirements can lead you to potential agencies' websites. You can then explore their services, portfolio, client testimonials, and other relevant information.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can also provide useful insights. Many agencies maintain an active social media presence and regularly post about their work, culture, and achievements. This can give you a feel for their work style, ethics, and team dynamics.
Once you've found potential app development agencies, the next step is to evaluate them to find the best fit for your needs. There are several factors to consider during this process.
One of the most effective ways to evaluate the potential of an app development agency is by scrutinizing its portfolio and previous work. An agency's portfolio offers a tangible demonstration of its style, capability, and experience. Look for the diversity of their projects, quality of design, complexity of app features, and the industries they've worked with.
Are there projects similar to what you have in mind? Have they worked within your industry or target market before? The answers to these questions can significantly inform your decision and help you understand if they are suitable for your project.
Client testimonials and online reviews are invaluable when assessing an agency's credibility and reliability. They provide insights into the agency's communication skills, professionalism, punctuality, and ability to deliver on promises. Reviews that delve into the details of project management, issue resolution, and client servicing are especially informative.
Look for reviews on different platforms, including Google, the agency's website, LinkedIn, and review platforms like Clutch, to get a comprehensive understanding.
An agency's technical expertise forms the backbone of your app. Look into their expertise with different programming languages, platforms (iOS, Android, web), and the tech stack they use.
Do they stay updated with the latest technology trends and innovations? Are they experienced with modern, robust technologies that can enhance your app's performance and stability?
A well-designed app with a smooth user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) can set your app apart. An agency should understand the importance of intuitive navigation, responsive design, and aesthetic appeal.
Consider whether the agency employs user-centric design principles. Do they conduct user research, create user personas, or use wireframes and prototypes? Their approach to UX and UI design will play a key role in determining your app's usability and popularity.
Lastly, request customer referrals to speak directly with previous clients. These conversations can offer valuable firsthand insights into the agency’s overall performance and work ethic. Clients can share their experiences regarding the agency's adherence to timelines, responsiveness to feedback, problem-solving skills, and overall reliability.
Remember, choosing an app development agency is a significant decision that can heavily impact your app's success. Take your time to evaluate multiple agencies thoroughly to ensure they align with your vision, objectives, and business requirements.
At NineTwoThree Studio, we believe that your vision deserves the best digital representation.
We have an extensive portfolio covering diverse industries and projects of various scales. Our track record showcases our ability to deliver innovative and robust app solutions, whether it's a simple utility app or a complex e-commerce platform. We work closely with our clients from the inception of an idea to its final implementation, ensuring your goals and vision guide our process.
Check out our portfolio of apps or reach out to us to learn more about our mobile app development services.