The Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring an App Developer for Your Company
In 1997, Nokia’s mobile app developers launched a game that would change the world forever. Though they probably didn’t expect it at the time, the ‘Snake’ game on the Nokia 6110 is considered the first mobile application.
Of course, at the time, no phones had access to the internet. Snake was a simple, built-in mobile application that didn’t offer much. However, it was the start of a revolution for app developers. In due time, the iPod came out, also with built-in games.
Much, much later, Apple released the iPhone, and along with it came the App Store. While it’s wrongly referred to as the first mobile app distribution service, it was the spark that lit the fuse.
The release of the App Store launched other app development companies into a frenzy of developments and releases. The constant competition and striving have brought us the marvellous free app market we see today.
Let’s investigate the consequences of these software development events in our world today. We’ll take a closer look at two things. Firstly, the importance of being available on mobile. Secondly, the advantages of having mobile app developers on staff.
The Importance of Having a Mobile App
While we’re all aware that mobile has taken a lot of ground recently, very few of us are aware of how much ground. Let’s take a closer look at how many users prefer mobile, and how it affects us as consumers and the mobile app development industry.
In 2019, 3,200,000,000 people had an iOS, Android or another smartphone device, and that number increases daily. By the end of the same year, over 4,000,000,000 unique users accessed the internet from a mobile device from the United Kingdom and all across the world.
Furthermore, mobile application downloads have been increasing rapidly. Without counting repeat downloads or app updates, 204,000,000,000 app downloads occurred in 2019. That’s a 45% increase from 2018, and 2020 promises an even greater increase.
Many businesses have mobile web-optimized sites. They allow users to access desktop functions from phone browsers. Let’s take a closer look at how the two options compare.
Free-Standing Apps Vs Mobile-Optimized Sites
In our mobile-driven times, most companies aim to be available on mobile. Typically, they accomplish this in one of two ways.
A mobile-optimized site is essentially a version of the desktop site but repackaged for mobile. It’s generally inexpensive, straightforward, and easy to come by.
The advantage of a browser-based site, rather than an application, is that it takes up no additional space on your phone. The disadvantage is that 10% or less of mobile use takes place on browser sites. 90% 0f all mobile activity takes place via an application.
A free-standing application, on the other hand, is something we’ve all come to know and love. It’s a lovely logo on your app list or home screen that launches you straight to the place you want to go.
As a contrast to the browser app, a free-standing application requires phone space to function. Additionally, the phone must have a certain amount of processing power to carry most applications.
However, a talented mobile app development companies can create a useful application that’s both efficient and compact. Since most users get drawn towards iOS and Android applications, you’d do better to create an app than a browser site.
Pre-Packaged Software Vs Custom-Made
Perhaps you’re looking for an application for in-house use, rather than to release to the public. In this case, you don’t necessarily need to hire an app development company.
Many development services and companies exist which try to take advantage of the niches in the technology market. The chances are excellent that you’ll find shelf software to meet your needs.
However, once again, both of these options have pros and cons. Shelf software has the advantage in time constraints and ease of purchase.
Since off-the-shelf software is for the general market, it’s usually readily available. You can save the time of waiting for an App Developer to code the new application. However, you may also end up paying for many features you don’t need and never wanted.
On the other hand, when you pay for custom software development to create an application, you get what you want and need. If you hire an award winning designer, the costs will be high. It may be considerably more than off-the-shelf designs because you’re not sharing the price with the free market.
However, if you’re willing to settle for relatively new mobile app developers who have just completed university, you may be able to strike a bargain. New app developers are often willing to work for less in return for the ability to build a reputation and you’ll often end up with a high quality product.
You can also try working through an app development company that pays developers a set amount every month in return for constant employment. Such companies are often able to offer much better prices for the same type of work.
Finding the Right Developer for Your Company
What Is an App Developer?
Before we delve into the topic of which developer is the right one, we must ask a question. What are app developers?
Simply put, app developers are individuals with the ability to construct and code mobile apps. Not all such individuals have necessarily gone to university for the purpose. There are many excellent self-training tools available online.
Many of the most successful developers in the industry taught themselves as a hobby or a secondary income stream. Nevertheless, a vast amount of accredited developers are available across the world.
Before you embark on a journey to find your app developer, you need to take the time to lay some preliminary groundwork for your mobile app development project. We’ve constructed a list of questions to help you figure out what you need before you start looking.
Question One: What Is the Purpose of the Application?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is what you want the app to do. If you want an application that you can sell to the general public, your requirements will differ from when you’re making an in-house application, or for the requirements of iOS and Android.
We’ll have a look at the impact of the target audience in a moment. However, at this impasse, let’s discuss the importance of the app’s purpose and product design.
If you require an intensely statistical app with many formulae, you should consider a designer or team with expertise in that field. If you’re looking to design a basic data entry program that will consolidate information from various employees, that’s different.
The type of designer, and price of the app development services, vary significantly based on what you intend to do. If you need your app to have multiple layers of encryption, you need an employee with skills in that direction.
Almost all developers have at least a basic knowledge of how to encrypt. However, if your in-house app is going to be transporting the personal details of clients, simple encryption isn’t enough – you need a cutting edge product.
On the other hand, if you’re creating an app for the general public to track weight loss, little encryption is required. However, you probably want the skills of a mobile app development company with high qualiy design abilities.
Question Two: Who Is the Target Audience?
If the target audience is a specific team within your company, then you need to plan your mobile apps accordingly.
Let’s say you’re creating an application for your tech team to log issues while they’re doing customer repairs. If you give technologically-minded people a clunky, archaic app with too much red tape, you’ll get an unhappy tech team.
For that type of project, you require a sleek, streamlined, and functional app. However, since you’re working with the technologically savvy, it’s probably best to have an encrypted app and website.
Let’s look at a contrasting example. Let’s say you create a program that allows your technologically challenged admins to report earnings.
In this case, you want a basic app. The tech team would probably want some cool functions. You’d have had your designer add some bells and whistles.
However, when you’re working with a team that isn’t comfortable with technology, you want the reverse. An app for this target market should allow users to get in, input data in a simple manner, and submit.
At the same time, however, you probably don’t want the app to look like the dog’s breakfast. Nothing upsets someone that isn’t technologically savvy as much as the implication of that fact. You’ll want the designer to make something basic and has good user experience, but is still beautiful.
Let’s, just for a moment, assume that you’re designing the program for use by the general public. If so, things are a bit different.
When you’re creating an application for sale on the open market, it has to have a lot more finesse than an in-house app. While a simple open-and-shut app will probably please most employees, it’s unlikely to do the same for customers.
When your target market is the public, you need a bug-free, beautiful application. However, it would help if you still considered the age of your intended audience and do market research.
If your target is elderly, you don’t want anything flashy or overly complicated. But again, don’t make it seem like you’re dumbing it down.
On the contrary, if you’re marketing for children, you want bright colours and lots of effects.
Question 3: How Much Would You Be Able to Pay?
With the design of every application, budget is an essential element. However, this is perhaps especially true when you plan to release mobile apps for commercial use.
When you produce something for the market economy, you have little to no guarantee of its success. However, at the same time, you also need to create a much more finished product.
You can’t release a mobile app for sale that has many bugs or isn’t pleasing to the eye. The chances are that that means paying more in the design stage. But how much are you willing to pay?
Are you willing to pay multiple mobile app development companies or teams to help create the finished product that you want? If you want to have an app that’s well-designed, efficiently encrypted and works well, you may have to.
Some app developers are encryption experts but fail when it comes to design concepts. Others are good at the mechanics and design, but awful at encryption.
In the end, it comes down to the question, are you willing to pay and manage multiple mobile app development designers for less? The easier route is the more expensive one, paying one extraordinary mobile app development company with all the skills you need.
Question 4: Will it Be Profitable?
Whether you’re making a mobile app for sale, or in-house use, you need to ask yourself if it’s worthwhile.
Well-designed apps can certainly improve the ability of your workforce to get things done. However, it would help if you considered how long it would take to pay for the design.
If it’s going to take a year of profits from a certain team to design an application that saves ten minutes a day, is it worthwhile? Will the time that you’re saving translate into enough value, whether in terms of time or money?
On the other hand, if you’re producing the program for public use, you’re likely to have at least a few sales. Users love to try the latest thing on the market if it catches their attention.
However, you still need to ensure that your app is unique enough to warrant attention. If you plan on producing a basic.epub reader with no real perks, will it sell? These are difficult questions to answer, but they’ll give you clarity.
Question 5: Am I Willing to Take a Chance on New Talent?
Question five is possibly the most valuable question on the list before you search. It would be best if you decided whether you’re willing to take a chance on someone who isn’t well-established in the app and web development industry.
There are many designers out there who have the skills and are dying to make a reputation for themselves. If you’re willing to stake a bet on such a one, you can likely get your app done for much cheaper.
At the other end of the spectrum, an established designer comes with some degree of certainty. That’s not to say, however, that an established developer can’t be terrible at their job.
If you decide that you’re willing to take a risk on someone new to the mobile app development industry, you have something else to consider. Courses on becoming an app developer are run of the mill now, and a lot cheaper than they used to be.
Do you, perhaps, have someone in your company who would be willing to become an in-house developer if you pay for the course? If so, the price of a course may be lower overall than hiring an external app development company.
Consider having your employee sign an agreement that they’ll serve as your developer for a certain amount of time before they move on. Many companies offer similar agreements in return for paying for workplace improvement.
Constructing an Application Plan
Once you’ve answered all the above questions, you’re almost ready to take to the open market and search for your new mobile app development worker. However, before you even think of engaging someone, you should create an application plan.
If you’ve decided to go the route of forging your in-house developer, some of this may not apply. However, many of them will be essential.
Your software development and application plan should contain the following:
- The target market. Specify age groups and technological ability.
- The application purpose. Give the app developers a detailed outline of what the app should do and how you think it should work.
- Your budget. Whether you’re taking the risk on a freelancer, or hiring someone established, be up-front about what you’re willing to pay.
- A detailed concept of the type of imagery and design you’d like.
- What kind of encryption you’ll be requiring. It’s a vital aspect when considering designers, as they know their capabilities.
Be careful not to provide too much personal or company information during this process. You want the prospective employee to know for what they’re signing up. However, at the same time, you don’t want unnecessary information floating around on the internet.
If you’re looking for app developers on the open market, you’re likely to get many applications. Some of them will be simply ludicrous, and you’ll know not to consider them.
For instance, if the app developer can’t submit a well-written proposal, you probably don’t want them writing your app. However, if you’re planning on providing all the text for the application, that might not be a problem.
Nevertheless, it would be best if you had your wits about you during your quest. Here are some things to be particularly wary of:
- Unrealistic claims. If an applicant claims that they can develop a comprehensive service from start to finish in 48 hours, it’s probably too good to be true.
- Overeager applicants. While there’s a lot of competition in the market, and people are desperate, the efficient designer knows their skill. They may seem excited or overwhelmed, but they’re unlikely to try and push their luck too badly. Avoid app developers that try to make you choose quickly, without due process.
- Unfeasible rates. If a prospective employee is willing to work for much too cheap, it may be a reason for concern. If they’re from foreign shores, look into the exchange rate, since the conversion may turn your fee into a small fortune where they are. However, at the same time, always interview applicants carefully.
- Inexperienced applicants. By inexperienced, we don’t mean in the marketplace. Many applicants are new to the business of development but have excellent skills. However, if a prospective developer has never created an application, they’re not the one for you. Even applicants that create applications merely for experience have a lead on those who have never created any.
- Dubious references. Typically, references are a wonderful thing to have in the workplace. However, if all an applicant’s references seem too good to be true, they may well be. If an app developer has found a way to gain illegitimate references or fake ones, they may seem overly eager to rely on them. That’s not always the case, but check references as well as you’re able.
Now that we’ve looked into some of the things that you should avoid let’s look at some positive points. When you’re reviewing applications, you should look for the following:
- Applicants that are willing to work a trial for little to no price. When you’re dealing with freelancers or newcomers to the industry, it’s good when they offer to prove themselves.
- Interested parties who are certain of their skills often offer to create a demo for you for a small amount. You can even take it a step farther and offer worthy applicants a trial period of a day or two, at a nominal wage, so you can see who has the best skill.
- Applicants who are pleasant, but still self-assured. There are few things as bad as having a boor in the workplace. No matter how talented the person is, you don’t want to get stuck with someone with whom no-one wants to work.
- At the same time, however, they should not be prone to beg or grovel. You’ll find that many people who are willing to grovel, flatter constantly, or beg are unsure of themselves. Preferably, you want someone with some assurance of their ability.
- Applicants with whom you can communicate. You don’t want to get stuck with an employee with whom you can’t communicate. Look for someone who can take your simple commands and convert them into action.
- Very few bosses, owners, or managers know the difference between the front-end and back-end mechanics. Even less do they know what to call the different parts of the application screen.
- Therefore, a worthwhile applicant will understand the essence of your instruction and be able to apply it. Even if that means both parties are drawing pictures and pointing at screen parts to finetune. Having an employee who understands you is of the utmost importance.
We’ve looked at so much during this article, and we could have looked at more besides. However, this should be a basic guide in how, and why, to choose an app developer.
We’re not endeavouring to offer you a full course on the topic, so let’s recap some of the important aspects.
Firstly, our world is changing, and 90% of all mobile app activity takes place on applications. Therefore, any business wishing to thrive in the world of mobile should have apps. While they give you an edge in reaching out to potential customers, apps can also be useful in-house.
Secondly, there are many choices in mobile service. You can choose to have a browser-based app, but only 10% of all mobile internet activity occurs via the browser. While this option is better than none, it probably won’t give you the reach you want.
Thirdly, if you’re looking for in-house mobile apps, you can often choose off-the-shelf software. However, this often leaves you paying for many tools you don’t need. You’re also likely to end up paying for a subscription of some sort. Custom-built applications offer what you need, and the way you need it.
However, building applications means that you need a reliable web developer. Fortunately, there are many looking for work, and you won’t have to look too hard.
Before you approach any designers, remember to have a plan which details:
- Your target market
- The app purpose
- Your budget
- Basic design concepts
Once your plan is ready, search for developers that:
- Fit your budget range.
- Can communicate with you.
- Have the necessary skill sets to create the type of app you need.
- Don’t face challenges with design principles.
- Don’t try to force you into a quick decision.
- Are willing to work for a trial period.
If you follow all the hints, tips, and advice that we’ve given you here, you’re likely to have an in-house developer in no time. When you do, you’ll be able to make great strides in many areas.
You can create applications for communicating with your clients more efficiently. You may also design apps through which they can order. Additionally, you could construct a wide array of different apps for your employees. Stay on the lookout for new opportunities.
However you decide to do it, and whomever you choose to work with, you can’t go wrong with having an App Developer in our current markets.