How to get the most out of your mobile app development company

Frank Zinghini

Founder & CEO

The hardest thing in many endeavors is moving from idea to execution. How many people have you met who have a great idea for a novel? How many of those people have actually written one? I’d hazard a guess that the second number is much, much smaller than the first.

The same concept holds true for app development. Lots of people have great ideas, but very few actually follow through until it’s done. That’s because executing on an idea often takes different skill sets than those you use just conceiving it. I can come up with an idea for a novel, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to actually write one. That’s where a mobile app development company comes in. We’re like a ghostwriter and publisher rolled into one.

Companies like ours take your idea, figure out how to execute it, complete it, and provide ongoing support after the launch. Applied Visions intends to make sure every application we develop is as successful as possible.

But there are also some things that can be done from your end that can make the whole process smoother, more efficient, and more successful.

  1. Have a goal, not just an idea

You can’t reasonably expect every mobile application development company to provide a full monetization plan, business approach, and marketing strategy without a little help and guidance from you. When you come together with a development company, you need more than just a general idea of what kind of app you want us to produce.

We need to know what your goals are for your app. Who do you think will actually use the app? Which platforms do you want to work with? Are you looking to court investors, monetize it through ads, charge per download, or sell the whole thing to another business?

There’s a lot to sift through before a single line of code is written. As I’ve said before, end-to-end development is about way more than just code; it’s about taking an idea and turning it into something that is real, well-designed, and profitable. We can help you with the planning stages, of course, but we need to be able to have these discussions. The more information you can bring to us at the start, the better off the whole project will be.

  1. Insist on continuous quality assurance

Testing isn’t fun. It’s tedious and time-consuming (though less so since we developed Code Dx, which takes some of the pressure off). It’s also absolutely necessary, and don’t let any mobile app development company tell you otherwise. (And especially don’t let them let your customers do the testing for you.)

At Applied Visions, we use continuous integration and continuous assurance—each time new code is checked in, the app is rebuilt, scanned for issues, and tested. It’s far easier to isolate variables this way, and makes our quality assurance much more efficient. It lets us keep to our schedule, hit our milestones, and release a better product at the end of development.

But after the app is launched, QA doesn’t stop. Product support has to continue in some fashion, and handing it off to a third party isn’t always the best idea, especially for commercial software, embedded software, and mobile apps. New features may be requested, new problems might arise due to the introduction of new hardware, and a new OS version may be released that requires an app update. These are just some of the things that your original mobile app development company should handle.

  1. Tell your mobile app development company what you want

This may be the hardest thing to communicate nicely, but I will try. Some clients have a very strong idea of what they want, but don’t seem to want to tell us. Instead, they have us develop a mockup first, and respond with, “I love it! Just change everything.” They know what they want when they see it.

This is one of those situations that can be frustrating for developers. We understand, of course; it can be hard to articulate exactly what you’re looking for. But, in the same vein as having a strategy before you begin development, if you have strong opinions about what your app should look like, how it should function, or an idea of the general layout, don’t be afraid to speak up. Any decent company will be happy to accommodate you, but we can’t do that unless we know what you want.

If you aren’t sure what you want, that’s all right—we can figure it out together. That’s all part of the mockup process. But if you’ve got ideas before we get started, well… share them!

All of this is really to say that your mobile app development company, be it Applied Visions or someone else, should be more of a partner than an outsourced code mill. Companies like ours want to work with you—which doesn’t mean we don’t work for you. We want to help you succeed, not help you fail. So help us help you. You’ll be glad you did.

For more information on selecting and working with developers for your upcoming app project, please download a guide for CEOs about creating great software from Applied Visions today.