Mobile Apps: What should I prepare before talking to a software house

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Mobile apps have been the corner stone of every website presence. Quite recently, consumers have begun to prefer a very economical way of gathering, sending and receiving information. Many critical elements have come to play. In this and the upcoming articles, we will cover several of these elements that orchestrate together to give rise to the current digital doorways that yield unsurmountable convenience and pleasure.

The mobile apps that we know today are no simple ordeal. These applications may deceive through their simple looking, unassuming demeanor. They are actually portals of highly collaborative nature that connect the end user with an intricate network of designated servers. It’s all in the design and the alignment of the elements like user experience, user information, backend database and the programming language of the mobile app. How to determine the best course of action when venturing into a mobile application design and development? It is the pre-planning phase that dictates the complete requirement set of the business from the mobile app. In this article, we share some insider-secrets on what you need to prepare for before you approach a software development house for your mobile application needs.

User experience is the primary need of any business mobile application. The mobile user experience (UX) dictates the depth of data interchange and the speed of this interchange between the server and the mobile device. User information is the breadth of data available for consumption on the application. Screen real estate is the organization of menu items and multimedia in the most resourceful manner on a mobile device. The importance of these elements can never be undermined. As a business owner, you need to appreciate the expertise of art and science behind a single mobile application.

The success of any digital marketing strategy begins and ends with your functional and user-friendly mobile application design. In the current social media prevalent global communities, mobile application can either make or break a business. Before you seek help of a software house for your needs, consider conducting a brief investigation. The following touch points will prove to be extremely valuable in your pre-planning stage. Remember, a careful study before approaching a software development house will not only save you dollars but will also help you gain the much needed increase in market share. Prepare a list of questions to ask that looks something like this:

Know your users

Start with defining your business objectives. What are your services? What are your products and how will they impact your customers? Then delve into your target consumer analysis. What is their age, their level of digital literacy, their life style, education etc. Knowing your target market will help determine the mobile platform for your mobile application. Do your target consumers prefer iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Windows? You can get some valuable demographics on phone preferences of your target area. Developing an application for a particular platform ensures that you are taking care of the needs of the human on the receiving end of your mobile application. Get this information ready before you talk to your selected software houses.

Decide if you need to go native

The other possibility is a web app. Consider reading up on the difference between a native app and a web app. What capabilities do you need? Some features are best implemented on a native app than a web app. Think of your target consumer. How do you envision them when interacting with your application? What should they learn more about? The native and the web decision will definitely impact your budget, but that should not interfere with your decision.

Decide if you can produce in-house

Now this is something you may have not considered. Sometimes developing in-house may yield a better understanding between the development team and the strategy team. Sometimes, in-house development also points to a locally available software house. You can visit them regularly for updates on progress or any clarifications. Timely information sharing leads to quicker change management and turn-over. On the flip side, out-sourcing can often lead to communication gaps. As a software development house, we have taken substantial measures to minimize such pitfalls and are proud to exceed our customer satisfaction ratings.

Decide the kind of support you need

Mobile applications users look forward to updates. They suggest changes and expect them to be implemented in the upcoming versions. This is also a great way to keep your customers engaged and loyal to your business. Understanding the cost and the nature of these updates is crucial to your budget planning activities. Some applications require a monthly subscription that covers many fees associated with updates. Other apps just need periodic updates that are covered in a quotation. Remember, update approval times vary at the Google Store and iTunes App Store. The later requires two weeks for approval. Knowing about update approval times will help you determine on an update decision.

Decide the kind of backend configuration

Now information interchange on a mobile application is no simple interaction. Some applications require a database configuration to organize information at the backend. Do you need to integrate external services in your app? Look into these details too to establish a better understanding with your software house. Do you need an API to bridge between the internal and the external systems? Understanding at least the basics of what you need in the app will help the conversation flow much better. Experienced software houses will help create smoother operating apps by configuring the backend according to your needs.

Conclusion

Choosing a software house after preparing your application needs is not an easy task. But we guarantee that these points will make your communication much smoother and worthwhile. Look for software house ratings, customer testimonials, their attention to detail and their priority in fulfilling your needs. Find out what software houses your competitors are using and study their launched mobile applications. Ask questions on the current and past projects of your selected software houses. Have them demonstrate their work flow and how they arrived to their end-product. Look into their details and determine if the process they used did create the desired application. Ask questions about relevant projects and listen to the agency explain the work they did. Take notes on any features you want to adopt. Revise your requests based on these observations.

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