[title type=”h4″ font_size=”default” letter_spacing=”” font_weight=”” align=”left” font_family=”” color=”” bottom_indent=”” sc_id=”sc1382024493901″]App Development Company over a freelance App Developer?[/title]
One of the questions we get asked most frequently is [highlight sc_id=”sc1382027223520″]why use an App Development company [/highlight]over a freelance developer?
Being one of the fastest growing Mobile app companies in the UK, unsurprisingly we would recommend an app development agency/studio over a freelancer (shock horror!), but I thought it would be good idea to present our rational behind it.
Typically I always recommend an agency model for app development. By agency I mean a single app development company that handles all elements of a mobile app build – This would normally include User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX), Design/Creative, look & feel, development, testing and deployment, as well as all the processes that string these elements together.
I believe there are six key factors that need consideration:
- Everything you need for an app solution under one roof: The beauty of using an app development company is that they should provide a comprehensive service offering absolutely everything required to take a mobile app from idea to market. Like every IT project, Mobile Apps can be hugely complex and often we find the development of the code will only be 50% of the overall project. More often than note a freelance developer will only provide the coding and will look to you to provide the screen designs.
- Design in tandem with development: Similar to website design the look, feel and pure aesthetic of mobile apps need to be both beautiful and usable (as well as of course functional!). Just think of the apps you use the most – They most likely combine great functionality with a stunning user interface. Marrying the Design side of an app to it’s functional purpose is without doubt the hardest challenge for any app project. Designers must work hand in hand with developers to get the best possible results in the quickest timescales. If you have 2 independent contractors working in isolation this can prove massively risky for any project. This doesn’t even take into consideration that experienced mobile UI designers are in massively short supply – Even if you manage to find great freelance developer, without finding the equivalent level of expertise on the design side, the project will not yield a good end product.
- The importance of a refined project process: Ok, so you managed to find great freelance designers & developers – happy days? Probably not. What about the delivery process that stitches all elements of the project together? At Creation Application we have spent over 3 years refining and developing a project delivery process that is both agile & robust enough to manage the iterative nature of app development. You can view it here. Getting an Mobile app idea from paper all the way to a product that is fit for purpose is a challenge – The importance of strong business analysis, project management, documentation and testing are in my opinion as important as the development of the code. About 30% of all new projects that Creation Application pick up are mobile app projects that simply haven’t met the clients expectations. They were either not fit for purpose or were not what the client actually wanted.
- Quality Assurance & Testing: Like any IT project Quality Assurance is of the utmost importance in any app development. I would actually argue with the iterative nature of native app development, formal QA is even more important, simply as you may well have in excess of 50 builds before the app is ready. In the freelance world other than the client doing some user acceptance testing, who tests the solution is fit for purpose? Yes, it will normally be the same person that wrote the original code. Bit like marking your own homework right? At Creation Application on top of formal unit testing, smoke testing, regression testing and user acceptance testing, all code goes through peer-to-peer reviews. Having a colleague review a developer’s work has proved to be wonderful motivation for a developer to produce bug free code, at the first time of asking!
- Warranty & Contract. Never underestimate the importance of a having a robust contract in place. It covers all parties in the event of things going sideways. Most freelancers will work via one of the online contractor sites and contracts are for the best part never put into place outside of setting up terms for payment. Another important factor to consider is that most development agencies will offer a warranty on the end product for a number of months, again backed up by a contract.
- Business Continuity & in-life support. What happens if disaster strikes and your servers are hacked or your middleware fails 12 months after your project has been put live? If you don’t have in-life operational support for your product, you and your users are in trouble. Most development companies will offer some form of maintenance agreement for in-life support. At Creation Application we offer all clients 24/7 support with Service Level Agreements across a range of operational KPI’s. It’s not just about getting a product to market – It’s also offering a client the peace of mind that if something goes wrong, issues can be addressed and service restored within a pre-agreed timescale.
So there you have it – 6 reasons why you should use an app development company over a freelancer! Yes, a freelancer will on the face of it be cheaper but once you consider all the other costs required to get an app development project to market and the potential risks associated, the choice (in my opinion) is a simple one!
If you are interested in getting a mobile app solution developed or just have a question, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.