Mark Mason
Mark Mason 15 March 2013
Categories Mobile

7 mistakes to avoid when choosing a mobile app developer

Having developed over 170 apps across a range of industry sectors, we've heard some scary stories about app development.


Does the development company outsource their work or use freelancers? Many companies do this to save money on development. Adding another party into the equation can cause a breakdown in communication. In addition to this, you cannot be sure how well written the code is, and what language it will be documented in! Our advice is to be wary of any agencies that outsource their work. A visit to their offices can be a great way to help you decide whether they are the right app developer for you.



Buy cheap, buy twice!

The cheapest quote may seem like the most appealing, but is it the best route to take? Often development companies will underprice projects to get the work and then struggle to deliver. It’s important to compare the different quotes and timescales given so you can clearly see who is underquoting. Also, ask to see their management figures, this should give you a good idea of how well they are managing their finances. With so many agencies going into liquidation, we think this is a very important factor.



Soup-to-nuts service?

Can the development company you choose actually do everything you need them to do? Aside from developing your app, can they advise you on your mobile roadmap and provide you with mobile consultancy? Are they clued up on app security? Do they have UX and UI specialists? Do they have the skills needed to integrate your app with your legacy systems? Can they advise on how you should market your app and help you continually evaluate how it’s doing?



Any previous experience?

Look at previous case studies and testimonials! This is so important and will help you decipher whether they have made a good impression with their clients. From previous projects, you can also see if they have developed any projects similar to the one you want developing.



Failure to plan

At Mubaloo, before any development starts, we go through a planning and design cycle. This results in a Functional Design Spec (FDS) which our clients will then sign off when they are happy with it. We also audit client APIs to make sure they are good for mobile. Only then do our developers start working on the project.



Never pay up front

Paying too much up front could leave you out of pocket if there are any problems down the line with your app or the development company. Projects should be broken down into a series of iterations, each of which should be delivered in full before you pay the invoice. You should also agree to own the code at the end of the project, sometimes agencies will charge extra for this, so it might be a good idea to get this cleared up before any contracts are signed.



The cross platform nirvana

There are a few development companies who are pushing a cross platform nirvana; that is, develop once, roll out across every mobile platform. Simply put, this doesn’t work. Or more accurately, it’s unlikely to give you what you’re expecting. Choosing whether to build a native, web or hybrid app is a big decision, which will largely depend on budget, target market and the functionality of your app. This is something that should be discussed in great detail with your agency.


Hopefully these points will save you from making an expensive mistake. There are great app developers out there and we hope these points will help you find one!

Nimesh Satikunvar
Nimesh Satikunvar

Really well researched article Mark. Being into IT industry i can totally agreed with all the mention points. Specially Buy cheap, by twice. One might get the cheap costing from a mobile app development company but, can get assurance of satisfaction or timely delivery.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

As financial services and insurance (FSI) companies strive to deliver the seamless multi-channel customer experience, the traditional marketing model has been radically reimagined. Innovative institutions are showing how cross-functional teams focusing on the customer journey can work to develop a single view of the customer – an approach that can bring tangible rewards. Yet research shows that large institutions still have some way to go in maximising the return on their investment in this area.

Aoife McIlraith
Aoife McIlraith 18 September 2017
Read more
Infographic - The Best Times and Days to Post to Social Media

Infographic - The Best Times and Days to Post to Social Media

With the social media landscape changing literally every single day, it's become a full-time job for social media managers to merely stay up-to-date on emerging and shifting trends and best practices. It's tedious, time-consuming, detail-oriented, and, quite frankly, a bit of a headache. But thanks to this new infographic, some guessing can be taken out of social media management.

Will Price
Will Price 21 September 2017
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

The 10-year-old kid, selling ice cold fresh lemonade on the street corner in your local neighbourhood had it right. He or she may not have realized it but the simple marketing strategy that they accidentally and innocently came up with works perfectly on the people strolling by on their daily walk.

Ellie Summers
Ellie Summers 19 September 2017
Read more