An iphone on a table

Looking for an iOS App Development Service? Here’s how to find the right one.

Dallin Nelson

February 16, 2021 · 6 minutes

Apple software can be tough to get right, making it important to find the right talent when looking for an iOS app development service.

While there are many qualified developers out there who can build your program, finding the best one can be a challenge. So what does it take to find the right team for your project?

Every great iOS app starts with a clear plan. You have to know what problem the app will solve before you can plot a steady course to a successful launch. Take some time to walk through what users will do and how the app will look, then compile a list of the best candidates for the job.

What should that list look like? It should comprise developers with experience not only with iOS apps but with apps that serve a similar purpose to what you’re building.

Let’s explore what you need when looking for an iOS app development service.

Why Being Choosy Matters

A group of developers scoping out a project timelineIt isn’t easy for everyone to say no to a friendly, courteous developer, especially if you don’t have a strong reason to do so. Remember though, just because someone can build your app doesn’t mean they should.

Why? Because apps are expensive. It’s unlikely that you’ll spend under $10,000 before getting one out the door. When paying a developer an hourly rate, every second count—and wasted time costs just as much as time well spent.

Two things affect how far your money will go in quality iOS app development service: knowing your own product inside and out, and finding a developer who is on the same wavelength—a surprisingly small group. There are plenty of skilled developers who just won’t understand what you’re trying to build, and that means spending more time and money drafting and revising.

Having a list of developers makes your choice easier. Once you identify the pros and cons of each option, making the choice becomes a no-brainer—either pick the developer that can deliver, or pick another based on some gut feeling.

Below, we’ll list out some helpful ideas for selecting the right developer before signing any contracts or spending money. Hopefully, this will save you time as you examine each candidate before making a decision.

They Know Your Industry

Developers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are great at building apps while others have honed their skills in game development. Some build big, expensive apps while others focus on more boutique offerings that serve small businesses. Within those groups, some have experience with your industry while others need some basic instruction on why each feature is important.

Think of it like any other business: if you want a birthday cake, you wouldn’t just go to any baker—you would pick a confectioner over a pastry cook. In the end, they can both make a cake, they probably charge the same amount, and you’ll probably end up with a decent product. The confectioner, however, is more likely to bake a perfect cake.

Understanding Developers

Developers work the same way. All of them will tell you they can build your iOS app, but only the right team will intuitively build what you’re looking for. This is the development service you want to find.

Browse some portfolios. Look at the projects they’ve done and see what speaks to you. Not only will this give you a better picture of how they work, but you may even glean some good ideas for your own app in the process.

When looking over their portfolio, remember that you’re not just there to see how you like their design sense—you’re checking to see if they’ve completed projects similar enough to yours. If it looks promising, add them to your list to be contacted later.

If it seems too hard to find iOS app developers that have experience building software like yours, just look for apps instead. From there, try to find contact information to make some cold calls. In the event that they don’t have the bandwidth to work with you, chances are good that they’ll refer you elsewhere. That will be helpful.

You Appreciate Their Design Style

A design set up on a table

It may seem self-explanatory, but don’t hire a developer whose style choices don’t meet your standards. Yes, it should go without saying, but there are plenty of horror stories where someone’s optimism got in the way of their good sense, leading them to ink a contract that shouldn’t have been considered in the first place.

Of course, if you don’t know your own style, it can be hard to define what you don’t want. This is what makes planning so important—the more you understand about your own app, the easier it will be to explain to someone else.

Think about it—the developer you choose to build your app will be making all sorts of decisions on your behalf without you present. Otherwise, they’d have to call you to approve every little change or detail. It’s important that you can trust them not to go overboard when choosing border styles, tertiary fonts, and any other small details the app requires.

If you’re at the point in your business where you can afford to drop a few thousand dollars on an app, branding, and marketing are most likely squared away already. Still, make sure you know how those guidelines will play into the dimensions of a smartphone screen (since that’s where most people will use it). Using wireframes, you can make a rough outline of the most basic aesthetics to show a developer.

As you peruse the different apps out there, take note of what you like and don’t like, with emphasis on the latter. The more you can make clear to your developer, the easier time they’ll have building your app.

They Have Many Projects Under Their Belt

Experience counts for a lot. It’s something newbies just don’t have, and it can be the difference between elegance and tackiness. Ideally, you can find a developer who’s been at their craft for more than just a few years. No, they don’t have to be the distinguished authority on all things iOS app development service, but a working knowledge of how to get from a to z is important.

Building an app is complicated and time-consuming, but it isn’t impossible. However, if you want anyone to download yours, there are some key steps that must take place.

Launches are where many apps fail. Apple’s App Store is notorious for its strict testing standards, and it’s the reason so many people trust iOS apps over those approved by Android. As a result, getting apps approved for distribution there can be a huge hurdle. A developer with experience launching iOS apps will provide a big advantage for you when it comes to getting out of the gate.

Design best practices change all the time as well. Industry veterans understand that without the proper ADA accommodations on your app, you could be in danger of a lawsuit. Knowing where to check visibility and accessibility requirements isn’t something every developer knows to do.

Ask prospective developers how many apps they’ve successfully launched. The more the better, obviously, but just make sure your project isn’t also their first or second.

Clear Guidelines & Expectations

A laptop with charts on itWhen it comes to iOS app development services, there are two routes available to you. One is to hire a team of freelancers and head the project yourself. The other is to spend more and work with a design studio.

Freelancers are cheaper to pay upfront, and as long as you know exactly which steps to take, it can be an efficient way of getting your app out the door. For those of us who without any project management experience, hiring a design studio is the preferred route.

Design studios provide you with a single point of contact and a timeline of milestones. Why does this matter? Because miscommunication is probably the single biggest culprit in failed app projects, and it’s one reason why working with freelancers is infinitely more fraught with trouble.

A client puts a team together to start working on an app, but they tell each contractor something slightly different as the app’s purpose becomes more clear. As they work on their respective tasks, their goals diverge until, suddenly, the project has become a mess and needs an overhaul, requiring more time and money.

With a single point of contact, you and your team have clear expectations about your needs. Unless you intentionally make a change, things stay on course as planned. Sure, it costs a little more, but being able to sleep at night is worth it.

Conclusions

Take this advice as needed, but don’t ignore your gut. It’s there to help you make good decisions. Do your best to refine a list of quality contractors, then once your mind’s made up, don’t second guess yourself. You got this!

Ready to speak with our expert team of iOS app developers?
Click here and schedule a free consultation today.

About Dallin Nelson

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