If you’re looking to give your brand the best shot at a successful app, you’ll want to know who the best mobile app developers in Los Angeles are. With hundreds of design studios and even more freelancers in the area, it can be tough to land on a decision.
In this blog, we’ll talk about what makes some developers better than others and how you can spot them.
Awards Only Mean So Much
One favorite starting point for people to look is at industry awards. They think that by finding the most decorated web design studio, they’ll get the best service for their unique needs. Unfortunately, this can be a mistake.
Sure, websites like Clutch.co offer broad insights about the various design agencies vying for your business, but if you look closely, you’ll find that most of the feedback is ambiguous—even useless. These sites best serve users by simply providing contact information so they can find their own way.
If you choose to go with an award-winning agency, you can count on one thing: service won’t be cheap. That doesn’t mean you should avoid these companies, but be aware that earning awards usually ends up boosting costs.
How to Pick the Real Winners
Mobile apps are increasing in popularity. More and more businesses are taking a look at building their own apps to get inside their customers’ phones. Some of these apps are helpful, while others just take up memory. Before you hunt for the best mobile app developers in Los Angeles, double-check to make sure your project is worth the time and money.
The best mobile app developer will be the one most able to deliver exactly what you want and need—nothing more, nothing less. Many people start their search looking to the flashiest and most advanced apps as starting points, but for most, this approach isn’t necessary.
During your interview process, ask developers what they think of your project. Does it seem viable? Is it worth it? The feedback you get here will be helpful.
Taking a Streamlined Approach
For many businesses, custom apps aren’t necessary. Rapid App Development (RAD) is a great way to take existing app wireframes and fill them in with your own branding, images, and content.
But won’t that just be a cookie-cutter app?
Only if you let it. These platforms can be customized once they’re finished, and you may even consider taking your finished product to a developer so they can work on it from there.
The best mobile app developer won’t sell you on top-level features when you don’t need them. For example, if you’re running a pizza delivery app, having access to the user’s camera isn’t necessary. Including this feature would make the app run slower for no good reason.
Your developer should also have their own basic plan to get your app off the ground. Have a conversation with them about their design philosophy before spending anything. This will help you establish concrete expectations while ensuring your plans are realistic and achievable.
What’s Your Industry?
A custom mobile app is a big investment. The only way to make returns on your time and money is for people to download and use it. Your developer should have some grasp of app marketing and distribution.
As anyone in business can tell you, marketing is a constantly changing beast. What worked yesterday might not help you tomorrow. Your developer should understand your line of business so that your launch has the best chance at success. Otherwise, you’re wasting your money.
It’s hard enough to build an app that looks good and works—it does no good to complicate that process by hiring someone who doesn’t understand your product. During your interview process, ask them about their work experience and see if it lines up with yours. If nothing else, asking these questions will help you pare down your idea to its bare essentials.
Choosing the Right App Model
Like any project, designing an app is fun. There are infinite possibilities to pursue, and each one seems to offer new ways to market your product. Let your dreams run wild, but make sure to only keep the sensible ones around. This doesn’t mean boring—just reasonable.
For example, you should always find ways to take advantage of a phone’s native software. This may seem a little limiting, but it’s smart. Programming an app to use its device’s technology will help your product run faster and suffer from fewer bugs.
Using a smartphone’s own technology will help your app reach more users and gain more traction in the marketplace. It’s important that your mobile app developer understand how to do this.
Make Use of Existing Software
You don’t have to build everything from scratch. Take advantage of APIs so that you can benefit from someone else’s software.
What is an API? It’s code that allows the software to be used outside its original environment. APIs allow your phone to store that flight you booked into your calendar. They can track buying habits (when you give them permission), and provide a great way to beef up your app without spending more time and money on development.
Take a Team Approach Whenever Possible
There are some great freelancer developers out there, and hiring one usually means spending less on development. But you get what you pay for. In these arrangements, you’ll be required to make all the important decisions, and if anything goes wrong, it’s on you.
This is why working with a web design studio is so much easier. Sure, you pay more upfront, but the costs can be comparable if you consider how much it costs to repair broken apps built by freelancers.
A web design studio will provide you with a single point of contact whose entire job is to clarify your expectations and ensure they are met. You won’t have to explain your ideas 50 times before work begins, and if anything seems off about the end product, the design agency is responsible.
Working with a team also ensures that all your questions have answers. Instead of hoping your single freelancer can handle the front end, back end, UX/UI, etc. all at once, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing the agency has you covered.
Have a Plan or Make One
No matter how good your mobile app developer may be, they can’t save you from not having a plan. If you don’t know what you want, no one can build it for you. Plus, having a good idea of what it will look like makes it easier to spot a good developer—their work will look like what’s in your head.
Put yourself in the end user’s shoes and ask what you’d like your app to achieve. If the answer isn’t clear, it’s time to do some idea pruning. There should only be one function of your app, and that is to take care of the _____ problem. Adding more bells and whistles not only costs more, but it’s likely to turn users off your app.
Focus groups are a good idea here, even if it’s just your close friends and family—find out why they might have a need for your app and do your best to incorporate their feedback.
Again, your app is an investment, not a toy. It does you no good to build one if people won’t use it, so find out what people want before dumping thousands of dollars into a sinking ship.
Look at Apps Like Yours
Do you know who the best mobile app developers in Los Angeles are? The one who built your favorite app. It’s not a bad idea to find out who that is, ask them about working with you, and taking their recommendations for a better app.
Just knowing what’s out there is a big step in the right direction. You can tell your developer which apps you like and start from there, saving you money on the planning process.
Keep in mind, the app business is a multi-million dollar industry. Companies allocate huge chunks of their budget to make sure their apps are user-friendly and popular. If there’s something you really like about an app, chances are it costs a lot to develop. Take advantage of the free lesson.
With the right planning and the right team, your app is bound to be a success. Best of luck!
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