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Whether you’re an early-stage startup or a Fortune 500 company, searching for and choosing the right app partner can be a daunting task. With so many sources of information, and so many development firms claiming to be the best app partner, it’s possible that you don’t even know where to begin in terms of identifying the team that’s best suited for your needs.

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Choosing the right app partner to build your website or mobile app is probably the most important business decision you can make. Finding the right app partner program is key to success. After all, these digital solutions serve as direct representations of your product vision. That’s why in this post we discuss some of the key aspects to consider when looking for an app partner.

Why Choosing the Right App Partner Matters

There’s no shortage of detrimental consequences that come from choosing the wrong development partner. Some of the risks include wasted capital due to a defective product, stress resulting from bugs and poor quality, and loss of credibility and the damaging of your brand reputation.

On the bright side, there are many benefits of choosing the right app partner. Some of the benefits of choosing the right app partner program include compliance with app store regulations, a functional and quality product that users love, is easy to maintain and scalable, and lastly, a powerful User Experience.

Although there are many more aspects to consider, you probably get an idea of why choosing the right app partner is key for your business success.

Red Flags to Avoid in an App Partner

Your search for the ideal app partner should start with keeping your eyes peeled for the following red flags as you evaluate different teams:

  • Building a unique, game-changing feature that you want to be included in your product is not something that every app partner is able to do. You surely want to know if developing a feature will be a problem before you sign a contract with any app development firm, no matter its good online reputation. Ask for references from the development partner’s previous clients, and ensure that the team members have a proven track record of creating innovatively powerful solutions.
  • Not all app partners are experts in UI Design or in building a unique Customer Experience (CX), one of the most important factors of your app’s performance when it comes to users. Some teams might be able to build the features you want into a web or mobile app, but they may do so by sacrificing intuitiveness and ease of use. This will leave you with a product that your users don’t enjoy interacting with, so ask about any potential partner’s UI/UX competency early on in the conversation to ensure that they prioritize ease-of-use during each stage of development.
  • Contrastly, some development partners are able to create beautifully intuitive solutions, but don’t possess the technical proficiency to deliver all of the features and functionalities that will set you apart from the competition. Ask questions that are relative to the nuts and bolts of your potential solution early and often so that you can test a developer’s technical knowledge.
  • Some development partners are fully proficient with both mobile app and web development, but this isn’t always the case. If building a web and mobile digital product is out of reach for your app partner, you’ll have to find someone else to bring both the web and mobile versions of your solution to life. Always make sure that your web and mobile product designs match your business challenges.

How to Find the Perfect App Development Partner

Finding the right app development firm to build your digital product does not have to be a daunting task. These are some things to consider when looking for an app partner to make your search easier.

1. Lookup Social Networks or Specialized Sites

Websites like Dribbble and CSSMania can be helpful during your search for inspiration and some of the best web and mobile app developers. Sites like Dribbble are phenomenal because, if you see a product design that you like, you can click on it and not only find out the agency that designed it, but you can also view that particular agency and their work.

However, it is best if you look at specialized sites where you can browse directories of app development companies. Clutch is a great reference point.

2. Find Nearshore App Development Agencies and Get Quotes

Many development agencies outsource to countries scattered all over the world. If you’re looking to build a relatively simple solution, and your timeline is flexible, then these agencies might be able to fulfill your needs.

However, if you’re in search of a team that’s able to work efficiently, and collaborate with you to build a unique and powerful application, complete with an intuitive UI, it’s preferable to work with a nearshore agency.

Nearshore agencies can provide expertise from previous projects, and have teams that have been able to establish chemistry, which results in quicker working cycles. When you work with a development partner that doesn’t outsource all their labor, it means that there are fewer middlemen involved, and the project management typically goes much smoother. A nearshore app partner is usually always the best alternative.

3. Pick an App Development Partner That Does Ruby on Rails

Should you use Java, Python, or Ruby? Which is the fastest way to develop your app? We aren’t ones to be biased, but Ruby on Rails really is the best if your product fits its parameters.

Business Insider puts it simply: “Ruby on Rails is an open-source web application framework for the Ruby programming language. The growing demand for Ruby on Rails has been driven by successful companies who benefit from the speed and agility of building applications in Rails, which results in increased productivity and company growth.”

Some of today’s most successful businesses use Ruby on Rails, including Amazon, BBC, CNET, and Yahoo.

4. Find out the Development Agencies That Built Your Favorite Apps

Do you have an app that you love using, and that inspired your own product ideas? Is it a perfect example of technical functionality combined with intuitive ease-of-use?

If so, perform research into who actually made that app, and get in touch with the development team. You can usually find contact information for development partners on their websites, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get the ball rolling and start emulating your favorite apps during the build of your own solution.

5. For a Nifty Trick, Google Search “Similar”

Let’s say that you found an award-winning app partner that you know could help you build the digital solution you’ve been dreaming of, and solve all of your business problems for the long term.

Google the app partner, and then use the little dropdown area on Google, and click “similar”. This useful little trick will present app development agencies that are similar to the app partner you’re looking for, or that are at least in the ballpark of what you’re looking for. It’s a great way to begin your search for the perfect app partner.

6. Make Sure Your App Partner Understands Your Business Plan

Building an app is not only about the technical aspects of software development. It also includes understanding your business plans in order to guarantee that you will be able to monetize your digital product. Make sure that your app partner is prepared to look at the business aspects of your project. Ideally, they should have business analysts who can understand your business model.

Choosing the Best App Partner: Final Thoughts

If you follow the steps and best practices listed above, you should end up with a list of potential app development partners that fit the general criteria you’ve established for your search. An app partner program may help you build a long-term relationship that will be beneficial to your app in the long run.

Next, you’ll need to look deeper at this pool of development partner candidates and pick the one that best suits your needs in the long term.

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