Choosing mobile apps developers – a checklist

With so many agencies and developers claiming mobile expertise, it’s hard to know who has the right stuff.  There are some great developers who deliver a great app or service. And then there others who are jumping on the mobile bandwagon, and deliver an inferior product. Based on vetting quite a few mobile apps developers over the last couple of years, here’s what I look for…

Choosing a mobile apps developer – essentials you need to know

First of all, choose a developer who specialises in the type of app you want to build. Do they have experience and a track record in  either games, utility or marketing apps? These require very different skills, so make sure they align with what you need. Some other questions you may want to ask:

  • What is their experience? Can they provide case studies and testimonials?
  • What are their core strengths? Beware the one-size fits all approach – that sends alarms bells!
  • What development skill set do they have in house? Do they only do native (iOS, Android, Windows or Blackberry), responsive/adaptive or cross-platform?How do the developer/agency manage older versions and make sure the current app is backward compatible?
  • What cross platform tools do they use? Are they well understood? Best practice?
  • Is what they’re developing backward compatible, i.e. accessible by older versions of the operating system?
  • Who will be working on this development – who is the project team? How experienced are they?
  • Can they assist with promotion? What ideas can they offer?
  • Do they have a direct line into Apple and Google? How successful have they been in getting their clients app of the day?
  • What performance incentives do they/can they propose?
  • Do they have UX/design capabilities in-house?
  • Are they performing all the work in-house and in Australia? Or are they using overseas developers? While that’s not a bad thing, outsourced development requires people on the ground with a great deal of experience.
  • What are the hosting/maintenance options – and how much will it cost? Who will be working on maintenance? Is it the junior developer who’s using this as a training opportunity?
  • What is the warranty period they’re offering?
  • Who has ownership of the assets at the end of the campaign?


Let me know if there are any other criteria to add to the above.


About Claudia Sagripanti

Involved in the evolution of mobile marketing and advertising from the early years, including co-founding Mobile Marketing and Advertising Awards, founding chair of AIMIA's Mobile Industry Group, development of mobile advertising guidelines for industry as well as commercialisation strategy.