Let me guess – you have a great app idea but aren’t a developer or really sure about how to get it built? Don’t worry about it, there are plenty of very successful non-technical founders out there (for instance Walker Williams – Teespring – $56.9 million in funding and 200 employees). We are going to cover some of the basics to help get your idea out there.
So, how do you go about getting an app built if you don’t know how to code? Well, your three options are: learning to code, find freelance developers or development companies. When choosing to outsource projects you have a choice of working with remote or local developers. Using local development firms seems like the best option for having physical contact with a development team would give you more control, but this option is often very costly.
On the other hand, freelancers can be just as good and much cheaper – you just need to know how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls when dealing with freelance developers. Learning to code is really a great option but it takes a long time and there is a lot more to an app than just the code – it’s going to be a business after all.
Now, it’s important to note that an overwhelming two-thirds of software projects fail, and that includes projects with professional development companies. But there are some easy steps you can follow to start the project on the right foot.
Scope Your Project Out
You have to, have to, have to, fully scope your project. Here are some considerations that are often overlooked:
How will the user log in?
What happens if they forget their password?
Will there be a profile page?
How will they scroll?
Where are the settings?
What are the settings?
Are you building it on iOS or Android or Windows? Which one should you focus on, if not all of them?
Will users pay, how will users pay?
Remember every app has its unique characteristics and to get an accurate idea of the cost and timeframe you need to provide your developers with as much information as possible. Wireframes are really amazing in getting info across, as well as having a competitor site as a reference for UI/UX and general flow is also key.
Vet Your Developers
Firstly, you need to find the right developers. This can be a really tedious task but it’s fundamental to the success of your app. You need to know if the developer(s) understands how to develop your app and using the right technologies matching the requirements. You need to see reviews and testimonials as well as their portfolio of previous work. And finally, you need to phone them up and just have a conversation – if communication and personalities aren’t compatible then you are going to have a bad time.
Remote vs Local
When you use Uber, you almost always end up being assigned a driver that you have never met before. Why isn’t this possible with developers? Unfortunately, there is no platform like Uber for developers and therefore you can never be sure if you are going to get a high-quality service. The truth is that there are amazing tools out there like Trello, Atlassian, and Slack that allow software teams to be managed well as long as they are competent. Knowing what is expected from both sides helps alleviate common problems which occur in both remote and local development. Therefore, there is not much of difference in how the two types of engagements work but there is an often a huge cost saving for going remote due to the efficiencies it provides and the large pool of talent that can be accessed.
Once you have completed these steps you are well on your way to building your app. In the next article, we will cover how to manage the development process