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3 Tips for Hiring an iPhone App Developer

Laura MacPherson June 21, 2018

For many companies who are developing an app, starting with the iOS version is a smart decision. The demographic for iOS users tends to be higher-income and higher education level, so if your target audience reflects these demographics, iOS will be your platform of choice. If you’re planning to create an iOS app, you may be wondering how to find the ideal iPhone app developer to partner with you. It’s obvious that the developer should be an expert with experience developing top-quality apps. But what else should you be looking for? Here are three tips that will help you choose a partner you can depend on to deliver a quality app that your target audience will love.

1. Your iPhone App Developer Should Have an Understanding of Business

Ideally, your developer will have extensive experience not only developing apps, but also digging into the details of myriad business models. Because of this experience, your development team will be thinking about things that you haven’t yet considered, such as a variety of ways to monetize the app, additional personas who could use the app, how to market the app (including partnerships with related businesses), and how to streamline your business processes to operate lean, giving you the highest chance of success while you’re ramping up.

If your developer can bring business insights to the table, you’ll be getting a lot more than you’re paying for. And you’ll end up with a much better app (and business!) as a result.

To Find This in a Developer:

Read the developer’s case studies and look for details on how much consulting went into the project. What advice and insights did the team offer? How did the original concept change, and what improvements were made through the consulting process? Also, ask the developer for specific examples of how they’ve recently advised clients. While they won’t be able to connect details with client names due to confidentiality concerns, you’ll get a feel for the types of insights they offer.

2. Your iPhone App Developer Should Know Behavioral Psychology

As of March 2018, there were 2,100,000 apps in the App Store. At the same time, less than 1% of apps are financially successful, and one of the main reasons is that users don’t find them engaging enough to continue using on a daily basis. How do you increase engagement? Integrate behavioral design to create habitual usage. Behavioral psychology is a multi-tool with many different principles that you can use to make your app more engaging. Gamification, operant conditioning, variable rewards, and other tools will help you create an app that people use daily.

Now, at the same time, you’ll want to look for a developer who uses these tools in responsible ways. Just like other tools that can also be dangerous when used inappropriately, behavioral design can be used with ill intent — to create real addictions that affect users’ lives in negative ways. This is particularly onerous when it comes to apps designed for kids and teens. Your developer should have a strong sense of ethics and should be using behavioral psychology in ways that help users make their lives better.

To Find This in a Developer:

Ask the developer if they use behavioral design. Follow up their answers with additional questions to learn how deep their knowledge is. Ask for examples of how other apps they’ve developed use principles of behavioral psychology to increase engagement. Case studies can also be a valuable resource since many case studies will share engagement stats.

3. Your iPhone App Developer Should Have a Clear Roadmap for Development

Many issues can derail development. If there’s no clear step-by-step plan, or if not all stakeholders and team members have signed off on the plan, there’s likely to be trouble ahead. Lack of a roadmap can result in delayed launches as well as costs going significantly over budget.

A development roadmap should outline everything from persona research to the user experience to the technology that the developer will use. The developer should think through every aspect of design and development before a line of code is written.

With a roadmap guiding the process, everyone who’s involved in the project can refer to the document at any time, and everyone will stay on the same page. The vision for the product will be clear, and the development team and stakeholders will maintain focus. This roadmap also keeps timelines on schedule, since each piece of the process has been accounted for.

To Find This in a Developer:

Ask about the developer’s process. How thorough is the initial discovery stage? What types of things does the team consider before development starts? Do they create a document to share with everyone involved? If so, what does that document look like? How detailed is it?

As you can see, the key to finding an iPhone developer that will help you build a successful product is asking pointed questions. These questions are designed to help you learn the developer’s business acumen, understanding of human psychology as it relates to app usage, and organizational skills. While there are certainly other traits you should be looking for (such as thorough knowledge of privacy laws and security issues, experience with the latest technology, etc.), many companies tend to overlook these three essentials.

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