5 Valuable Questions to Ask When Hiring a Mobile App Developer

You have an idea that needs an app. The excitement is real as you contemplate the advantages that mobile or web-based applications could bring — a more accessible and engaged client base, increased revenue, improved niche authority, and focused user experience.

A wealth of evidence exists to suggest that there’s never been a better time to start your app business. The numbers are in your favor. Global app store users’ spending has seen a sustained growth rate over the last 5 years.

HAMAD: global app store spending stats

Source: SensorTower

When you look at the data on combined app downloads from both the Google Play and the Apple App Stores, the overall pattern shows download numbers grew consistently through the latter half of the decade.

It saw a spike in downloads due to the pandemic, followed by a plateau.

Source: Statista

As you can see, app downloads in 2023 remained very strong. So what does all this mean for you and your idea?

Simply put, now is a great time to start development. The demand is high, and growth is ever-present in a sector that is riding out the storm of current economic issues.

Of course, where there’s growth, there’s inevitable competition. To have the best chance of success in this competitive market, an app has to be built to the highest standards. This is why your choice of web or mobile app developers is most likely the primary factor in the success of your app.

To make the most informed choice possible, you must ask the right questions. Collaborating with a developer on a product would be a disaster, only to discover that their philosophy and processes don’t match your vision.

It’s possible you haven’t worked with an app developer before, and this is your first app idea. Maybe it’s not, but you want to make sure you get the decision 100% correct for maximum return on investment. It helps to be prepared.

Our app development team at Appetiser keeps seeing the same questions on this subject repeated time and time again.

That’s why we’ve thought long and hard to devise questions that will help you the most when considering such a significant commitment. We’ve also shared some of the important factors we weigh in when we hire mobile app developers to join our team.

Read on to empower yourself with the insights that will increase the success of your app venture.

Hiring a Mobile App Developer? Here Are 5 Key Questions You Should Ask

Whether you’re hiring a full-time, part-time, or freelance app developer, you must always ask the following questions to ensure a rewarding partnership:

1. Have you helped any startups grow, and can you prove it?

Success in helping a startup grow requires unique skills than developing apps for established companies and clients. Software development companies must take on a much bigger coaching and leading role to help guide a startup client through the app development process and beyond.

HAMAD: Jamie Shostak quote about startup success

Roamni makes an exceptional case in point.

HAMAD: Roamni app screenshots

Throughout our app development partnership, we were present in stakeholder meetings every step of the way, helping them raise enough capital to fund their idea out of a prototype.

The result? We’ve engineered and launched the world’s first tourtech app that is now in partnership with Formula 1.

Find out more about their inspiring journey to app success by reading the Roamni case study.

2. Do you have any mobile app success stories?

Proven success with previous developments is a great way to judge if a company understands the formula for designing and growing unique mobile experiences that users respond to. Trusting your idea to an app developer without this experience could lead to issues during the process.

At Appetiser, we are dedicated to refining our understanding of what makes a great mobile app.

One of our proudest achievements to date is how our custom mobile app generated $100,000 in daily revenue and helped Youfoodz — a Brisbane meal delivery company — redefine the healthy eating experience in Australia.

HAMAD: Youfoodz app screenshots

Youfoodz needed to expand into the mobile app market to help them stay competitive and provide the seamless ordering experience their users demanded.

Our partnership gave birth to a fully customized and intelligent mobile application that can accommodate over 100,000 orders per day, has gained a 4.8-star rating on the App Store, and has increased repeat orders by 50%.

Check out the Youfoodz case study to find out how we did it.

3. Do you have any proof of innovation in the app development space?

Our industry never stands still — change happens at a rapid pace.

To stay ahead of the wave, even top mobile app developers must constantly strive to innovate and challenge themselves. Those who stand still will soon get lost in outdated systems and thinking, affecting the quality and futureproofing of their products.

A desire to innovate, constantly improve, and adapt in an ever-changing space is at the heart of everything we do here at Appetiser. We exhibit innovation and make an impact in three components of our company; our people, processes, and products.

HAMAD: Michael MacRae quote about visual design

Our team is at the heart of our company. We foster an environment of learning and self-improvement, not just keeping up with the latest tools and techniques but becoming better colleagues and experts.

Many experts from Samsung and Kyocera’s research and development departments joined us. We’ve also engineered 7 patents across the team, including one valued at $17m by the telecoms giant Telstra.

Our product designers and developers take part in extensive workshops where they build unique, world-leading products.

We challenge our product designers to create innovative designs for progressive mobile app concepts for international contests. Their dedication and creativity ranked Appetiser #7 in the world in design on Uplabs — where we are the only Australian company in the top 100.

At Appetiser, we aim to revolutionize and modernize the app development process by giving control back to the visionary. We view our clients as partners we work closely with while facilitating full transparency through open communication channels. This encourages innovation and open discussion, helping us meet any problems head-on.

One tangible proof of this is Geavi, a GPS encryption app with audio-visual integration.

HAMAD: Geavi app screenshots

Geavi is a pioneer for social change and personal safety. The app creates recorded video evidence of incidents automatically from your pocket. The recordings can be easily stored and shared with family and friends.

Through our collaboration with Geavi’s visionaries, we aim to help increase people’s safety by empowering them with a new technology that makes those around them accountable for their actions.

HAMAD: Michael MacRae quote about Appetiser's advantage

Proof of Appetiser’s innovation

Our specialization in growth marketing as a complement to app development gives us an advantage — as we possess the ‘full-stack’ tools to make your app a success.

Tools that not only create a fantastic product but also optimize that product. We position ourselves at the forefront of design, development, marketing, and innovation, which makes us truly unique in our field.

HAMAD: Appetiser's proven success

Our development baseplate

To help maintain excellence, we’ve implemented a detailed development baseplate that’s used to guide and improve technical development standards at Appetiser. This baseplate contains the code for common functionalities in most apps, such as logins, registration, and user profiles.

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The dev baseplate is the starting point for technical app development. For example, an e-commerce app has a unique set of requirements compared to a social media platform, yet they still share some commonalities.

Our baseplate provides all this and prevents the need to build from the ground up at the start of every project. Within the latter stages of development, other common functionalities like notifications and reports can be customized or removed completely if not needed. Depending on what operating system we are developing (iOS, Android, or web), the baseplate has a unique structure to match the specifics of that platform.

The baseplate has the dual effect of making development times much shorter – therefore lowering the cost to the client – and ensuring standards are maintained across all our projects.

The impact of the baseplate on production times has been so profound that the equivalent of a month’s work across the three platforms has been reduced to less than a week. We’ve not experienced a single technical failure since its implementation.

HAMAD: Some of Appetiser's achievements

4. How focused are you on design for user experience?

App development is not just about code. High-level design and the implementation of exceptional user experience will result in high user retention. In turn, this will lead to improved revenue and maximized growth.

HAMAD: Michael MacRae quote about good UX

A total commitment to design thinking and high regard for user experience runs through everything we do here at Appetiser.

For us, data-driven design and UX are intrinsically linked, and one informs the other. We consistently test and experiment to collect enough data to make informed design decisions not simply based on ideas alone.

We leverage one of the biggest advantages of working with a large team of specialists across different fields — knowledge and experience that can be shared across development boundaries.

Our design baseplate

Along with our development baseplate, we also have a design baseplate.

Think of our baseplates as canvases. The two key elements of app development (design and technical development) lean on the baseplates in similar ways to benefit our clients.

Our design baseplate features the initial building blocks onto which extra design elements are added. It works similarly to the developers’ baseplate described above and contains the most common elements intrinsic to app design. This includes templates for the user interface, menus, data input forms, page outlines, notifications, and pop-ups.

HAMAD: our design baseplate

The design baseplate not only contains an app’s traditional visual aesthetics but is also vital in creating and maintaining a high-level, consistent customer experience. In addition, the baseplate guides our experts to stay focused on our core design values within the design process and improving user experiences across the board.

HAMAD: Michael MacRae quote about visual design

With the framework in place, our designers are free to create designs that represent our client’s brand and tell each unique story in the most effective way possible. It allows for the perfect alignment of our expertise and your vision.

HAMAD: the outstanding results of using our baseplates

5. Can I get feedback from previous clients?

There are multiple ways to get information from web or mobile developers’ previous clients. With the advent of digital communication tools, it has never been easier.

Don’t settle for simply reading case studies on a website. Instead, take your time to dive deep into the history and successes of a development company. This will provide you with a more rounded view of their capability.

Another great way to assess an app developer is to gather client feedback through directories such as Clutch.io and Google reviews.

HAMAD: Appetiser's Clutch and Google review ratings

We are proud of the feedback we have received from our work so far. The response has been nothing short of emphatic.

At Appetiser, we always go the extra step and are happy to offer direct contact with our previous clients. This way, you’ll never have to make an important decision from second-hand information.

If an app developer has worked previously on projects with an enterprise, it’s a good signifier that the development company has been assessed thoroughly enough and deemed to have passed the stringent test. Enterprise companies exist on another level of prestige and financial might — they do not choose their partners lightly.

We’ve had the pleasure of working alongside more than one enterprise in our history. Our largest clients in terms of net worth are Cimic Group (CPB contractors) at $10 billion. We have also developed for Accent Group at $1 billion and Pointsbet at $700 million.

HAMAD: Michael MacRae quote about product designer

What Sets Appetiser Apart: Factors We Consider When We Hire App Developers

1. Technical Skills

We look for web, ios, and Android app developers with strong technical skills and experience in developing mobile apps for the platforms we need (e.g., iOS, Android, React Native, etc.). They should have experience in programming languages like Swift, Kotlin, Java, Objective-C, etc.

2. Portfolio

When hiring mobile app developers, we take time to review the candidates’ previous work or projects they have completed. This gives us an idea of their skill level and the quality of their work.

3. Communication skills

Mobile app development involves a lot of communication, collaboration, and teamwork. Therefore, it’s important to hire mobile app developers with excellent verbal and written communication skills who can work effectively with our team members.

4. Creativity

App development is a field that requires creativity, and developers who are creative in their approach can create unique and innovative apps that stand out from the crowd.

5. Problem-solving ability

A good mobile app developer should be able to identify potential problems and come up with effective solutions quickly.

6. Relevant experience

When hiring app developers, we look for those with experience working on projects similar to what you need.

7. Adaptability

The mobile app development industry is constantly changing, and developers need to be able to adapt quickly to new technologies and trends.

8. Passion and motivation

We also look for developers passionate about mobile app development and motivated to continue learning and growing in the field. Passionate developers tend to produce better work and are more likely to be dedicated to your project.

9. Team fit

Mobile app development requires a collaborative effort, and it’s essential to find developers who fit well with your team’s culture and values.

1.0 Work ethics

We hire developers with a strong work ethic and are committed to delivering high-quality work on time.

11. Learning and development

Mobile app development is an ever-changing field, so hiring developers who are willing to learn and grow with the company is important. We challenge even a skilled app developer to level up continuously.

Through our Appetiser University, we provide opportunities for professional development and training to keep our web, Android, and iOS developers up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends.

12. Company values

Finally, we consider how well the developer’s personal values align with your company’s. This ensures they are a good fit for our team and can help foster a positive work culture.

The keys to a successful partnership

In business, as in life, knowledge and understanding are the keys to success. The more information you possess, the better equipped you are to deal with whatever is thrown your way.

Extracting the right information is a key part of your decision-making process. And one of the most crucial pieces of information you should equip yourself with is how to hire an app developer that suits you.

The margins between failure and success are thin. There are many intricacies to a working collaboration with an app development company. The perfect mobile app developer for one project is not necessarily the right match for a web or cross-platform app development project.

To ensure you’re hiring app developers who share your passion and vision for growth and success, take note of the following:

Be clear about your primary concerns, focus on your key objectives, and ask the questions that will allow you to make the most effective decision for your needs.

If you’re looking to hire an app developer in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, or Perth, look no further. Book a free consultation with Appetiser today!


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Director & Founder. Digital growth entrepreneur operating within marketing, software & process automation.

Vincent Niguidula
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