18 Valuable Questions to Ask an App Developer Before Hiring

Bringing your mobile app idea to life is an exciting and potentially lucrative endeavor.

Global app store users’ spending has seen a sustained growth rate over the last five years. By 2027, the global mobile market is anticipated to reach a value of $756 billion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.58%.

QTAAAD: global mobile market value

With the outlook pointing in a positive direction, there’s never been a better time to start your app business. However, the success of your app relies greatly on the expertise and skills of the mobile app developer you choose to entrust with your vision.

It’s possible you haven’t worked with an app agency 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.

Either way, 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 a list that will help you the most when considering such a significant commitment.

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

Here Are 18 Key Questions You Should Ask a Potential Mobile App Developer

To assess technical capabilities and expertise

 

QTAAAD: To assess technical capabilities

1. What technologies do you use to develop apps?

The technologies they mention — whether it’s programming languages, frameworks, or development platforms — are the building blocks that make the foundation of your app.

However, the answer here gives you more than just a sneak peek into the tools developers use to create your app. It also helps you see if they’re a good fit for your project. For example, someone good with Swift might be great at making iOS apps, while those mentioning React Native are likely good at making mobile apps work on different devices.

Additionally, a developer’s tech toolkit also gives you a hint about how up-to-date they are. If they use the latest tools, it shows they’re keeping an eye on what’s new. On the flip side, if they talk about older or niche stuff, it might make you wonder if they’re keeping pace with the latest standards.

Pro tip: Hire mobile app developers who balance innovation with reliability. Opt for those using up-to-date tools to meet current needs while ensuring a stable foundation for long-term success. This approach safeguards your project against costly transitions in the future.

At Appetiser, we use Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android, the most reliable technologies recommended by Apple and Google. For websites, we use Laravel (PHP) and Vue.js, which are well-known and widely used around the world.

We pick technologies that have strong support so our clients can avoid uncommon options that might cost a lot to maintain in the long run. We’ve seen cases like Airbnb spending a lot of money because they had to switch from one technology to another after gaining popularity, and we want to help our clients avoid that.

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

User experience is at the heart of any successful application, as it directly influences how users interact with and perceive the app. 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.

Understanding an app developer’s perspective on UX design provides valuable insights into their overall mindset and priorities. A strong emphasis on UX suggests the developer is not just concerned with the technical aspects of coding but is also attuned to creating a positive, seamless, and enjoyable experience for your users.

Pro tip: Ask the developer how they plan for the app to handle more users and data as it grows. A developer who thinks about this from the start makes sure the app stays strong and works well as more people use it, ensuring its success in the long run.

Our design baseplate

At Appetiser, we understand that data-driven design and UX are intrinsically linked — one informs the other. We always test and experiment to gather data, which guides our design decisions. Our research has led us to create a solid design foundation.

Our design baseplate features the initial building blocks onto which extra design elements are added. It contains the most common elements intrinsic to app design, including:

  • Templates for the user interface
  • Menus
  • Data input forms
  • Page outlines
  • Notifications
  • Pop-ups

With a 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 — vital in creating and maintaining a high-level, consistent customer experience. Most importantly, it allows for the perfect alignment of our expertise and their vision.

3. What is your approach to testing and quality assurance during the development process?

This question prompts the team to discuss their app testing methodologies, including unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing.

Understanding a development team’s approach to testing and quality assurance is vital for ensuring the reliability and performance of your app. It emphasizes the importance of delivering a product that not only meets functional requirements but also adheres to high-quality standards, reducing the likelihood of post-launch issues.

Pro tip: Choose a team that integrates testing throughout the development process rather than treating it as a final step. Continuous testing ensures that issues are identified and addressed promptly, resulting in a more robust and reliable final product.

Take it from Grill’d. Nothing impacts app store ratings more than an unstable, bug-filled app.

To learn how they turned things around, check out Grill’d’s case study.

QTAAAD: Grill'd app screenshots

To assess planning and project management capabilities

 

QTAAAD: questions to assess project management capabilities

4. Can you explain your approach to setting project milestones and timelines?

This question allows you to gauge the developer’s organizational skills, planning capabilities, and commitment to meeting deadlines. The response should unveil a structured methodology, emphasizing the importance of breaking down the project into manageable milestones.

Clear and well-defined milestones help in tracking progress, managing expectations, and ensuring that the app development project stays on course. Timelines, on the other hand, provide a roadmap for the entire app creation process, giving you a realistic view of when you can expect key deliverables.

Pro tip: Consider aligning project milestones and timelines with specific deliverables or features. This allows for better tracking of progress and more effective communication throughout the project.

5. Can you share an example of a project where you successfully managed the timeline and overcame any unexpected issues?

Asking this question is a valuable step in understanding the mobile app developer’s problem-solving abilities and adaptability.

Real-world examples provide insights into how a developer handles challenges, communicates with clients during difficult times, and ultimately delivers a successful project. They also allow you to assess the developer’s experience, resilience, and ability to navigate unforeseen hurdles.

Pro tip: Pay attention to how the developer or app agency describes the challenges faced and the solutions implemented. A developer who emphasizes learning from experiences and improving processes demonstrates a growth mindset and a commitment to continuous improvement.

6. What’s your process for developing apps?

Asking about the app development process helps you understand how the developer works, solves problems, and organizes things to turn your idea into a real, working app. This way, you know what to expect and can work together smoothly to bring your app vision to life.

Pro tip: A developer that employs agile development methodologies can significantly enhance this process. Agile breaks down work into smaller parts, allowing quick adjustments based on feedback. You see progress regularly, and changes can be made swiftly.

Read more: Agile Framework: What It Is and How It Can Help You

7. How do you keep clients informed about project progress?

Asking this question ensures that you stay on top of the development journey.

Clear and consistent communication is the backbone of successful project management. It not only fosters transparency but also builds trust between you and the developer. It also allows for the timely identification of any issues or changes, facilitating quick resolutions and ensuring that the project stays on track.

Pro tip: Opt for developers who prioritize regular updates and consider using project management tools that provide real-time progress tracking. This not only keeps you informed but also enhances the overall transparency and efficiency of the development process.

8. How do you measure if a project is successful?

Asking about a team’s criteria for measuring project success ensures alignment between your expectations and their definition of a successful outcome. It prompts them to articulate key performance indicators (KPIs) and success metrics. This is essential for setting mutual expectations, tracking progress, and ultimately determining the project’s success.

Pro tip: Seek a team that views success beyond just the technical aspects. A holistic approach, including client satisfaction, user feedback, and the achievement of project goals, ensures a more comprehensive evaluation of project success.

To assess track record and reputation

 

QTAAAD: Question to assess track record

9. How long does it usually take you to develop an app?

This question goes beyond getting time estimates — it gives you a sense of how well the developer manages projects and meets deadlines.

A good developer will give you a realistic development timeline based on how complex your app is, explaining key steps and possible challenges. This not only helps you know what to expect but also sets the stage for an open and cooperative working relationship.

Pro tip: When hiring mobile app developers, considering how fast they work is a smart move. The faster they work, the sooner you can start making money from your app.

Check out Canvas Living’s case study to find out how Appetiser’s proprietary baseplate empowered to go from idea to market in only four and a half months.

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

Digging into an app developer’s track record and reputation is like reading reviews before trying a new restaurant. This question helps you gauge if they’ve walked the talk, showing their capability to contribute to the growth of businesses from the ground up.

Maybe they’ve improved user engagement for a startup, boosted their app downloads, or played a pivotal role in a successful product launch. These are the stories you want to hear — real examples that showcase their impact.

Pro tip: Success in helping a startup grow requires unique skills than developing apps for established companies and clients. Finding a software development partner who can take on a much bigger coaching and leading role can help propel your app business forward.

Roamni makes an exceptional case in point.

QTAAAD: 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.

Dominate the App Store.

Get the latest industry news first.

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.

QTAAAD: quotes from Appetiser founder

11. 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.

QTAAAD: Youfoodz app screenshot

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.

Pro tip: Don’t simply take the provider’s word when it comes to their success stories. Instead, ask them question #12.

12. 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. This way, you’ll never have to make an important decision from second-hand information.

QTAAD: Appetiser's review and rating

Pro tip: A previous project with an enterprise is a good signifier that the development company has been assessed thoroughly enough. 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.

13. 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.

You want someone who doesn’t just follow trends but is ready for what’s coming next. This question ensures your app remains futureproof.

A good answer includes examples of projects where the developers used new tech or introduced unique features. Dig deeper into their examples and pay special attention to how they use technology to cleverly solve real problems.

Remember, being innovative isn’t just about embracing the latest technologies. It’s about using it cleverly to tackle unique challenges.

Pro tip: Look also for signs that a team values learning and growth, such as attending tech events, getting certified in new technology, or having in-house initiatives to keep things fresh.

At Appetiser, we challenge our product designers to create innovative designs for progressive mobile app concepts for international contests. Their dedication and creativity ranked Appetiser #6 in the world in design on Uplabs — where we are the only Australian company in the top 100.

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 $17 million by the telecoms giant Telstra.

QTAAAD: quotes from Appetiser CEO


14. Can you share any certifications or qualifications your team possesses?

Asking this question ensures that the team possesses the qualifications to tackle your project’s challenges, offering you confidence in their ability to deliver high-quality work.

Certifications validate the team’s proficiency in specific technologies, methodologies, or industry standards. A team with recognized certifications demonstrates a commitment to staying updated and adhering to industry best practices, contributing to the overall reliability of their services.

Pro tip: Look for a team with a mix of relevant certifications and practical experience. While certifications highlight theoretical knowledge, hands-on experience is equally vital for navigating real-world development scenarios effectively.

QTAAAD: Appetiser's design excellence

To assess project-need suitability

 

QTAAAD: project suitability

15. Have you built and grown apps similar to mine?

This question is crucial because it helps you gauge how well the developer understands the specific needs and challenges of your app. It helps you see beyond general capabilities and focuses on their expertise. Seeing examples of similar apps they’ve built gives you a concrete sense of their ability to handle projects like yours.

This question is your way of saying, “Prove to me that you’ve done well before, so I can trust you with my project.” It’s a practical step in making sure the developer is the right fit for bringing your unique app vision to life.

Pro tip: Don’t simply settle with a “yes.” Delve deeply by inquiring how the similar apps they’ve built are making an impact in the app stores and beyond.

16. What would be the approximate cost of developing an app tailored to my specific needs?

Understanding costs allows you to evaluate the feasibility of your app idea. It helps identify potential trade-offs between features and budget constraints, enabling you to make informed decisions about prioritizing certain functionalities.

Don’t make the mistake of making a decision based on the average cost of developing an app like yours. Many factors influence pricing, such as the app’s functionality, design, and technical intricacies, making it hard to capture their costs with a simple average.

Instead, discuss the details of your vision with the developer so they can take a closer look at the unique aspects of your project. This way, you’ll get app cost estimates that take into account the specific complexities and important features needed for your project.

Pro tip: Prioritize value over cost. Consider not only the price but also the overall value the providers offer. More knowledgeable and experienced developers tend to make fewer mistakes, speeding up the app development process and consequently lowering your costs.

To assess the overall value the provider can bring

 

QTAAAD: questions to assess the overall value the provider can bring

17. How can you help me grow my app?

This question helps you understand how the app development company can support your long-term goals. It prompts them to share insights on making your app profitable, finding funding, and building a prototype that attracts investors.

A developer with experience growing apps can guide you in choosing the right way to earn, like through ads or subscriptions. Talking about funding is also essential because it opens doors for financial support, making the web or mobile app development journey smoother.

A developer who can help create an impressive prototype not only attracts potential investors but also showcases your app’s potential, making it easier to secure app funding.

Pro tip: Look for a developer who not only knows the technical side but also understands the business of app development. A developer with a strategic mindset can guide you in building a successful app and navigating the business complexities of boosting your app’s growth.

QTAAAD: Appetiser's success rate

18. Do you offer continued support and updates for apps post-launch?

The post-launch phase is often where unforeseen challenges arise, and ongoing support becomes invaluable.

This question is like making a plan for a long-term partnership with the provider, ensuring your app doesn’t just stop working well after it’s launched in the app stores. It’s about having a reliable partner who cares about your app’s success and is ready to help even as things evolve.

A web and mobile app development company committed to providing updates and support for apps post-launch is not only dedicated to resolving potential issues promptly but also keeps your app aligned with the latest technological advancements and ensures compatibility with evolving Android or iOS app versions.

Pro tip: Opt for a service provider that offers a clear and structured plan for post-launch support and updates. A provider with a well-defined process demonstrates their commitment to the ongoing success of your app, providing you with confidence in the reliability and longevity of your product.

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 evaluate an app developer that suits you.

To ensure you’re hiring web and mobile 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.

Do you have an app idea? Schedule a free consultation with Appetiser today!

Dominate the App Store.

Get the latest industry news first.

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