The demand for digital products and services is growing steadily. But when an organization commits to making a huge time and financial investment in new product development, it needs a reliable IT partner by its side.
Choosing a good digital product development company is not an easy feat. The company you select must be deeply invested in your success. Also, it must be a dependable company as the process will require you to move fast, iterate regularly, and make swift decisions.
Placing the technical development of your digital product in the hands of an external company is a daunting task, especially if your business’s success depends on it. How can you be sure that the development company you choose will offer fresh ideas and execute tasks as per your standard?
In this post, we will discuss a few things you must consider while choosing a good digital product development company. Our primary focus is to help you identify an appropriate fit for your business and product.
Attributes of a Good Digital Product Development Company
A good development company can mean the difference between a successful digital product and a failed one. If you don’t want your IT partner to fall short of your expectations in terms of expertise, quality, mindset, and culture fit, you must outline certain standards for choosing a digital product development company.
Here, we will look at some significant attributes that you must consider during the selection process.
1. They think beyond design and development
When it comes to developing an award-winning product, the capabilities of a company must extend beyond design and development. They must first thoroughly look into the customer’s idea, validate it, and devise a robust product strategy.
A good team will spend time understanding your target audience, business objectives, organizational resources at hand, and any technical limitations. Based on the collected data, they will ensure the viability of your product idea and confirm its market fit. The company will also take into account the entire product development lifecycle, from conceptualization to after-launch support, and provide you with a clear product roadmap.
2. They pay attention to your requirements
While choosing a development company, it is important to find someone who attentively listens to your requirements and responds appropriately. The partner you select must pay attention to your business goals, objectives, target audience, marketing concerns, etc. Consequently, they must devise solutions that address your needs.
Remember, a good company will ask detailed questions about your goals, your business model, the product features you are looking at, etc. The details they get from you will help them anticipate the real problem and suggest potential solutions.
3. They are agile in their approach
When we say agile, we would like to highlight the importance of business flexibility. A digital product development company must be flexible enough to readily embrace change as your business evolves. Essentially, it involves the ability to scale, rapid adoption of latest tech trends, offering varied price models, etc.
The company must be able to adapt to your business plans and quickly scale as your business evolves. Also, it must stay on top of the latest technological trends and updates. We are living in a fast-paced world where tech is constantly upgrading.
Additionally, the company should offer different pricing structures to choose from. They must be able to provide you with the pricing structure that best suits your business requirements and project scope.
4. They are transparent in their dealings
Every good association is based on open and transparent communication. The best software development companies will seldom proceed with an idea or concept that they believe will lead to a poor experience. Instead, they will openly discuss their concerns and take time to devise the best and most appropriate solution to the problem.
In other words, the company will not agree to every idea you suggest and develop a faulty product. Instead, they will work hard to innovate and find the best solution that fits the needs of the users and the market.
5. They move fast
A good digital product development company does not wait until the product has reached its final stage of completion before releasing it to the public. Instead, they release a minimum viable product (MVP) for the users to test and provide valuable feedback.
The IT industry is highly dynamic. And in digital product development, speed to market is crucial to determine the viability of the product. Thus, it is important to choose a company that regularly releases an MVP to gain user feedback. This will help them to improve the product’s functionality through fast sprints and speedy innovation.
6. They are innovative and solution-oriented
In today’s highly competitive scenario, your digital product must be truly remarkable to stand out. And this involves offering an intuitive user experience that closely aligns with your business’s objectives.
A brilliant digital product development agency is driven by an innovative mindset. Whether it comes to implementing different features or creating UI/UX, a good agency always comes up with fresh and inventive solutions. It can think outside the box and deliver a solution that is customized to fulfill the precise user requirements.
Things to Consider while Choosing a Digital Product Development Company
1. Experience and reputation
Before inking any partnership, make sure the chosen company has hands-on experience working on similar projects in your industry. For instance, if you are looking for a digital product in the automotive industry, it is impractical choosing a development company that specializes in Fintech solutions.
Similarly, if your requirement involves working on large-scale projects with distributed teams, a company with no experience working with remote teams will prove to be a detrimental choice.
2. Technical expertise
When choosing a digital product development company, inquire about the partner’s technical proficiency. Make sure the company works with a full-fledged team of designers, developers, testers, and analysts that possess wide-ranging expertise in multiple frameworks and languages.
If you are looking for a specific skill set, you must shortlist vendors who have a proven track record of working in that area. Also, make sure they are competent enough to offer you maximum leverage from their experience in using different tech stacks.
3. Previous products
Another important thing to consider before finalizing an agency is looking at their previously developed product solutions. This is the best way to confirm their knowledge of specific technologies, experience working with different domains, countries, etc.
In case their previous projects are missing the ‘wow’ factor, then there isn’t too much hope that your product will be developed any better. So, carefully review the shortlisted company’s portfolios and compare them to make a good choice.
4. Good communication
Do not go for a team of geeks that sit in a dark room and perform coding, distancing themselves from the rest of the world. Make sure to choose a company that not only possesses good technical skills to build the product but also decent communication skills.
This will save you from the effort involved in gathering regular updates from the company. They will keep you in the loop throughout the process and conduct regular discussions and meetings to ensure the product optimally meets your business needs.
5. Company Size
This is another significant consideration to keep in mind. If the company you select is too big and only manages large-scale projects, it may not pay adequate attention to your precise needs. Alternatively, if the company is too small it may lack experience working with big projects.
Choose a company that is similar in size to yours. This way, they will pay proper attention to your requirements and will be able to scale the development team up or down, based on your needs.
6. Cultural Fit
Many times, the company you choose follows a peculiar set of values and business ethics that negatively impacts the product quality. Besides, it may also hamper communication and result in delays in project delivery.
To build an enduring relationship with your digital product development company, you must find a partner that follows a similar business culture as yours. Make sure they are open to suggestions and hold transparent dealings that do not cause any miscommunication or unmet expectations.
Pricing must never be the first criterion while selecting a development agency. However, it plays a crucial role in the final decision-making process. Everyone wants services that are not particularly cheap but cost-effective. So, make sure to clarify your project goals and scope in the beginning and come up with an approximate budget.
Mostly, the pricing depends on the engagement model you select. For instance, if you have a long-term project with dynamic requirements, it is best to opt for a dedicated development team. On the other hand, if you require a development team just for a short period, hiring them full-time does not make much sense.
So, sit with your chosen team to discuss the pricing strategy. Ask them for a clear breakdown of pricing that enlists the approximate charges of each phase of the project. This will help to avoid any inaccuracies and troubles later on.
8. Client reviews and testimonials
Before finalizing your choice of the company, ask for reviews or testimonials from previous clients. These testimonials will give you a fair idea about the experience and expertise of the company along with their commitment.
You can even get in touch with the previous clients to know about the company’s professionalism and dealings. Finally, choose a company that has excellent reviews and ratings with optimally satisfied clients.
Team Structure of a Digital Product Development Company
For gathering a better understanding of the potential development company, you must inquire about the team members who participate in your product’s development. Building a digital product from scratch requires a list of professionals apart from software developers. Here is the team structure that you must look for in your chosen development company.
The project manager acts as a link between the client and the development team. He is in charge of planning and execution. He administers all the processes, delegates the tasks among other team members, and ensures that everyone stays on track.
Software developers are the ones who perform the actual coding. Front-end developers take care of the customer-facing elements whereas back-end developers work on the core functionality of the digital product.
They are responsible for developing innovative and user-friendly designs that determine how the users interact with the product. These designers control the look and feel of the product while focusing on its usability and functionality.
A business analyst researches your business requirements, evaluates the business model, and ensures its alignment with technology. He also evaluates what works and what does not and sets the direction for business development.
A tester tests the project to identify any bugs and glitches and gets rid of them. He ensures that the product meets the quality standards before it is released to the users.
He determines the tech stack that is best suited to a specific project.
Such a team that includes all these specialists will ensure to deliver a product that is unique, innovative, and viable.
Finding a Reputed Digital Product Development Company
Seek word-of-mouth recommendations
Word-of-mouth recommendations are among the most reliable ways of finding a good digital product development company. You can seek recommendations from your business colleagues. Alternatively, you can seek help from your connections on LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Facebook. All these are professional platforms that can be immensely beneficial in seeking great references.
At the same time, make sure to consider the specific aspects of your industry. A service provider that has developed your colleague’s product may not always be the right fit for your needs.
Conduct extensive online research
Even if you have got some recommendations from your colleagues, it is always a good idea to look into the company’s credentials online. Nowadays, several online platforms and directories can help you identify the top companies in your industry. For instance, you can use Clutch, a review platform that rigorously scans all clients before they can submit a review. Thus, the information on Clutch is genuine and unbiased.
Apart from that, some other platforms where you can look for a good digital product development company include:
- Special Directories, such as GoodFirms, CrunchBase
- Special Events
Moving on, looking at your chosen company’s website can help you gain an idea about their work. You can check out their completed projects and past clients to confirm their skills and capabilities.
Digital product development is a long and complex process that may take months to complete. So, it is important to partner with a company that understands your business goals and takes a holistic approach to development.
The aforementioned points will help you locate the best digital product development company and get the ball rolling in the right direction.