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4 things to consider when hiring a mobile app developer in Hong Kong

You've finally got the green light to develop the mobile app you've been championing. What next?

In this post, we'll cover a few things you should consider when hiring a mobile app developer to design and build your initial prototype.

Let's jump straight in.

1. What pain am I solving?

Before hiring a developer, make sure that you have identified and validated a clear need for your app. This means getting off your desk, speaking to users and understanding whether they actually have this pain point.

In the process of creating an app, there is a lot of research work that should be done beforehand:


2. What's the smallest thing I can build?

The biggest paradigm shift you'll have if you're developing an app for the first time is how to start small.

The corporate world teaches us to think big. We look into the future and picture what the world could be like with your product, the addressable market, the millions of users.

But launching a mobile app is about using the limited time and money that you have to create a prototype that you can use to prove that your idea works. Proving that your idea works in some way will get your stakeholders behind that idea, giving you a higher chance of getting more funding to grow the idea.

The smartest way to allocate limited time and money is to narrow scope and solve a specific problem. Instead of solving the problem entirely, it makes more sense to focus resources on the one feature that makes your app unique.

To learn more, check out this lecture about finding product market fit:


3. Should I outsource or insource?

Another common question is whether you should hire engineers and designers onto your team or outsource. I'll lay out the pros and cons here and you can make your own decision:

Here are the reason to outsource:

  • Faster. Agencies are optimized for building initial prototypes. We have a structured product design sprint where we guide you through designing your app over a short period of time. Working with an agency also saves you the time of training and getting the people your hire to work effectively as a team.

  • Reusability. Good software agencies have boilerplate code that they use to prototype quickly. As part of your project, you get access to this code.

  • Resource Flexibility. You are effectively renting a UI/UX designer, project manager, engineers or testers as and when you need. This allows you to speed up development on your project as required.

Here are the reason to insource:

  • Control. You have full control over how your designers and engineers spend their time and the type of person you want on your team.

  • Culture. When you hire out your own team, you can pick likeminded people and train them to fit the cultural mold that works for your business.

4. Native or mobile web (HTML5) app?

Finally, you'll probably ask yourself if you should develop a mobile web version or a native app. The main considerations for this are:

  • Native apps are more expensive to build than mobile web apps because the process of developing iOS and Android are different
  • The performance and speed of native apps are generally speaking better than mobile web apps because less content needs to be downloaded from the server
  • Mobile web apps are easier to onboard users on because they do not have to install a new app but simply need to visit a URL
  • Can your app provide a lot more value with native functionality like beacons, location based tracking, gyroscope etc.? If the answer is yes, you're probably looking for a Native app


That's a wrap. We hope you found this post useful. Feel free to leave any comments or questions you have below. If you want to talk to us about an app you'd like to build, feel free to reach out.

Justin Yek

Justin Yek

Partner & Cofounder @ Altitude Labs. Responsible for our in-house personalization technology Metisa.

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