The digital age is very much upon us.
What started with smartphones has progressed to incorporate nearly every element of our daily lives; from entertainment, to work, to managing the home, it seems we’re never far away from a piece of tech. Consequently, recent years have seen a glut of web and app design agencies springing up, seemingly out of nowhere. This ranges from technology startup companies focusing on digital products, to existing media agencies ‘having a go’ at broadening their offering.
But just because somebody says they can do it, doesn’t mean they can. After all, I play tennis but that doesn’t mean I will one day play at Wimbledon. So how do you know the people you’re talking to are the real deal and will be able to meet your requirements?
Here are some of the things to look for when choosing an app or web agency to make sure they are the right fit for your business and not just making promises they can’t deliver.
The proof is in the company’s past work. Any web or app design agency worth their salt will have a panoply of case studies available to view, usually on their website. And it’s perfectly ok to ask for examples of their work if you don’t feel like the examples shown fit your expectations.
As well as the work itself, a good indicator of the agency’s standard is the brands they have worked for in the past. Look at their previous clients and see if there are any well-known or trusted brands. If a major corporation has trusted this company with their brand, that is a good indicator that you should feel comfortable to do the same. If, on the other hand, their previous work has been for Bob’s Fish and Chip Warehouse or the designer’s brother-in-law’s band, that could be a red flag that they’re not yet up to your project.
Your business is unique, and whatever objective you have, that objective is unique to you and your business. When looking through your agency’s previous work, be sure to check that they are capable of providing creative and innovative solutions to your problem. There are a great deal of apps and websites out there that can be rebranded or reskinned for a different business, however, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to app and web design. A good case study will demonstrate that the agency identified and understood the problem and was able to use their knowledge and the technology available to provide a bespoke solution to their client.
Ask for References
You wouldn’t employ a member of staff without first checking they are who they say they are and the same should be true of an app or web agency. It’s quite common for an agency to make a lot of flashy claims on their website, so you should ask them to put their money where their mouth is by contacting at least three of their previous clients to ask for a reference. If the agency is as good as their website claims, their clients will agree.
When you choose an app or web design agency, you want to choose one that will be focused on the task and dedicated to your project; if their office looks more like an amusement arcade than a place of work, how focused are they really going to be?
In recent years it has become a particular trend, particularly for design-based companies, to adorn their office space with distractions such as table tennis, video games and televisions.
However, we found this approach distracted our employees from their tasks which led to them having to catch up by working later, which consequently made them tired, unproductive, and uncreative.
As an alternative, we removed the ‘distractions’ (such as our table football) and instead focused on creating a flexible and relaxed working environment in which we could get our best work done.
We've found that the more focused the environment is, the more focused our employees are - not just due to lack of distraction, but also thanks to them working efficiently and going home on time, allowing the Atomic team to always come back feeling refreshed the next day.
Where possible, you should get a look at the agency’s office space to get a better idea of how they will work on your project.
At AtomicMedia, we have been developing websites for twenty years and have been developing mobile apps since the dawn of the digital age.
We've developed an understanding of the digital landscape that far exceeds that of any startup company.
Have a look at our case studies to see some of the previous work we’ve done or give us a call to discuss your requirements with one of our team today.