Story 1 - “The unread letter”
There was an unread request for development in the mailbox. It waited for a day, then another one, waiting to be opened. After that he met another email from a new client. And in a few days so many emails piled up that the developer was completely lost in them. Requests gave up and went off to another studio.
This story may seem a bit naive at first, but it illustrates one of most important factors when you are selecting your developer. Speedy replies mean a lot: if developers are so reluctant to communicate during estimate stage, what will happen when they start working on the project? That is why the first thing you should pay attention to is their responsiveness. Experienced developer replies fast. Slow responses usually mean that the company does not have much expertise, or it does not care too much about their clients. Numerous issues may arise during the whole development process.
Story 2 - “Monstrous price!”
One night, a client was working late at home. Suddenly, he heard some strange sounds. He looked out the window and saw a giant shaggy-haired arm begging for money. He threw some coins at it, and the arm disappeared. The next night the horrible arm cam to the client again. Since then every midnight this insatiable arm appears at the window of the poor, scared client.
Clients are often afraid of high costs as they do not understand what does the price consist of, and what they will get in the end. Development price depends on many factors. A young studio may offer you a lower rate compared to large, experienced developer. However, beginner tend to spend much more time on development, and, eventually if you go with a senior studio the overall cost would be lower even with higher rates.
The full cycle of development and service is another key factor. A quality studio you get not only developer and/or designer, but also your dedicated project manager to coordinate the whole team and constantly communicate with you. Another good bonus will be a full quality assurance round on all gadgets required and, of course, maintenance after project is released.
To sum it all up, when making decision on whom you would hire, take into consideration the value you would get.
Story 3 - “The curse of lazy developers”
There was a small company that had a tradition of constantly asking their customers millions of questions and wasting their precious time. Universal laziness overcame developers - they did not want to go to World Wide Web, but Google needs to drive. We asked again about two to another, and the third client broke down and turned into a fire-breathing dragon. Since then, the developers of the bad rumors and legends go - that they fled in marshes unsuccessful projects make. A cosmic laziness conquered developers - they do not want to launch browser and search. They asked the client once, and a few more times, and then he turned into fire-breathing dragon. Now bad rumours and legends wander about these programmers. People say they escaped into wetlands and work on small unsuccessful projects.
This story teaches you how to properly question your client. Expertise is shown in how you ask. A 4 sheet list of the questions will not turn out well. Every question must be supported by facts, examples from other projects developed by the studio.
A good sign is to include recommendations into your questions: what to use and where, and how to do it better. An experienced studio will become your reliable partner. it will arrange development process flawlessly and deliver your project within the time frames set. I
Story 4 - “Ancient symbols”
There was a client who once got a letter with estimate on his project from a team of development. Full of hope, he opened it, and ... weird signs and images started appearing on white paper. What language is that, wondered the client. Two days and two nights in a wo he tried to decrypt the message together with a team of translators, but all in vain. The text turned out ancient witch spells.
Quite often developers put tasks in a very abstract and technical language in their estimates.
The client finds himself in a very awkward situation. Not only the essence of the message is not clear and it is not obvious whether the developer understood the task properly. Moreover, the client is having second thoughts about the studio - did they put a larger hours on purpose hoping that the customer would agree with them as he lacks expertise?
An experienced project manager in a professional studio would never make it happen. He will translate the tasks from technical to ‘human’ language before sending estimate, and will make sure there is no any misundestanding.
Story 5 - “Still waters run deep”
Once there was a small task in a project. Unprepossessing in appearance at simple first sight - so it did not get much of attention. However, the task turned out quite tricky. It was offended this attitude and became a devouring monster. Since then it pursues the client and consumes his budget for permanent fixes.
Quite often simple-looking problems are underestimated by developers, or clients can not understand why a simple task like that would take of so much time. In fact, a lack of understanding starts when developer stops communicating closely with the client. If you are asked right questions, listened carefully, and described the solution proposed in detail, adding examples from his own experience, then you can surely imagine the amount of work and tthe amount of time it may take.
Story 6 - “The mysterious stranger”
Once a client found some developer client to help with some tasks. His website looked good, same as portfolio. But when he finally got an MVP in a couple of months, it was really weird. Actually, the work was done by six-armed aliens. The client did not know the truth, grieved for 100 days and 100 nights, and the studio vanished right after the first version.
Most often the client starts communicating with the developer remotely. Therefore, at the first stage of work it is important to know who you're dealing with. Googling, read reviews and looking through portfolio is not so difficult, but it is not enough. We can only trust those whom we know, so the studio should always have an opportunity to communicate with the client personally. May it be an invitation to the office, video calls or chats. It is much easier to find your dream studio after hearing a real voice and seeing nice and professional people in live. The company's reputation also affects the outcome of the deal - as much as 85%. Yet there is a personal reputation of development team members - you can find more about it when communicating with the staff. They must be competent in their respective fields, be polite and able to answer all your questions.
Story 7 - “Spirit of oblivion”
Something terrible happened here! All of the sudden letters from the client were no longer returned, and developer’s phone recently became unavailable. It’s like developer vanished! Is it UFO? Poltergeist? Strange, but it all happened after the client transferred funds under the development contract.
There is a concept of “business marriage” in business. As a real marriage, it is also built on mutual respect and care. It is not only the secret of your long-term cooperation, but also the key success of the product. It is always nice to work with a studio that is keeps in touch with you (even after the release!), keeps you up to date and anticipates questions. Not to mention the benefits of such cooperation for the project.
Why did we put the most terrible customer thoughts into children's horror stories? We did it so we could all live happily ever after, like in fairy tales;) And so that no one would ever get into the clutches of Bad Engineering Monsters.
It is enough to know only 7 qualities of a good studio, with whom the project would be success and cooperation would be pleasant:
2listens to you and asks right questions;
3expert in its field;
4describes and gives examples of similar projects, functions and technologies (his own or other solutions on the market)
5speaks the language of the customer;
6strives to communicate personally (via personal meeting or a call);
7continues to care about the project even after release;
Hope that was fun! See you in next stories!