How to choose a software house, part I: analyze the website

How to choose a software house, part I: analyze the website

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So, the time has come. You need to hire a software house for your latest project. Let’s be honest. It’s tough. Especially when it’s the first time. It’s difficult to tell if your potential contractor is any good basing only on data available on their website. Luckily for you, we know what to look for.

For starters: Some behavioral economics

Did you ever think about how people evaluate lawyers? Why they choose one over the other? It’s something researchers analyzed and came to one conclusion. When judging lawyer’s abilities, people tend to look at one of the three things: his suit, his chair and the quality of paper.

You read that right. Brand of the suit. The chair’s quality (is it real leather?). The document’s thickness. What about the quality of his work? Well, the problem is, people don’t know how to judge it: they lack knowledge.

Instead they look at the things they know and can evaluate. The logic behind it is simple. If he can afford expensive suit, then he must have a lot of clients.

But what does it tell us about choosing software house? You need to find a right element if the equasion: if X is good, then Y is good as well.

If website is good, then software house is good. If portfolio is good, then software house is good.

See the pattern here?

Of course, it’s not so simple. First you need to know how to evaluate website and portfolio. So here we are to help!

Website’s quality

How can company say they make great software if their own website is horrid? It simply has to be good, no excuses. But what does “good” mean?

Website is a conventional thing. Apart from design (which you may or may not like – depends on your taste), there are few things you should keep an eye on.

1# The structure

If the company didn’t make it simple enough for you to navigate on the website without a problem, then how can they make more complex structures – like software – easily accessible?

2# Secondly: English version of the website

You’ll be communicating in English and building software for English-speaking users. There is no way you can cooperate with a company that doesn’t care about visitors from abroad.

3# Typos

Sounds trivial? Think about it: company that makes sure their website is without errors of any kind is probably the one that will double-check the quality of code.

#4 Responsive web design

It’s no longer the luxury. After recent changes in Google algorithm, it is a necessity. If your potential contractor doesn’t have responsive website, that should ring an alarm bell in your head. This means they are not up to date with today’s standards.

It is quite easy, right?

I can bet you simply don’t have time to talk with more than a few software houses. That’s why you need simple remarks to isolate the ones worthy of attention.

Now you know how to critically look on the website without focusing solely on design. Next time we’ll talk about harder task: analyzing portfolios.

Piotr Imbierowicz

The Master of an idea. Young and hungry programmer, who always wanted to optimize things, even when no one expect it from him ;-) It was difficult to do it under someone else wings, so he decided to go on his own. Tough challenge, but what can he do? He doesn’t have a choice.

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