How to deliver 'worry-free' custom mobile app development

(L to R): Principal Architect Thadd Selden, President Paul Choi and Chief Experience Officer David Issa, three of Worry Free Labs' Innovator leadership team. Image: Worry Free Labs

Custom mobile app development represents a top priority for many enterprises, according to recent data.

Technology market research firm Gartner recently found the majority of enterprises that are developing mobile apps "are focused on custom mobile app development, rather than customizing configurable apps or building from off-the-shelf templates."

Conversely, Gartner also pointed out mobile only accounted for 10 percent of overall app development budgets.

"Demand for mobile apps in the enterprise is growing, but the urgency to scale up mobile app development doesn't yet appear to be a priority for most organizations," Adrian Leow, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a prepared statement. "This must change, particularly given employees often have the autonomy to choose the devices, apps and even the processes to complete a task. This places an increasing amount of pressure on IT to develop a larger variety of mobile apps in shorter timeframes."

Although many mobile developers are creating custom apps for organizations worldwide, few developers have been successful in their efforts to support organizations in the healthcare, education, consumer and enterprise sectors like Worry Free Labs.

What is Worry Free Labs?

A New York-based mobile design and development company, Worry Free Labs boasts 75 employees and is a self-funded business. It has worked on projects like the Disney Creativity Studio iPad app and KeyMe key duplication solution, and helps clients embrace "digital transformation," according to Worry Free Labs President Paul Choi.

At Worry Free Labs, "digital innovation is all that matters," he said. The company prioritizes digital innovation to deliver "worry-free" mobile experiences – a mission it has followed since its inception more than a decade ago.  

Unlike many app developers, Worry Free Labs also emphasizes a broad approach to the app development cycle.

In fact, Choi told FierceDeveloper that his company primarily operates as a consultant that focuses on:

  • Digital and mobile strategy
  • Design
  • The development and management of mobile and web apps

Worry Free Labs has been successful in its efforts to help clients achieve their app development goals and has grown over the past few years.

Choi pointed out Worry Free Labs is a "high-growth" company with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent in the last three years.

"[We] have consistently generated above industry-average profitability," he stated.

Worry Free Labs and the app development cycle

Worry Free Labs began as a web design and user experience (UX) agency and became an early entrant and player in the mobile app transformation movement as a result of the the iPhone and its growing app ecosystem, according to Choi.

Today, Worry Free Labs emphasizes a UX-focused, agile development process. Choi said Worry Free Labs follows several baselines to ensure a successful app launch, including:

  • Finding the right balance between developer testing and quality assurance (QA)
  • Ensuring the app has met specific criteria for user acceptance testing (UAT)
  • Setting up analytics in a staging environment and ensuring they work properly

He also noted Worry Free Labs updates apps for feature enhancements or operating system (OS) changes to ensure none of its modifications "break" existing features.

"On the client-side for iOS and Android, we tend to stay as close to first-party tools as possible," Choi said. "We've tried other tools and languages that sit on top of the native layer, but find that sticking to the essentials keeps projects as 'future proof' and low-maintenance as possible."

The future of Worry Free Labs

Choi noted Worry Free Labs commonly faces a number of challenges throughout the app development process, such as:

  • Integrating with legacy and/or antiquated systems
  • Building new software
  • Making the right trade-offs between budget, time, scope and achieving business objectives

Ultimately, Worry Free Labs overcomes these challenges thanks in part to its "strong agile development," Choi said.

The Worry Free Labs team features expertise, Choi said, that ensures all team members can collaborate, manage complexity and establish priorities. Plus, Choi said Worry Free Labs strives for transparency with its clients and tries "to be innovative and forward-thinking in designing and building mobile apps."

Choi said that Worry Free Labs has helped its clients achieve a number of goals, including:

  • Generating millions in revenues
  • Collectively raising more than $100 million in venture capital
  • Selling their businesses for more than an aggregate of $1 billion to companies like Apple

"We of course have to make sure that we are meeting and exceeding our client's business objectives and deliver an ROI for their investment," Choi said.

Expect Worry Free Labs to explore projects in a wide range of areas in the future. Choi said Worry Free Labs plans to focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected device space as well as meeting the needs of organizations in many industries.

"We continue to do a lot of work in the healthcare and education space and want to launch intuitive, easy-to-use apps that meet our clients' and end user needs," he noted.