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Heads and Hands

Heads and Hands

Co-create complex web-services and mobile apps

Using a growth hacking approach, we create complex web-services, mobile apps, and develop projects that reflect our passion and creativity. Our main expertise: - Mobile e-Commerce - Various aggregat...

INTERVIEW

INTERVIEWED BY APPLANCER

Alexander Semenov CEO Heads and Hands

Alexander Semenov


CEO , Heads and Hands

What do you do?

Using a growth hacking approach, we create complex web-services, mobile apps, and develop projects that reflect our passion and creativity.

Our main expertise
Mobile e-Commerce
Various aggregators of goods and services
Client services and loyalty programs
Startups

Platforms:
Web
Android
iOS
Apple Watch
Smart TV
We are oriented on long-term cooperation with our clients and work permanently on polishing final products and adding values to the clients’ business.

Which would you say are the best apps you have developed and why?

First of all, I want to mention Sportlife application that we developed for a chain of fitness clubs. The main advantage of the Sportlife application is an inner social network that helps people to communicate actively with other like-minded persons within the club. Additionally to the socializing, people can organize their own events within a club, find people for group trainings and even compete to become the Leading member. We developed a unique feature that gives users ability to create events in a club and invite their friends to attend.
There are many other features such as statistics of your training progress and various filters to find the right course in the most convenient place.
Secondly, it’s iGooods application that we launched in the December 2016. iGooods is a service to deliver groceries right to your home from Metro, Prisma and Lenta supermarkets in Saint-Petersburg. The app based on user-friendly design principles with no dead end scenarios and clever hints supporting user during his order placement. It also has dynamic order-picking option that gives you an opportunity to monitor your order being packed in real time.
The last, but not the least, is ZakaZaka application. Together with client we developed a business strategy keeping in mind long-term perspectives. That is why we developed an app that makes an order process as quick as possible without losing the main functions of the website - search for dishes, restaurants, bonus points and information about various special offers. The app also has a builder for additional ingredients for various dishes, push-notifications instead of regular sms and various voice search options.

Which apps would you have loved to develop and why?

A lot, actually. AirBnB, because it’s awesome. IMDB, because it looks a decade old and could use a fresh touch. And Facebook, because we wish it was better.

What is your company’s business model? Do you have in-house team or outsource the development process?

We use growth hack approach and prefer to work on business strategy of every client. We are not just developers and designers. We love to dig into the goals and challenges of each project, offer optimal solutions and share the extent of our expertise with clients.

We maintain extremely high standards for our work and value product quality above everything else, that is why we’re not working with freelancers. Our projects are lead by a close-knit team of professionals that have worked together for more than 3 years and are constantly developing their expertise.

What industries do you generally cater to?

We cover different industries, but our main expertise focuses on Retail, various aggregators of goods and services, startup services, healthcare, sport and automotive industries.

What key parameters due you suggest to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?

Usually it depends on the type of the client. If it’s a startup business that just started development of his service and wouldn’t throw budgets into proving different hypotheses on both platforms at once, than Android version is often a better choice. The audience is vast, apps get approved faster in Google Play Market, it’s easier to upload new updates and work with audience feedback. On the other hand, iOS has beautifully simple native Apple Pay system that can be integrated into ecommerce projects without having to add third-party payment handlers. But then again it often happens that our client wants some features which are native for Android we suggest we start with Android version.
All in all it makes no difference; if our client wants to do both platforms and has a clear vision of what the outcome should be, we can always start both at the same time. Separating iOS and Android versions launches usually works best if we want to check something with a large audience before implementing it in both.

Which platforms (Native or Hybrid) do you use to build an app? What are your recommendations?

We only focus on native iOS and Android development; sure, of course we know that hybrid development is usually much faster and much cheaper but there is no hybrid platform that could provide the same quality and smoothness of performance as native apps do. So saving money by developing your app-based startup with a hybrid platform could actually harm the outcome - you won’t get a “clean” reaction to your idea if its medium (the app) shows weak performance.

How do you decide the cost of an application?

We pre-calculate every project according to the details we know about it judging from our experience and expertise - we've developed tens of projects over the years both on iOS and Android (and also web) so we usually can tell pretty accurately how long this or that is going to take. Although everything always depends on the interface and functionality - so we cannot announce the development phase length/cost until we see the visual design and technical documentation.
So usually this is how we do this: we provide a precise calculation of the first, design phase, and an approximate calculation of the development phase. After we're finished with the design part we recalculate the development phase and provide you with an exact figure.

What payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2016?

These figures are always easier to understand if split into phases; our usual price range for an abstract project is the following:
$6000 - $12000 for prototyping and design phase (1-2 months, the result is full visual design + technical documentation)
$24000 - $48000 for app development (per platform, iOS and Android separately because we develop native apps. It's 4-7 months but both platforms can be developed at the same time)
$12000 - $24000 for server-side development (2-4 months, including API for apps to interact with server. Is usually done almost at the same time as the apps - it's only a few weeks ahead)

Why is Applancer useful to you? Mention your experiences or the potential you see on our site. We will use this in the future testimonials section of our website unless you don't want us to.

I see Applancer is a great partner to inform the companies around the world about our main expertise and our extensive portfolio to establish work connections and talk business. It may become a great place for lead generation and collaborative activities to show the details of mobile and web development and digital trends of the future.

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