In recent years, no-code development platforms have made it possible for anyone to create their applications without knowledge of coding languages. A Bubble agency uses Bubble to make software.
How do they differ from traditional agencies?
Like other no-code agencies, a Bubble agency has distinct advantages over a traditional agency.
- Development time: Bubble agencies can often develop apps much faster than traditional agencies because they use visual interfaces to build applications.
- Cost: Bubble agencies can often provide services at a lower price than traditional agencies because they do not need to spend as much time on development. The ROI of a Bubble is higher than that of a traditional agency because you can get your product to market faster.
- Flexibility: Bubble agencies are often more flexible than traditional agencies because they can quickly pivot and adapt to changing client needs or project requirements.
The risks of working with a Bubble agency
Working with a Bubble agency can be a game-changer for your business, but like any business decision, some risks exist. Here are some potential risks to be aware of:
Quality of Work
Even with established agencies, the quality of work can be a hit or miss. Every business is different. And just because they had a fruitful partnership with a similar company doesn't mean your collaboration will also be the same.
On the bright side, the inverse is also true.
It's crucial to find a Bubble agency with experienced developers who can ensure that your finished product is of a high standard and meets your requirements.
It is not an agency-specific risk but a Bubble related risk. When you use any no-code platform like Bubble, you need to use and stick to the platform. You can export your data, but you can't export the source code of your Bubble app.
How can I effectively communicate my requirements?
Before hiring a Bubble agency, you must communicate your vision with them and ensure they know your expectations. Many software projects fail due to unmet expectations.
Understand the agency's process and capabilities
Before you communicate your requirements to a Bubble agency, it's important to understand their process and capabilities. It will give you a better idea of what they can deliver and how they can help you achieve your goals.
For example, the agency can work with a high-level document and create low-fidelity wireframes independently if they have an in-house designer. They won't need your support with it. If they lack a design team, you'd need to factor in this and provide them with wireframes to describe the user flow better.
Prepare a detailed brief
Make sure you prepare a clear and detailed brief that outlines your needs, goals, and expectations. It will help the agency to understand what you want and how they can deliver it.
At the bare minimum, you and the Bubble agency's team should discuss creating a project scope which includes user stories, high-fidelity designs and third-party integration feasibility evaluation.
Learn more about writing user stories for Bubble apps.
Provide examples and inspiration
Sharing examples and inspiration can help the no-code agency understand your vision and preferences. It can also help them generate new ideas and solutions you may have yet to consider.
Any competitors you have will help the Bubble agency understand the working at a deeper level. It may only be possible for some projects, but most businesses have competing companies.
Don't have any direct competitors? No problem! There's bound to be someone out there doing something similar.
Communicate regularly and provide feedback
Regular communication and feedback are essential to ensure the project progresses as planned. Be available for meetings and provide timely feedback to keep the project on track.
Make sure the agency uses a project management tool to track progress. If not, it can be a serious red flag.
Request an invitation to track project development for weekly updates. It will help you keep track of project velocity and better collaborate with the team—your feedback, even if not acted upon immediately, will be at least added to the backlog to prevent future issues.
Related: Bubble Development Process Guide
How to evaluate a Bubble agency?
When choosing a no-code agency, there are many options out there. Here are some criteria to keep in mind when selecting a Bubble agency that will best fit your project:
Experience and Expertise
Look for agencies with a strong portfolio and experience in Bubble development. Check if they have worked with clients with similar requirements as you. Industries, use cases, and functionality can all be factors to consider.
Communication and Collaboration
Coordinating with an agency requires seamless communication and collaboration. Look for agencies with transparent and structured communication channels who reply promptly and are open to feedback.
Pricing and Flexibility
Be clear about your budget upfront, and look for an agency to work within it. A good agency will be transparent about its pricing and timeline and willing to find common ground. Be aware of pricing models, like hourly or project-based rates.
Quality and Reviews
Regarding quality, look for agencies prioritising testing and ensuring their products are free from bugs and defects. Check for reviews or testimonials from previous clients to evaluate their level of satisfaction, quality of work, and professionalism. Remember to prioritise your project's goals and requirements throughout the selection process. Choose an agency that you trust and feel comfortable working with, and together, you can bring your project to a successful completion.
What is the timeline when working with a Bubble agency?
The timeline for working with a Bubble agency will depend on the complexity of the project and the size of the team assigned to it.
The first step in the process is to schedule an initial consultation with the agency to discuss your project requirements and goals. It is an opportunity for you to share your vision and ask any questions you have. The agency will then provide you with an estimated timeline for the project based on your requirements.
Design and Development
Once you've hired the Bubble agency and signed a contract, the agency will start on the design and development of your project. Depending on the project's scope, this process typically takes several weeks (4-6 weeks). During this time, the agency may ask for your input and feedback to ensure they're meeting your expectations.
Quality Assurance and Testing
After the design and development are complete, the agency will conduct quality assurance and testing to ensure your project functions correctly and meets your requirements. This process typically takes 1-2 weeks.
Launch and Post-Launch Support
Once you have tested and approved the project, it's time for launch. The agency will ensure everything is set up correctly and your project is live. After the launch, the agency will provide post-launch support to ensure that everything is functioning as expected and will fix any issues that arise.
The timeline for working with a Bubble agency can vary from 2 to 10 weeks, depending on the project's complexity. It's important to establish clear communication with the agency and to be flexible throughout the process to ensure a successful project outcome.
What is the pricing structure of a Bubble agency?
Hiring a Bubble agency to develop your project can be more affordable than traditional software development firms. The pricing structure can vary depending on the complexity and scope of your project, but most Bubble agencies follow a similar model for pricing their services.
- Per-project cost: Some Bubble agencies charge a set fee for each project they undertake. This fee typically covers the entire development process, including design, development, and deployment.
- Hourly rate: Other Bubble agencies charge an hourly rate for their services. This approach can be more flexible for projects requiring more or less time than anticipated.
- Maintenance fees: Some Bubble agencies also charge monthly maintenance fees to ensure your project remains up-to-date and secure.
It's important to consider the pricing structure of any agency you're considering. Make sure you fully understand the costs involved and how they calculate them. Also, ask about any hidden fees or additional charges that may arise during the development process.
The cheapest option isn't always the best option. Investing in an agency that can deliver a high-quality product that meets your needs is worth investing in.
Different ways of collaborating with a Bubble agency
When working with an agency, you should know how to collaborate with them on a project. There are mainly three models of cooperation with top Bubble development agencies:
In this approach, a select few developers from the agency are recruited to complement your current in-house team. This model, referred to as body leasing, is ideal for companies with a software development department but needs specialised developers to bridge gaps in expertise.
To illustrate, consider a scenario where your latest venture requires Bubble developers to create the front end, but your current software team needs to improve. In such cases, you could engage a Bubble agency that would assign their developer to work with your back-end team.
In the Dedicated Team model, the agency allocates a team of developers to work exclusively on your project. This model is appropriate if you require a complete team to work on a long-term project without the hassle of recruiting one yourself.
While your organisation is responsible for managing both the project and the team, engaging a dedicated team can save you significant time and effort if you do not have an in-house software team or developers.
The last model is project outsourcing, wherein the agency takes over the entire project. You must provide the project specifications, expectations, and a general overview of the desired custom software development product. From then on, the agency is responsible for executing and delivering the project as they see fit.
Under this model, the Bubble agency handles both development and management while keeping you in the loop by collaborating with you at various stages of the process and considering any input you may have.
How do I ensure the contract is watertight?
Ensuring that your contract is watertight is crucial when working with an agency. It means that every aspect of the project is documented, from the scope of work to the payment terms. To create an agreement that is comprehensive and clear, follow these steps:
Define the scope of work
Clearly outline what is included in the project and what isn't. Be specific about deliverables, timelines, and any potential roadblocks.
Agree on pricing and payment terms
Make sure that the agency has a clear understanding of your budget and financial requirements. Agree on a payment schedule that aligns with key milestones in the project.
Consider intellectual property
Outline who will own the rights to this property after the project is complete. Consider the case where you may decide to terminate the contract before the handover — who gets to keep the IP in that case?
Use for marketing and promotion
The agency may want to use the finished product to market and promote its service. Ensure your contract covers what they can share and cannot claim ownership of the final product.
Decide about unmet requirements
In the worst case, the agency may fail to deliver its promise. It's unfortunate, but it happens. Will they complete the pending requirements at their own cost? Will they bill for delays caused by their team? Who will own the IP if you terminate the contract due to unmet requirements?
How can I collaborate effectively throughout the project?
Once you've selected an agency to work with, it is important to make your collaboration successful. Here are some tips you can use:
Set clear goals
Before you start working, it's important to set clear goals and expectations. It will ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives.
Establish communication channels
Communication is key. Establish clear communication channels, such as Slack, email, phone, or video chat, and set expectations for how often you'll communicate. Some agencies like us use Slack for communication internally and with clients, while some prefer to have weekly check-ins via video calls.
Be open to feedback from the no-code agency and provide your feedback. It will help ensure the project stays on track and everyone is happy with the outcome.
They are experts in their field, so be open to their suggestions and ideas. They may have insights you need to consider, so be flexible and willing to try new things.
Set SMART goals
Ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It will help ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives.
Use project management tools
Use project management tools like Asana or Trello to keep track of tasks and deadlines. It will help ensure the project stays on track and is completed on time.
Schedule regular check-ins
Schedule regular check-ins with the agency to review progress and discuss issues or concerns. It will help ensure the project stays on track and everyone is happy with the outcome.
Be clear about your budget
Make sure you're clear about your budget from the outset. It will help ensure that the Bubble agency can work within your budget and that there are no surprises down the line.
Related: Bubble Development Process Guide
Mistakes to avoid when working with a Bubble agency
Not all partnerships turn out the way you want them to. But you can reduce your chances of a failed collaboration in some ways.
Hiring without a clear plan
Before hiring a Bubble agency, you should plan what you want to achieve with your software. Defining your goals, scope, timeline, budget, and expectations would be best. It will help you communicate your needs to the agency and avoid misunderstandings or conflicts later.
Hiring without doing proper research
You should not hire a Bubble agency based on its price or reputation alone. You should seek an agency with relevant experience and a proven track record in delivering similar projects. It would help if you researched their previous projects, portfolio, reviews, ratings, and testimonials. You should also check their expertise in Bubble and any third-party services you need for your project.
Hiring without verifying their requirements
You should not assume that the Bubble agency understands your requirements fully or correctly. It would help if you verified their understanding of your project by asking questions, providing feedback, and reviewing their proposals or prototypes. You should also check their references and testimonials from previous clients to see how they handled similar projects.
Hiring without prioritising the people
It would be best if you did not treat the Bubble agency as a vendor or contractor only. Treat them as a partner and collaborate with them throughout the project lifecycle. It would be best if you prioritised the people involved in the project over the product itself. You should build trust and rapport with the agency team by communicating regularly, respecting their opinions, and appreciating their efforts.
Hiring without delegating tasks properly
It would help if you did not micromanage or interfere with the agency's work process. You should delegate tasks properly and let them do their job according to their expertise and best practices. Consult them before changing your requirements frequently or adding new features.
Hiring without communicating clearly
You should not leave any room for ambiguity or confusion when hiring a Bubble agency. You should communicate clearly with them about your expectations, feedback, issues, risks, milestones, deliverables etc. Ensure the agency does sprint meetings and uses project management tools to keep everyone on the same page.
Hiring an agency without taking feedback seriously
You should not ignore or dismiss feedback from the agency's team. They are experts in Bubble and know what works best for your project. You should take feedback seriously and implement it accordingly.
Launching a product without testing the product
Testing is a crucial part of the development process that ensures your product meets your requirements. Testing can help you identify bugs, errors, glitches, and security issues before they affect your users. Testing can also help you optimise your product for different platforms, devices, browsers etc. You should only launch your product after testing it thoroughly.
How can I evaluate the delivered product?
Once the Bubble agency has delivered its work, you should evaluate it.
- Make sure the product conforms to the acceptance criteria you and the agency had chalked out. In an ideal situation, you would do it along the way, but if you still need to, it's a good practice to ensure the software performs how you want it to.
- Ask the agency for documentation of the product. It can include information about the pages, database structure, custom states, API integrations, and user flows.
- Test the software thoroughly by imagining different test cases. Your users may use the app differently than you intend, but you explore various possibilities on how your product may not be used.
- Get feedback from users and understand their perspectives. You can conduct user surveys or interviews to gather feedback.
What to do if you're not satisfied with the work
First, take a deep breath and don't panic. No-code platforms provide flexibility that can allow quick changes and iterations to meet your needs. Communicate your concerns with your agency and try to work with them to find a solution.
Provide Clear Feedback
Give precise feedback to help your no-code agency fix the work. They might have misunderstood your requirements or made a mistake. Clearly explain your concerns, and provide suggestions for improvements. Avoid attacking or blaming them, and focus on working together to fix the problem.
Revise the Contract
Revise the contract if your agency cannot deliver the expected quality and fails to make the necessary changes. You can request a refund, renegotiate the terms, or terminate the contract. Make sure you document all the issues before taking any action.
What type of support should I expect after the project is completed?
After the project's completion, the support level will likely differ depending on your chosen agency. However, there are some common types of post-project support you can expect.
Maintenance and Updates
Most agencies offer maintenance and update services to keep your project up-to-date and functioning smoothly. It can include updates, bug fixes, and other technical support to ensure your project stays operational long after its initial completion.
Depending on your project, your agency may offer training for your team to use Bubble. It can be crucial if you want your team to handle the product after the handover.
Some agencies offer ongoing support services, such as new features for subsequent versions and improvements. It can help you improve your product with user feedback.
In conclusion, working with a no-code agency can be a game-changer for your business. Following the tips outlined in this article can ensure a successful partnership with the right agency. Remember to be clear about your requirements, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively to achieve your goals. With the right agency by your side, the possibilities are endless.