When Seeking Collaborators for Digital Product Design, Look Offshore

Deep Kalina • 2 years ago

Thanks to modern collaboration and project management tools, the entire world is now open for business when you’re looking for a digital product design company.

It’s almost commonplace for companies in the U.S. to find their digital answers in tech hubs in India, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Belarus, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.

Working with an offshore development team can be an economical way to get the results you want for you and your customers. However, crossing borders and time zones for Digital Product Design for startups can present challenges for the uninitiated.

Potential obstacles include:

  • communication issues
  • scheduling difficulties
  • lack of oversight
  • cultural differences
  • insufficient progress tracking

Those problems can be overcome with the right attitude and approach. U.S. companies have worked with offshore partners long enough to develop a set of best practices that help bridge the divide between overseas tech companies and their U.S. clientele. Tips include

  • Conduct meetings at convenient times.
  • Make sure offshore developers have the tools they need.
  • Learn about and respect cultural differences.
  • Support collaboration among team members.
  • Trust offshore developers and give them reasons to trust you.

Before going any further, let’s identify terms. Offshoring involves working with a team in a different country. Companies usually look offshore for lower costs, access to a skilled talent pool, and quick turnarounds.

Outsourcing refers to contracting with a third party. The benefits include cost efficiencies and access to specialized skills.   

It’s also possible to offshore and outsource digital product design at the same time. For example, Intuitio Labs is an Atlanta-based tech company that has design and development teams located around the world. “Offshore outsourcing” can make it easier to access a skilled talent pool that can ramp up and ramp down on projects. It can also result in lower costs and higher productivity. In general, you can expect a 25-30 percent reduction in development costs when choosing Intuitio Labs as your development partner.

If you’re on the hunt for an offshore team that does mobile app development for startups, let’s take a look at what you can expect.

Enjoying the Benefits of Your Digital Product Design Agency

Web, Android and iOS Development
Web, Android and iOS Development

It’s already been established that hiring offshore developers is usually less expensive than hiring a stateside team. But that’s only a benefit if the relationship results in a high-quality finished product.

For the most part, the digital world is an innovative, and often disruptive, world. You want people who are used to pushing boundaries in the search for improved results.

Offshore teams are often located in tech hubs, where people dedicated to all things digital work together. A type of cross-pollination can happen, where designers share and develop ideas while also engaging in friendly competition.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the best creative teams are also diverse. When looking for a solution to your digital problem, offshore teams have access to a wide breadth of

  • information
  • ideas
  • perspectives 

That combination of factors can create elite IT professionals, who have unique and effective ways of tackling mobile app development for startups.

In addition, hiring an offshore team is a way to provide your company with a booster shot of scalability.

You can think of hiring offshore workers as a type of scaffolding. They help you get from here to there. They’re usually short-term but highly trained workers, so they can help your business grow and give you time to find and hire the right people for your permanent staff.

Digital Product Design Challenges and Solutions

Good communication is central to making any business relationship work, but it takes on a higher degree of importance when you’re working with offshore teams.

Language isn’t the only barrier. In fact, offshore developers working with the U.S. usually speak English. The potential difficulty is people from other countries don’t always interpret what is said the same way.

To get the most out of the business relationship, go into it with respect for the differences and an understanding that people aren’t trying to be difficult or rude. That accepting attitude will help smooth things out if and when misunderstandings occur.

To limit communication issues, let everyone know that you have an open-door policy, so people feel empowered to ask follow-up questions.

It’s also smart to schedule regular daily, weekly, and monthly meetings where issues can be addressed long before they have the chance to develop into problems. 

The meetings can have a dual role of encouraging a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. The communication company Slack has these suggestions for collaborating with remote workers:

  • Create a virtual water cooler space where employees can swap ideas.
  • Encourage face-to-face communications with video conferencing.
  • Provide peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

When looking for an offshore partner, it’s good to look at the history of the agency you are hiring and the founder’s experiences. Not all offshore companies are the same.

Offshoring finds its roots in BPO which peaked during the 90s. BPO’s purpose was to find repeatable and definable tasks and find cheaper labor to perform them. This led to the boom of BPO companies in India, The Philippines, and other countries around the world. These companies are what most people think when they hear “offshore companies”. Their existence depends on finding the cheapest resources and the most number of resources. For BPOs, it’s a price and volume game. 

Intuitio Labs was purposefully built from the ground up to not be one of these offshore companies. Hiring the best talent and training them to be experts in remote product development which in turn enables serving startups was the reason intuitio Labs was built. Before starting Intuito Labs, our founder successfully set up and scaled a remote product development team of 110 people across 4 time zones using SAF (scaled agile framework). All of this experience and education were brought to bear in building Intuitio Labs into what it is today.

Pathway to Digital Product Design for Startups

Digital Product Design
Digital Product Design

As mentioned, the digital world is an innovative and disruptive world. It bears repeating because it’s a mindset that gets results. In this world, “agile” isn’t a buzzword, it’s an operating philosophy.

The agile methodology is about coming up with a flood of ideas and putting them into action with the understanding that most of those ideas will fail. They’re supposed to fail. It’s a feature, not a bug, because, when ideas fall short, they can be replaced with better ones.

A highly effective offshore design and development team isn’t afraid to fail its way to success. If you understand and appreciate this dynamic approach to creativity, your experience working with an offshore team will go much more smoothly than it otherwise would.

To get the most from an agile team, make sure you have the right conditions in place:

  • A clear vision—know what you want out of the project and communicate your idea effectively to the design and development team.
  • Milestones and priorities—break the project into small pieces and hold regularly scheduled meetings to monitor progress.
  • Optimize communication—give immediate and clear feedback in simple language and actively encourage questions from the team.
  • Merge work schedules—find regular opportunities to meet when time zones allow, so everyone will be on the same page.
  • Manage directly—do not leave your offshore team unsupervised for prolonged periods of time.  

A Shortcut to Effectiveness

Mobile apps and websites are universally necessary for business today, and hiring offshore teams to build them is fast becoming commonplace.

Working with an offshore team for mobile app development for startups can result in a high-quality end product at a relatively low cost when compared to the cost of hiring a U.S. company to do the work.

However, there is a middle way. Intuitio Labs is based in the U.S. and has teams stationed around the world. We’ve been building digital products for nearly 20 years and have confidence in our team’s ability to “fail fast” on the way to delivering the results you need in six to 12 weeks.

Since we’re based in the U.S., communication with our clients is handled at convenient times. That’s good because we believe in staying in contact with our clients to make sure we’re delivering what they want.

If your plans involve hiring an offshore development team, we highly recommend it for all of the reasons stated in this article. 

However, if you want the added comfort level of having an experienced company to guide you through the process of mobile app development for startups, Intuitio Labs would be proud to collaborate with you.

Visit intuitiolabs.com to connect with a mobile app development company that can provide the offshore development answers you need.