“I have an idea for a social media app, kind of complex and will need professionals. Should I hire an expensive company or freelancer?”
*Someone* has to design the functionality, user interface etc. and then build it. This person has to think of every ‘What if?’ (people pressing wrong buttons and the ‘flow’ from page 1 to the destination page and then design the software to do that. *someone* needs to define the NEED that that app will fulfil. The chances of finding all these skills in one person is zero. Zuckerberg did not write FB on his own.
A team of experts who have worked together before will be better able to cover: Functional design Graphic design UX design Software design – Multi platform compatible Software creation Testing and……Provide a guarantee and warranty period.
Never mind your vision – What is the NEED you are satisfying? You MUST meet a need or it will die. Digg is great, Pinterest is great but neither meet any of my needs so I don’t use them. So it’s a dance between vision, needs and marketing. That dance will lead to a refinement of the need (“What if it could do X as well?” – “WOW!, yes please”)
Define that, do market research and feedback sessions and LISTEN to what the buyer wants (as opposed to what you want to sell). Refine and retest, define the demographic. Remember too, that ‘Students and pensioners’ don’t have money to spend, so, if you are charging, target what the spenders want.
You may also uncover other versions targeted to different markets. E.G. a ‘Personal only’ FB for extended families, a ‘Business FB’ for individual companies. So now we have 3 marketable versions of FB – Private, Company and Public.
All different niches with different variations of the same product. Then go to the ‘Construction’ phase with a clear plan and the research in hand. (Research and development are not the same skillset, so use two specialists). Me on Quora