how much does it cost to design a mobile app

Do you know what truly sells an app? When people see your app, and they say Wow! That looks awesome. Don’t you want to make such an app that blows people’s minds and gets a lot of traction with your target audience?

Design is surreal, and it is in everything we see around us. It is the driving force for art, and it gives humanity to every machine. So, if you wish to treat your app users with a vibrant flavor of app design, you have to treat their visual taste-buds to something different and amazing.

Apple’s App Store has more than 1.8 million apps, while Google’s Play Store has about 2.5 million apps. Let’s say that your particular business category has about 30,000 apps to compete with. We’ll drop the count a bit. Let’s say that your app is better than half of them, but still, how do you make it from top 15,000 to top 10 or top 5?

We all know that the best restaurants do not just sell because of their price or features but also for the food’s design and presentation. The way the food looks matters a lot to the customers. Tell me which burger you would like to eat?

Burger Foods Design

Obviously, the one on the right, because it looks good and feels amazing. That is the power of the design, and you need to use it while developing your business app. So, without wasting any more time, let’s find out how to design an app and also find out how much does it cost to design a mobile app.

App Design Process

The app design process is longer and more detailed than many people think. We will be talking about the entire app design process in detail with all the steps explained elaborately.

In this blog, we are more interested in the design part of the app development process, so we’ll be only talking more about that and not the app development part, which comes later in the cycle.

App Design Process

Research

The first step of any business, development, or design is the research. If your research is stronger and more detailed, you can perform better. The research goes extensively across various factors like:

  • Competitor Apps – their look and design
  • Market Trends – Latest Design Trends, Top Design Technology of the Time
  • User Analysis – audiences’ needs, preferences, goals, and pain points
  • Your Business’ objectives and long term goal

Having collected all the details, the mobile app UI/UX design team gets down to creating a mobile app design tailored to the client’s vision and the target audience’s needs. It will take some time to understand what features and design preferences could improve your app’s popularity with users.

One parting thought about researching is that instead of concentrating on other people’s products, you should think about your own users and the strength of your own product and try to improve on what your competitors have built.

Visual Design

Next up comes the actual designing of the app screens. It would be very basic with rough sketches and several mockups. The app’s UI mockup designs are created based on the research you do before and a lot of discussions done with the client (app’s owner) and the designing team.

Visual design is all about communication with the stakeholders on how the app will look once ready. It’s one of the best ways to convey the idea behind an app, its usage, and solve problems through visual solutions.

Before creating the whole UI, designers can create a couple of UI mockups to demonstrate different approaches to style, use of different elements, forms, shades, color schemes, etc. Once the team and the client is settled with the final design approach, more detailing can be done until the final app UI design mockup is ready.

Listening to all of this, you must be thinking, how much does it cost to hire a designer? Hold your horses first, before learning how much designers charge per hour or per project. First, you need to learn about what work they do?

Mobile app UI designers are responsible for branding, color schemes, app screens’ interior layers, and the mobile app’s overall appearance. With the design of the app, the content also plays an important role. So, it’s the app designer’s responsibility to display different types of content with a great deal of creativity and experience.

Creating Wireframe

The next step comes of making the app’s design wireframe based on the initial sketches. The most critical requirement to make an app wireframe is not the software or the resource but a clear list of requirements and specifications.

Using the design software in most cases, Balsamiq or something of that line, a schematic placement of all elements on the app’s screen is done. We can consider it as the skeleton structure of the future app to be built.

The app’s wireframe helps the clients to see and understand how the app will look like with almost like a picture of the app’s various screens. With a clearer idea of the app’s visual definition with the wireframe, clients can suggest the changes needed even better.

The app designers craft several design concepts at the client’s request until they hit the right notes with the app’s design.

UI/UX Design

How to design an app’s UI/UX? I would suggest using software like Adobe XD or Figma, along with other advanced designing tools, to apply a more detailed design structure over your already created app wireframe. With UI/UX design, you can add specific fonts, buttons, and various native UI components with ease.

For some app designing projects where the budget is low, the designer can correspond to the basic app interface and build a basic design that validates the app idea and create an MVP version of the app design.

An efficient approach like this in designing a product may reduce the total app design cost substantially. Still, it will not be visually appealing to the audience and will not do much good in drawing positive attention towards your app.

On the other hand, if you do have the capital to invest well in the app’s design and development across the two most popular platforms iOS and Android in a Native fashion, you can be the owner of the best-designed app in the world.

Are you thinking, “how much does it cost to design an app in a native setting?” let me put your query to rest. The apps’ designs should align with specific platform guidelines, so the App design is created for each operating system (iOS and Android) separately.

It typically requires only half the time to design an app for a second platform as the app’s UI/UX design doesn’t have any coding but only design differences according to the specific platform guidelines. So they don’t need to create elements like specific buttons, backdrops, diagrams, icons, etc. from scratch.

Prototyping

Prototypes show how the final version of the app will look like. The prototypes are very detailed, as the whole UI development is based on them. The app’s UI/UX designers make a prototype for every screen of the app.

If the project covers both iOS and Android, then it is a good idea to usually start with the UI design and prototyping of the iOS version as it has stricter guidelines. Using the iOS prototype as a base, you can easily make changes and quickly build the Android design.

In modern times the app designing and prototyping is not just limited to the mobile apps but also for tablets and various wearable devices like smartwatches. The wearable app version is designed simultaneously with the main app’s design, but the cost and development hours are estimated separately.

If you are thinking, “how much does a prototype cost?” hold your horses, we will answer that and every other cost on app designing.

With the best designing tools and software, app development companies can provide static or clickable prototypes at the client’s request. Getting a clickable and interactive prototype, although costly, will definitely give more immersion and possibilities to find errors or scope of improvements.

From here on, the app goes to app development.

Branding Design

Your app design is finished, but that doesn’t mean that your work with the design team in over. Your business’ brand image is yet to be worked on. By brand, I don’t mean just creating the Logo of your company.

Branding Design

There are several services that a company needs from a designing firm to create its brand image in the world of business. Some of the most prominent designing services that a company needs are:

  • Icons or Symbols
  • Word Mark
  • Letter Marks
  • Combination Mark
  • Emblem
  • 3D Logo

If you hire a smart and proficient app designing firm, they can even help you create promotional content with images, brochures, and videos. It all depends on the type of mobile app design company you hire to build your business’s mobile app.

Factors Affecting App Designing Cost

Now that you know how your business app is designed, it’s time to learn the factors affecting your app’s design cost. The time taken to design an app and the cost of designing the app rely on numerous factors we will discuss in this section.

It is difficult to give a short and exact answer to the question “how much does it cost to design an app?” because designing is not like a binary concept where you either make it or not. Much like how well do you design and what your level of skill is in designing.

It’s not just the act but the designer that can greatly influence the final app UI design cost. It’s difficult to answer without knowing all the requirements, and so we will learn about the various design costs influencing factors first.

Factors Affecting the Mobile App Designing Cost:

Number of Platforms

The most common factor that will almost double the cost of your app designing is the number of platforms you choose to build your app in. Ideally, there are two big app platforms, Android and iOS. Both the app platforms have different app designing guidelines, which you need to follow if you wish to launch your app in their app marketplace.

So, the apps are designed separately for both platforms, increasing the cost of designing as the work is to be done twice for both platforms. If you choose to launch only in a single app platform, then the cost of designing an app reduces to almost half the budget of deigning for two.

But, you shouldn’t back off designing and developing two platform apps just because it seems costly. Two apps will bring double or even more customers from two different smartphone markets. The designers don’t design both the app from scratch; the second app takes less time as they can rearrange from the first design and work around it.

Design Style Chosen

There are many amazing and catchy app design styles out there to choose from while designing a mobile app from a minimalistic approach to high-end color palette and graphics. It all comes down to your personal taste and how much you wish to shell out in the cost of designing your app.

The style of app design you choose will subconsciously give your app users a message about the feel of the app and your company in totality. For instance, you shouldn’t use a corporate styled glossy app design for children’s education app, or use a minimalistic app design for a shopping app that mostly profits from up-selling additional products.

App Complexity

This is probably the most crucial factor when it comes to counting the cost of mobile app designing. The difference between a regular joint coffee and a Starbucks is the quality of coffee they serve. The complexity of making a delightful cup of joe is what makes Starbucks worth the money.

The same goes for mobile app designing. The more detailed and advanced the app’s design, the better response from potential customers in downloading and using your app. For instance, you can create an app signup screen that just has two fields for name and password and call it a day, or you can create a beautifully colored very intriguing signup page with small unique elements.

Obviously, the second approach will take time as there are more details to be worked on and more complexity, but when a potential user sees the two screens, in most cases, they will choose the second, more detailed design version.

Project Size

The app’s size is of great importance here. Some apps are very small, with very limited features and the total number of app screens. For example, an app like Uber will have a lot more app screens than an app like a Rubik’s cube app game.

It’s the simple knowledge that designing an app with 50 screens will take more time than designing an app with ten screens. Also, as we mentioned earlier, the complexity of the app’s design also comes into account.

So, designing a ten screen app with a simple app design will take way less time than designing a 45 screen app with a complex design. In designing, time means money. The more time taken; the more cost in designing.

Designer’s Expertise & Experience

Designers are like digital artists. Their expertise and experience make a critical factor when counting the cost of app designing. If I don’t far fetch for an example, a painting made by Larry from accounting can never be compared to a masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci.

You have to pay higher for a better designer with a powerful imagination and years of experience. If you hire a freshly pass out designer student, then your app designing cost will be low, but so will be your app’s design quality.

There is a hidden benefit of hiring an experienced app designer. Besides having the best ideas and years of experience, they are faster with the software and can produce work comparatively quicker to the newbies.

Geographical Location

The location has a great deal to do with the mobile app designing cost. An app designing firm in the US may provide big potential, but it will cost you a fortune to design. On the other hand, a small app designing firm in Bangladesh may be very cheap, but the quality will be compromised heavily.

How about meeting in the middle? India holds the lion’s share of the app designing and development market in the world. The reason for India to be loved is because they provide every worth of your penny in application designing and development.

The best option is to go with a quality-to-price ratio where you get the best service for your money. India fits the bill with that definition, and Excellent Webworld is the perfect app design and mobile app development company to partner up with.

How Much Does It Cost To Create An App Design?

Now comes the million-dollar question, “how much does it cost to design an app?” You’ve been a loyal reader this long, and you deserve more than just a round figure amount. So, here is the complete breakdown of the cost of the app designing process.

Mobile App Designing Process and Costing

If you want a simple round figure, then I would like to help you with that too. After all the things you’ve read, you must be clear that there is no single round figure that I or anyone can give you unless all the factors and requirements are studied.

If I have to give you a ballpark estimation, a complete app designing process right from the requirement analysis to the final branding tasks will cost you anywhere in the range of $3100 to $4700.

Hire the Best App Designing Firm

Now, you know the price of designing an app. There is no going around the fact that you will need to design your app. How much you spend on app designing is solely your choice, but choosing the best app designing agency for your money’s worth is what you should keep in mind.

FAQs on App Design Cost

Why Should I Pay Designers If Developers Can Do the Job?

Who would you prefer to design your home’s interior? A certified and experienced interior designer or the contractor who supervises the construction workers. Obviously you’ll go with the interior designer as s/he will have the right knowledge to do the work.

The same goes with app designing. A developer is skilled in converting the app’s design into a functioning app by coding, but the right designing can only be done by a professional designer.

What Can Make App Design Cost More or Less?

We have already discussed all the factors that will affect the app’s design cost. Here are the affecting factors:

  • Number of Platforms
  • Design Style Chosen
  • App Complexity
  • Project Size
  • Designer’s Expertise & Experience
  • Geographical Location

What Do I Get When the App’s Design Is Finished?

It all depends on what design services you hired the firm for. But generally, when the entire app design process is complete you will get a final app mockup with all the app screens designed as per your specifications.

This final mockup design file is sent to the developers with every element in the design separately created for them to code on and make it into an actually responsive mobile application.

How Much Does It Cost to Create an App?

The cost of app designing depends on several factors that have already been discussed in this blog. Still if you want a ballpark estimation on what the cost range of app designing services is, it’s anywhere in the range of $3000 to $10,000 or even more as per the designing firm you hire.