How much does it cost to design an App?

May 22, 2023
Sunil Kumar

App design cost is an essential aspect of the mobile app development process that you must plan before the process begins. The cost to design a mobile application can be anywhere between $2,000 to $58,000 and more depending on the type of app you want to have built. The UI and UX of an app can capture user interest and increase user retention. According to a survey by AWS, companies that spend more money on UX design witness a 75% increase in sales compared to companies spending less that only see a 60% increase in their sales.

“88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.”

– Justin Mifsud, Founder of Usability Geek

What is Mobile App Design?

The mobile app design determines what you see in the app and how you use it. It includes a User interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. Knowing the difference between UI and UX is the first step in understanding how it works, how you can analyze your design requirements, and how much the design will add to the final mobile app development cost.

User Interface (UI): It is the visual component of your app. UI includes buttons, sliders, input fields, colors, motion, and other usable elements. Elegant simplicity is the key to creating a unique user interface.

User Experience (UX): UX is a personal experience users have with your app as they navigate through it. Highly convenient and appealing ease of use is the key to an impressive UX.

Importance of Mobile App Design

The UI/UX design is always the first thing users see and experience when they open your app. That is why you must create the app design according to the liking of the target users. It is necessary for the success and survival of your app. Below you can learn some of the advantages of a creatively simple app design:

  1. It automates the creation of a user-centric product.
  2. It simplifies app interaction to make the UI/UX design more user-friendly.
  3. It helps increase user engagement in your app.
  4. It helps turn new users into loyal customers.

“Investment in UX is often the difference between businesses that grow and those that sputter.”

Roman Nurik, Design Manager at Google

Estimating the UI/UX design cost is a long process that requires a thorough analysis of the app features and design requirements, platforms, and developers. However, on a high level, the average cost of designing an app ranges from $10,000 to $32,000.

Note: iPhone app design cost is a little inexpensive as it follows a consistent pattern that makes it simple to test and fix. However, the Android app design cost can be high as it is a little more challenging and fragmented. It is primarily due to the involvement of multiple devices, versions, and unique features. Making a perfect design for Android takes more testing, rework, and money.

You can refer to the table below to learn the cost estimation for app design:

App Design Cost Estimation

App Type and PlatformsiOSAndroid
MVP App$2000 to $8,000$3000 to $10000
Standard App$10,000 to $28,000$13,000 to $32,000
Complex App$32,000 to $42,000$38,000 to $58,000

How Much Does it Cost to Design an App?

Every app development project has different business goals and requirements that affect the final cost to design an application. The list below contains the usual factors that can increase or decrease the design cost based on your business requirements.

  1. Type of Apps
  2. App Complexity
  3. Type of Design
  4. App Design Process
  5. Number and Type of Features
  6. UI/UX Designer

You will need to determine each of these strategically to estimate the cost of designing an app and manage the budget.

estimate cost of designing an app

Step 1: Select the Type of App

The major types of apps include Native, Web, and Cross-platform apps. Your business requirements and budget will help determine the most suitable type.

Native Mobile Apps

You have to create native apps separately and from scratch for different platforms like iOS and Android. Such apps require more time, money, and effort to create several versions for various operating systems. The benefit to consider is that native apps have better performance and design. Native app design could cost between $18,000 and $28,000 for separate operating systems.

Web Apps

Web apps are a clever choice to save money on mobile app creation while still getting high-quality outcomes. They can appear to be native that require the support of a browser. The app design for such apps could range from $8,000 to $12,000.

Cross-platform Apps

Cross-platform mobile includes a single reusable code that developers can use to develop the app for multiple platforms like Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS. It also means you can save money by implementing the same design on various platforms. Cross-platform app design cost ranges from $3,000 to $8,000.

Step 2: Determine App Complexity

The number of screens, features, usability, UI/UX designers’ hourly rates, and visual design determine app complexity. Choosing app complexity is not always a choice as you have to develop your app according to the expectations and needs of your target audience. For example, an MVP social media app (only core features) would not perform well in the current market compared to a complex social media app (advanced features).

MVP App Design

MVP apps only have the core features required for the app to serve its primary purpose. For example, an MVP food delivery app would have features such as Add Location, Browse Restaurants, Place Order, and Make the Payment. An MVP app design would take about 150 to 200 hours and cost between $3000 and $10000.

Standard App Design

Standard or medium complexity apps have the core features, some advanced and interactive features, and great design. They are a few feature/design updates away from becoming a complex/advanced app. Most of the popular applications like Uber and WhatsApp are standard apps. Standard app design takes about 300 to 400 hours to complete and costs between $10,000 and $32,000.

High Complexity or Advanced Applications

These applications rely heavily on design to accomplish their goals. High-complexity apps include extensive use of displays and necessitate a device-centric native UI/UX design. Designers use many animations and transitions to assist users in moving from one screen to the next. The advanced app design in these apps requires expensive professionals, effort, and time. High complexity or advanced app design takes about 450 to 800 hours to complete and costs between $32,000 and $58,000 or may vary based on your requirements.

Step 3: Chose the Type of Design

The two types of app design are Custom and Native Design. Your requirements and goals with the app will help determine the best type of design for your app.

Custom Design

Custom app design includes customization of every element involved in the user interface and experience according to your business requirements. Custom app design prices can be lower or higher depending on your goals. It does help you create a unique UI and UX customized for your business requirements and target users. A custom app design can make a great impression and increase the chances of success for your app.

Custom app design cost could be $3000, $22,000, or even $65,000, depending entirely on your requirements and app design company.

Native Design

Native app design is a platform-specific design that requires creating UI and UX according to the specific guidelines/standards of operating systems like iOS and Android. iOS and Android have predetermined guidelines for app design on their systems. It can accelerate and simplify the implementation of UI and UX elements.

However, it can also increase the cost to design an app as you have to design it separately for different operating systems. WhatsApp and Spotify are examples of native app design. Native app design costs can be between $18,000 and $28,000.

Step 4: Plan the Mobile App Design Process

The app design process includes designers, user personas, app wireframes, prototypes, user interface/user experience, and UX/UX testing. It requires you to determine application screens such as welcome, onboarding, login, menu, and button/icon screens. They all increase or decrease the cost to design an app based on how you plan the design process. Agile methodology is recommended to conduct the app design process in a way that saves time, increases productivity, and lowers costs.

The UX design process takes up most of the design budget as it defines how your app will work and feel to the users. An app gets a visual form during UX development where the process includes research, mind mapping, and prototypes.

  1. Research helps understand the type of UX design that will appeal to the users.
  2. Mind mapping helps designers understand the functionality of the app design.
  3. Prototypes help analyze feedback on UX and implement the required changes.

User interface development is primarily about the application look improved by color schemes, icons, buttons, logos, and animations. A thorough target user research is essential to implement the best color psychology in the app. You can also use a UI kit to get ready-to-use design elements like icons, tags, buttons, and list boxes. Animations in an app help capture attention and put a spotlight on the USPs of your app. They are essential to turn a user into a loyal customer. Animations are also costly to create if you want your app to make an impact.

Step 5: Choose the Number and Type of Features

The number and type of features you include in your app significantly affect app design costs. The visual element and ease of use of features are complex factors in design. The design cost increases as you add more features to the app. For example, an app with multiple features costs more than an MVP with only the core features. That is why most startup app projects prefer developing an MVP.

You also have to have a plan for adding the type of features your app needs and that your users will like. For example, the core features of a telemedicine app are Schedule an Appointment and Cancel Appointment, but Schedule an Online Appointment and Get Digital Prescriptions are advanced versions of the same features. These different features can increase or decrease design costs.

Step 6: Hire the Right Designers

Creating or hiring the development team also helps estimate the app design costs. App designer cost varies based on how you hire them and their location. Refer to the table below to learn the average cost of designers in different countries.

Cost of Developers Based On Locations

CountryCost per Hour
United States (USA)$100 to $150
Australia$100 to $130
Western Europe$60 to $100
Eastern Europe$45 to $60
India$25 to $40

You can hire an in-house team, freelance teams, or outsource development and design. Each of these methods will affect the design cost differently.

Average Cost of App Design Based on Developers
Inhouse$32,000 to $43,000
Freelancers$13,000 to $23,000
OutsourceOnshore$28,000 to $32,000
Nearshore$24,000 to $28,000
Offshore$16,000 to $22,000

Outsourcing to offshore developers is the best way to reduce the mobile app design cost and ensure top-notch design quality at the same time. It is usually because in-house team management is expensive, outsourcing to onshore/nearshore can also be costly, and freelancers are not entirely reliable for an app design project.

How to Optimize the App Design Costs?

Most mobile app startups need to find a way to lower the app UI design cost by estimating it with multiple factors. App design takes up a significant portion of the overall mobile app development cost. However, there are some steps you can take to manage or even lower the app design costs.

Validate the Design Strategy

Sticking to a predetermined app design strategy and storyboard might help you save money on app design.

Prioritize Features

Only use the features required for the primary purpose of your app. For example, a ride-hailing app only needs features like Add Pickup/Drop Location, Choose a Ride, Book the Ride, and Make the Payment in the Beginning. You can add advanced features in the future once it is successful.

Use Templates

Using templates is an effective way to save money on app design as it simplifies the process for designers.

Hire Experienced Professionals

An app design agency with experienced designers will accelerate the process from the beginning, saving both money and time. Such designers require less to no guidance and supervision.

Final Note

You can refer to the factors mentioned throughout this article to better estimate the final cost of app design. Remember that a poor design can result in low traffic, unfavorable reviews, and insignificant revenue. Compromising your app design to lower costs will most likely lead to further expensive outcomes. You should hire reliable app design services from Ailoitte to avoid such scenarios.

We deeply understand the value of a uniquely simple and attractive app design in a competitive market. Our team strives to provide the finest design solutions for our clients to meet their unique requirements. Contact us now to estimate the cost to the benefit of your budget and app design quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to create an app?

The cost to develop an app depends on the number/type of features, design requirements, and developers. Average app development costs range from $25,000 to $40,000.

How much does it cost to design an Android app?

Android app design can cost between $15,000 to $35,000 for a standard app. The cost may vary for an MVP and an advanced app. Your business requirements with the app functionality, features, and target audience also affect the final design cost.

How much does it cost to get someone to design an ios app?

The cost to design an iOS app ranges from $12,000 to $30,000 for a standard version. The design cost may vary for an MVP and an advanced app. Your business requirements with the app functionality, features, and target audience also affect the final design cost.

What makes a good app design?

A uniquely appealing color scheme, quick loading times, convenient navigability and readability, and ease of use are the four qualities of a good app design.

Most Popular