With more and more people using mobile apps every day, it’s no surprise that the demand for app design services is on the rise. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what goes into the mobile app UI design cost and provide some tips on how to keep expenses down. But before that, let’s discuss what we actually call “App Design”. Then later on in the blog, we’ll dive further into how much does it cost to design an app as well as the factors that affect app design cost, how the design process affects the cost, and some tips, from our experts, you can use and employ to reduce the cost of designing the app, and how to choose the best mobile app development company.
We’re living in the digital era and mobiles are ruling it. Those who disagree, ask yourself this question. When was the last time you left your phone at home, intentionally? You can’t!
These days, portable phone power banks are just as common, ensuring that your phone never dies. Some claim that this has to do with a narcissistic addiction to social media and keeping up with everything going on around them, but is this really the truth? A report revealed that the average adult spends around 7 hours on their screen, connected to the internet. In any case, it makes perfect sense for any business owner to invest in an app that would be profitable given that people today spend a lot more time using mobile applications than websites.
Design is crucial to the process, as anyone who has ever produced a mobile app or intends to do so understands. But how much does creating a mobile app cost? Unfortunately, there is no ‘definite’ answer to this question.
The breadth of the project, the degree of complexity required, and a few other factors may affect the price of designing a mobile app. To build a smartphone app, however, is thought to cost between $5000 to $50,000.
Around 28.3 billion apps were downloaded from the Play store and 8.5 billion from the App Store, according to Statista, in the first quarter of 2022. These figures indicated the industry for mobile apps would experience extraordinary growth and appeal.
Table Of Contents
What Do We Call App Design?
Let’s take a moment to define what “app design” means before determining how much does it cost to design an app.
Open any app you like on your phone. What do you see? The text, buttons, and icons most likely. Pay attention to the app’s color schemes. Describe them. Do you enjoy their combination? Now try any action, such as tapping the button or swiping. Was this action simple to complete?
It was a succinct overview of app design. This is a result of both what you see in the app and how you use it. UX and UI design are both crucial aspects involved in this process.
UI (user interface) design. It’s a visual part of any software. It includes buttons, sliders, input fields, colors, animation, etc.
UX (user experience) design. It stands for functionality: users’ reaction and their navigation on an app.
A great app design combines the right visual touchpoints, accurate action flow, and simple navigation. It’s critical to keep in mind that every app’s goal is to address a particular issue. You can accomplish this goal with the aid of good design.
Factors That Affect Cost to Design An App
How much does it cost to design an app is majorly dependent on the below-listed factors. So, let us discuss every part of what goes into the mobile app UI design cost in detail.
The appearance and functionality of platforms like Android and iOS vary. While an Android application must, on the one hand, be matched with various solutions and formats, this is not necessary for iOS in order for everything to be finished. This is the cause of the higher cost of designing and developing Android mobile apps compared to iOS.
Android vs. iOS App Design Cost
Although there may not be a significant variation in the price of mobile app UI design between iOS and Android apps, there are still some distinctions.
UI/UX designers used to charge a lot and iOS app development cost used to be expensive, however that is no longer the case. Google has started adhering to a rigorous vetting process in order to assure good quality in terms of what is added to the store.
The number of platforms and the sorts of devices have therefore become the deciding factors in the cost comparison between iOS and bespoke app design.
Let us look at it from the iOS app design cost perspective first:
iPhone only – For the entry-level devices, retina display-specific picture creation is not necessary. As a result, the price can range anywhere between $3,000 to upwards of $10,000.
iPhone 6 Plus and ahead – The cost of UI/UX design increases by up to 25% when creating apps for the iPhone 6 and newer models. These devices come equipped with retina displays, which require high-resolution data and drastically raise additional cost for the app.
iPad – 50% more money is spent on mobile app design for iPad apps. To meet the speed and size of the iPads, they need more than just high resolution. They also need product designing solutions.
Now talking of Android mobile app design:
The guidelines for creating in the Google Material Design process change along with the Android devices on a regular basis. Therefore, Android app designers must constantly adapt to new frameworks and cutting-edge mobile app design concepts to match the changing needs.
Additionally, how much it costs to design an app and develop Android mobile apps naturally rises due to the fact that there are far more platforms to consider in Android, than there are compared to iOS. But we at Trango Tech
Three complexity levels are taken into account when cost estimates need to be made, regardless of whether we’re talking about UI/UX design costs, contemporary mobile app design concepts, or mobile app development costs.
There are no animations or interactive design features used in these applications, which have a maximum of three displays. This group includes applications like alarm clocks and calculators.
These applications use various interactive elements, animations, and screens, among others. They are typically built to match the native look and feel of the platform and are typically designed separately for the Android and iOS platforms. They rely on Google Material design concepts and human interface design guidelines.
The majority of the apps you use on a daily basis, including WhatsApp and Uber, are examples of medium complexity apps.
Highly Complex Apps
For these applications to function, mobile app designs are essential. Here, numerous animations and transitions are used to assist users in moving between screens and finally turn them into regular users. Complex apps include OTT ones like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others.
All of these apps require a device-centric native UI design because they employ numerous screens and frequently operate on multiple screens.
Complexity of App
Highly Complex App
Type of Team
The second important aspect that determines the necessary budget for a design phase and software development, after the complexity of the product concept, is the development team.
We’ll use the typical size app, which requires 300 design hours, as a starting point for our estimates.
Type of Team
Estimated Cost (for 300 Hours)
In this part, we discussed forming a team. Let’s now move onto discussing how the location of a retail app development company may determine how much does it cost to design an app.
Location of a Team
Please take note that the degree of knowledge needed to design an application depends on how sophisticated the idea is.
However, a skilled team from an outsourcing nation may be less expensive than one from the United States, Great Britain, or Western Europe.
We’ll use the same example—a typical-sized app that takes 300 design hours—again.
Location of Team
Estimated Cost (for 300 Hours)
$100 x 300 = $30,000
$120 x 300 = $36,000
£110 x 300 = £33,000
£95 x 300 = £28,500
$20 x 300 = $6000
How you choose to represent your app aesthetically can affect the whole cost to design an app, from colors to final UI mockups. Color is one of the most crucial visual components in any mobile app. The correct colors can be utilized to emphasize important elements as well as help define the app’s mood and tone.
However, employing too many colors will raise the price of creating an app because it will take more time and effort to balance and harmonize all of the colors in the design. Keep your color pallet to no more than 2-3 colors if you’re on a tight budget.
Typography, moodboards, sample UI mock-ups, and completed UI mock-ups are a few other crucial visual components. The font you select for the app is part of the typography and is crucial in expressing the app’s tone and personality.
Mood Boards may be a terrific method to explain your idea to the team and help define the tone and feel of an app. UI mockup samples can be used to decide on the general structure and flow of an app. Final UI mockups are crucial for ensuring that the app has a polished and expert appearance.
Illustrations & Animations
Any graphic component that is not a photograph is included in animations and illustrations. Among the items in this category are gifs, vectors, icons, and logos. Particularly crucial to branding are icons and logos, which can also increase the recognizability of your app. Animations can be used to give an app personality or interactivity, but because they take more time and work to create, they might raise how much does it cost to design an app.
Features and complexity are the two key elements that will influence the price of app design when it comes to an app’s functionality. The more features your app offers, such as in-app purchases and social media integration, the more expensive the design will be. Keep your budget-friendly features limited to the absolute necessities, such as user login, search, and sorting.
Let’s look at how the design process affects the cost of mobile app design now that we’ve looked at some of the typical aspects that influence it.
How Does the Design Process Impact the Cost to Design an App?
We will look at the tools that can be utilized, the advantages of addressing these concerns, and how to approach them by taking a broad look at both UI and UX features.
Let’s begin with the application UX.
Stage 1. UX Design and Its Impact on App Design Cost
The entire UX/UI design process for mobile applications includes UX design. The User Experience is made with roughly 70% of the design expenditure. Why?
The function of your future product is determined by UX design. At the UX stage, your notion becomes precisely visual.
However, in addition to helping you achieve your vision, user objectives and your founder-specific business goals are also taken care of by UX. UX actually establishes the scope of the task for the development stage.
Let’s look at the UX process details:
Now, let’s look closely at each individual point.
Step 1. User Research
We will determine the type of research you need during the research phase. Make sure the business analysts thoroughly investigate the technical and business elements of developing the app.
We need your responses to questions like these for user research.
Who are the ideal users for your application?
What are the buyer personas?
What are the goals for your application? (that you intend to achieve)?
This stage has a significant impact on the overall cost of the app development because it allows us to identify new market trends and add functionality. We use mind mapping throughout the research phase.
Step 2. Mind Mapping
The advantages of a 2-D layout for showing the relative importance of each subject are utilized by mind maps.
The mind maps can be used for:
Showing the steps
The finest thing is that Mind Maps are suitable for each project stakeholder. They aid in the viewer’s comprehension of the project’s essential components and crucial branches. When considering the cost of developing a mobile app, mind maps are crucial. Ontology Maps are customized maps made by more advanced apps with a large user base. The designers employ varied fidelity prototypes as other tools.
Step 3. Low-Fidelity Prototypes
In low-fidelity prototypes, user interactions are frequently absent. They are used by the design team to gather and evaluate comments. Elements are placed with low fidelity. It aids in our comprehension of the application design and layout. Consider it the framework for your application. It lacks color, vector shapes, and other components. You can utilize pencil and paper sketches for low-fidelity prototypes. When you have a complex application design and several screens to cover, they become crucial. Sketches can be omitted, though, if your goal is to design a minimal viable product.
Step 4. High-Fidelity Prototypes
Wireframes, or software-generated sketches, are a component of high-fidelity prototyping. We’ll take Figma as an example in this case. It is the next phase of developing a fantastic application design, having an effect on the price of mobile application design. Additionally, interactions are used to develop high-fidelity prototypes. Let’s move on to the User Interface after finishing the User Experience and its qualities. And it’s true that UI affects how much it costs to design an app.
Stage 2. UI Design and Its Impact on App Design Cost
The user interface of an application determines how it looks and feels to the user.
Four different aspects of UI need to be covered:
Icons and Logo
Now, let’s overview each point in detail.
Step 1. Choose a Color Scheme
Your vision for the user interface should be communicated to them. Every component you include in the program needs to interact with the user. Color psychology must be considered in UI design. Here, it’s crucial to comprehend how each form of hue affects your users.
Step 2. Create a UI Kit
The application’s UI Kit is a feature that saves time. The cost of creating an app will surely be lower if an excellent UI Kit like Lovely UI or Pttrns is used. It offers you pre-made app design components. It is fantastic, effective, and gives us the necessary information.
The UI’s objects and components will not only be suitable for your design and the client’s vision, but you may also alter them as necessary. Every little bit of delay for an agency lowers its accountability and dependability. The amount of time it takes for a creator or owner to get their idea outside of the company’s four walls is insignificant.
Step 3. Design Icons and Logo
Each component of the user interface is a means of communicating with your users. There is no need for Apple, Nike, Reebok, Starbucks, or McDonald’s to include their names in the advertisements. We identify them with symbols. These companies have established a standard for some distinctive characteristics that are popular with consumers.
Consider the following three qualities when creating your logo:
Trustworthiness. You must build your value proposition as an authentic and reliable service provider.
Awareness. Implies your recognition demonstrated by the logo.
Emotional attachment. The result of trust and awareness.
The cost to design an app can go up if the logo is strong and effective. But we ask you to trust us as your investment will be worthwhile!
Step 4. Design Animations
Many facets of a great design are delivered with the use of animations. They assist with:
Reducing the cognitive load put in by a user.
Gaining attraction and appeal.
Guide and redirect user attention towards where you want.
Several areas of the application allow you to make use of animations. But if you inquire how much it costs to create an animated app, the response will almost certainly be greater than normal.
The Final Cost To Design An App
An app’s design typically costs between $5000 to $50,000. The complexity of the software, the quantity of features, and the number of devices it must support are some of the variables that affect the ultimate cost. However, there are a number of techniques to lower the cost of UI design for mobile apps.
Take the word of the leading food delivery app development company, here are a few tips you can use and employ to reduce the overall cost of designing an application.
Careful planning is crucial when it comes to the design and development of bespoke mobile apps. It will take some time to map out all the features and functionality of your program. This will make it easier to decide which details are essential and which may be skipped. You can save money later on by avoiding expensive adjustments and revisions if you have a clear plan from the beginning.
Focus on basic functionality
It’s crucial to concentrate on the fundamental functionality when building your app. Making a prototype first can be beneficial. Keep your features simple and avoid the desire to add too many functions, and you’ll be able to reduce your expenditures.
Hire a mobile app design and development company
Engaging the services of an on-demand app development firm is one of the finest strategies to lower the cost of design. These businesses (like Trango Tech) specialize in creating affordable solutions that address your unique demands.
Prototype Creation Is Important To Keep Your Costs Low
The production of prototypes is the most crucial step in the design of an application. You may see how your website will function in the future by building a prototype. The biggest benefit of creating prototypes is that they shorten the time it takes to construct a website. You can save money and hours of labor for your developer by investing in prototype development.
Design for multiple devices
Remember that your app needs to function on a variety of devices when creating it. This applies to desktops, tablets, and even mobile devices. You can avoid the need for later, expensive redesigns by designing for a variety of devices right once.
User Existing System Instead of Building One
The price of developing an app rises when you create proprietary functionality rather than utilizing libraries and APIs from third parties. Therefore, try to concentrate on selecting the proven and reliable components that satisfy the needs of your mobile app. There are third-party components available today for every functionality. To cut costs, you may easily locate and combine the components.
Build MVP App and Test Features
It’s suicide to pour all your money directly into a finished product. A minimum viable product can be extremely useful in this case. You can test the waters by merely implementing the most crucial functionality while creating an MVP. The scaled-down version of your product with key characteristics that the majority of your audience wants is known as the minimum viable product.
You might be surprised to know that Uber, Airbnb, and Groupon started with an MVP too.
So you can be rest assured that an MV will definitely lead to a high-quality and learn
Therefore, applying the MVP version will ensure high-quality and lean products.
Build for the future
Considering the long term is crucial when creating your app. This includes creating software for newly released hardware and operating systems. Future-proofing your construction will help you avoid the need for exorbitant upgrades.
After reviewing the fundamentals of design, let’s examine how to select an app design partner for your company.
How Do You Pick the Right Design Partner?
Below listed are a few tips that can help you decide on the best design partner for your business.
Any business you consider working with to build apps should have a strong portfolio of their previous work. You may get a sense of a company’s design aesthetic and the kinds of apps they have previously produced by looking through their portfolio. Reading their case studies also enables you to discover how they have addressed particular design difficulties.
For instance, you should look into businesses with prior expertise creating attractive and user-friendly apps if you’re seeking for an app design partner who can produce a visually outstanding user interface. It’s crucial to look over a company’s portfolio while selecting the best app design partner for your project.
Check testimonials and social media pages
You may get a decent picture of the company’s design process and client interaction by reading customer reviews. Additionally, you can discover more about the company’s culture and beliefs by looking through its social media channels. You can be certain that you are selecting the ideal partner for your company by taking the time to thoroughly investigate possible candidates.
There are several factors that can influence and affect how much does it cost to design an app. The complexity of the app, the number of features, the design requirements, the platform(s) on which the app will be available, and the level of customization required are some of the key factors that can impact the cost to design an app.
What is the typical range of cost for designing an app?
The cost to design an app can vary greatly depending on the factors mentioned above. However, according to industry standards, the cost of designing a simple app can range from $2,000 to $10,000, while a more complex app starts from $10,000 to more.
How do app designers typically charge for their services?
App designers typically charge either on an hourly basis or on a fixed project fee. Hourly rates can vary depending on the experience and skill level of the designer, while fixed project fees are typically based on the scope of the project and the estimated number of hours required to complete it.
Can I design an app on my own to save costs?
While it is possible to design an app on your own, it is not recommended unless you have experience in app design and development. Designing an app involves a lot of technical and creative work, and it requires a good understanding of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. It is often more cost-effective to hire a professional app designer who has the skills and experience to create a high-quality app.
How can I keep the costs of app design within my budget?
To keep the price to design an app within your budget, it is important to be clear about your requirements from the outset. This includes the features you want, the design elements you need, and the platforms on which the app will be available. You should also consider working with a designer who has experience designing apps within your industry or niche, as they will have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Finally, it is important to be realistic about your budget and to avoid making changes to the project scope once the work has started, as this can lead to additional costs and delays.
Looking for a Mobile App Design Team?
Numerous elements, ranging from an idea to industry rules, affect the average cost to design an app and develop it. But for companies, it might be difficult to introduce disruptive inventions that upend social conventions.
Trango Tech is a full-service digital powerhouse offering app design and app development services for businesses of all sizes and belonging to every niche. If you’re looking to have a successful and valuable app developed, we’d love to hear what idea you have in mind.
Meet Ahsan, the wordsmith behind some of the most electrifying pieces on app development. Armed with a keyboard, a cup of coffee, and an insatiable curiosity, Ahsan has spent years exploring the wild and wonderful world of app development and currently working at Trango Tech.
So buckle up, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, we won't judge), and get ready to dive headfirst into the exciting and ever-changing world of app development with Ahsan as your guide.