How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

Suppose you've decided to build an app. In an effort to save money in the process, you prefer to do without UI/UX experts; and therefore you abandon professional mobile app design services. You think: "I'll manage the task myself!". A huge mistake! And it may lead to the fact that even the greatest application idea doesn’t succeed.

But how much does app design cost? Is it possible to somehow reduce expenses when building design app for Android and iOS? Undoubtedly, these questions bother you if you have to think about saving money!

Read our article if you want to find a way to avoid failure without overpaying. We'll explain the matter in detail and tell you all about the correct estimation of the average cost of app design.

Why does mobile application design matter?

If you don't consider the importance of app design development something obvious, then pay attention to such points as:

  • A high-grade Android / iOS app design significantly simplifies the program usage (which leads to improved user experience).

  • The faster a customer performs the desired action (such as buying a product or finding data) due to professional app design, the higher the efficiency (and therefore profitability) of your program.

  • Mobile app interface design is closely connected with the target audience and allows you to create a product which perfectly meets the needs of your average user.

Still have doubts about the role of the mobile application UI/UX design? Then the following factors will definitely change your mind!

Factors to consider


Primarily, a professional app designer is obliged to pay increased attention to UI and UX. But let's be more specific!

UI (namely, User Interface) shows how a user sees your mobile program (or a site) and what screen elements he interacts with. To be brief, iOS or Android app UI design refers to the visual application part.

UX (or User Experience) is the reactions a user experiences when dealing with a product (in our case, websites, applications, etc.). Obviously, this experience must be as positive as possible. For instance, while making an app design, you need to consider, inter alia, the size of your user's fingers. Unexpectedly, right? In fact, everything is simple: not all of your potential customers have smartphones with large screens, which means design elements should be big enough.

app design development

iOS vs Android

First of all, you need to remember that you cannot design your application identically for different platforms. Fortunately, there are special mobile app design guidelines aimed to help in this respect.

These guidelines are a kind of corporate identity rules created by Apple and Google and intended to simplify the work of designers and developers.

Such ready-made mobile app design principles speed up the creation process and build mutual understanding among team members (we mean designers and developers find it easier to understand each other, they know what to focus on in their work).

Though, it is believed that mobile app design guidelines make applications monotonous, boring, similar to each other, like twins. To avoid such a sad outcome, you'll have to do your best and show imagination, as well as certain skills. That's when and why you need experienced professionals who know what's what and can apply Apple and Google rules correctly, without overdoing. Of course, experience (and therefore skills) and the cost of app design are directly proportional.

Well, we guess now it’s time to discuss Android and iPhone app design principles in more detail.

Android app design

We can safely list the huge number of Android devices (their varieties), but if you’re trying to reduce the Android app design cost, focus mainly on the newest ones (most in demand). Otherwise, you have to pretty much fork out: a necessity to customize your app design template for various Android gadgets requires both time and money.

iOS application design

Due to the fact that there are very few varieties of devices running on the iOS platform, iPhone app design is a simpler task (compared with the previous one). UI/UX experts just need to follow clear App Store instructions. However, it is important to avoid building a standardized and boring application - a mistake which a lot of beginners often make. Though skilled specialists are able to offer a simple and original solution which perfectly fits any iOS device.

Laconic style

A professional designer follows the rule of "three clicks". In other words, the application interface should be as simple and clear as possible. Its task is to make sure that a user needs to perform a minimum number of clicks to achieve the desired result. And such a task is much more complicated than it may seem; moreover, it is another factor which affects the cost of app design.

The latest trends

Everything in the world goes out of date, becomes obsolete, and Android & iOS app design is not the last item on the list. That’s why the UI specialist always follows the latest trends in his field. The information received allows him to find out how to design a mobile application to make it relevant and latter-day.

What goes into app design cost?

The cost to design a mobile app for Android and iOS is affected by the ratio of such criteria as:

  • The time spent on app design and development. The more complex the project, the more hours it takes to implement it.

  • App design company’s rate. The coefficient characterizes the amount of money a specialist takes per hour of his work.

We guess it’ll be also useful to take a look at an approximate scheme of the mobile app design development process.

  • Discussion. The first app design development step is aimed to figure out the main expectations and desires of potential customers of the product (an app, program, site, etc.).

  • Drawing up requirements. The second step includes the process of determining the functionality available to users. As a result, we get a list of features of the future application. Of course, this factor greatly affects the mobile app design cost.

  • App structure development. The structure and navigation of the application are being created at this stage, and the thoughtful arrangement of all elements of the user interface is being conducted. And positive user experience should also be taken into account during the process. If the result of the work satisfies, then it's time to proceed to the next step, namely...

  • Prototyping. The client gets a visualization of each app screen so that he would be able to imagine what his mobile service will look like. All the points at issue can be discussed. In addition, the prototyping stage includes testing for compliance with the requirements and user expectations.

  • The final development of the UI/UX design which should be intuitive and pleasant to use. This is the most critical part of the work taking the most time (and, obviously, costs).

Agree, the mobile app design development process is not so easy, on the contrary, it’s rather complex, multi-stage - and not too cheap. So how can you reduce app design costs? We have the answer!

How to affect the app design cost?

We’re going to take a detailed look at the factors affecting the cost to design a mobile app for Android and iOS and leading to its decrease or increase.

#1. Location

Strangely enough, the location has a significant impact on the rate of the app design company. Namely:

  • United States: a very high-priced option but a quality one. The rate of experts can reach $ 250 per hour.

  • West Europe: a more affordable choice, up to $ 150 per hour (UK developers are particularly demanding in terms of price).

  • East Europe: it’s an affordable and qualitatively option, $ 30-50 per hour.

What to choose? In our opinion, the answer is obvious, namely, experts from Eastern Europe. Of course, Eastern Europe is really big, so we advise you to pay attention to Ukrainian UI/UX specialists who not only have moderate rates but also can develop mobile app designs of really high quality.

#2. Project complexity

It all depends on the project complexity: a difficult task requires more time and increases the mobile app design price.

The complexity of mobile application design depends on…

  1. Functionality:

    1. Simple functionality can be implemented quickly, and it's a cheap option. Sometimes the functionality is quite complex but doesn’t take much time to implement (but it's high-priced anyway). Also, there are cases when the functionality can't be brought to life speedily and therefore it's more expensive.

    2. You have to understand that the functionality affects not only the development process but also the application design cost. The more features, the more screens you should create - and each of them needs a professional mobile app design.

  2. Animations that solve several problems:

    1. user entertainment;

    2. attracting the attention of users;

    3. improving usability. The latter is achieved due to the fact that the animation makes the action more realistic. Of course, this also affects the mobile app design price.

Now let's talk about specific numbers.

  • Simple app design implies a minimum of screens, one platform, and only some of the most significant features. It’s a cheap option, which usually requires up to 200 hours of app design and development.

  • The complex Android and iOS application design: up to 500 hours of development, a lot of platforms, many various features and screens, and different animation elements. The intention to create a mobile app design of such a level may lead to increased costs but sometimes it's worth it.

Of course, there are also intermediate options for the complexity level. It's up to you to decide what to choose!

#3. Quality of app design and development

The rate of the app design company is affected not only by its location but also by reputation. Services of skilled specialists are much more expensive.

Qualified mobile app design services mean:

  • many processes;

  • turnkey solution;

  • several designers with different visions;

  • extensive work experience;

  • a convincing portfolio.

How much does it cost to design an app?

We’d like to offer you a simplified app cost “calculator” which will help you plan your budget.

So, how much does the app design cost?

  1. The preparation step includes market research, analysis, adapting ideas, compiling a list of requirements, and other similar processes. It takes up to 60 hours (depending on the complexity of the task).

  2. Prototyping: up to 70 hours of mobile app development.

  3. Testing: up to 50 hours.

  4. Final design: at least 100 hours, up to 500 h.

app design cost


Having such data, you’ll be able to easily calculate the application design cost.

A couple of tips on making an app design

If you belong to people who say: “I want to design an app myself!”, you'll need some practical tips. And we are ready to give them to you.

  • The app's target audience. What is your target audience? What does it like? What applications do your customers use every day? Don't proceed to create a mobile app design without having decided on the answers to all these questions.

  • Competitive analysis. Don’t forget to analyze the competitors and find out the advantages and disadvantages of the companies competing with you. The obtained data will help you implement the next item in the list, namely…

  • App design strategy. Develop a strategy: why is your UI/UX better than competitive ones? Figure out the ways to attract your users' attention through mobile application UI/UX design.

  • Constant updating of the design. And finally, remember - you cannot make a successful project once and for all. You'll have to add new features from time to time and change your program based on statistics and feedback from users. So, you have to constantly update and develop mobile app design either.


Hopefully, we answered your question "How can I design an app, and how much would it cost?". Let's briefly summarize!

To draw up your budget correctly, you should take the following steps:

  • Make a list of requirements for the future product. What level of complexity do you need? What features are you expecting to see in your app?

  • Find UI/UX designers. Remember that experts from the United States and Europe have the highest rates. Instead of focusing on the company name, take into account the portfolio and level of services provided.

  • Discuss your task with the experts you've found. Figure out how long this job will take. Try to find a solution that would satisfy both sides of the case.

  • If the price is still too high for you, think about ways to cut the mobile app design costs. Ideas:

    • find cheaper developers. Of course, make sure that they have enough experience to implement your task properly.

    • reduce the number of app features. Maybe you should design your app in the simplest way at first. Start with the MVP model, for example.

If you still have questions, we’ll gladly consult you in detail and help you calculate the average cost of app design in your particular case.

And by the by, if you’re interested in reliable and skilled experts, feel free to contact us without delay! We’re happy to offer our qualified mobile app design services.


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