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How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

Suppose you've decided to create an app. Striving to save during this process, you abandon the designer's services. You think: "I will manage this task myself!". A huge mistake! And it can lead to the fact that even the greatest app idea will become a failure.

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

Why is the app design so important?

The app design is not just a “nice picture” as many mistakenly believe. In fact, app design development involves the complicated process of visualizing the principle of the operation of your mobile service. Such a scheme "at hand" makes it much easier for a developer to translate your idea of an application into reality.

But if you still have any doubts about the part the app’s design plays, you should take a look at the following factors.

Factors to consider:

  • UI & UX

First of all, a professional designer always takes into account UI and UX factors. But let's be more specific!

UI (user interface) shows how a user sees your application (or a site) and what screen elements he interacts with. To be brief, it's all about designing the app's visual part.

UX (user experience) design is the reactions that a user experiences when dealing with a product (in our case, computer programs, websites, applications, etc.). Obviously, this experience must be as positive as possible. For example, when 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 that design elements should be big enough.

how much does it cost to design an app

  • iOS vs Android

If you think of making an app that will work on all kinds of mobile devices, you need to remember that you cannot design your program identically for different platforms. Fortunately, there are special guides aimed to help in this matter, but only the most experienced UI / UX experts know how to apply these rules correctly and show uniqueness at the same time. Of course, experience affects the cost for app design.

Android. There are many variations of Android devices, and if you want to reduce Android app design cost, pay attention only to the latest versions of them. Otherwise, you need to be prepared to pay more: a necessity to customize your app design template for different Android devices requires more time and, therefore, money.

By the way, make sure that designers you hire follow Play Store guidelines available since 2015.

iOS. Due to the fact that there are quite a few varieties of iOS devices, app design creation is a much simpler task in this case (compared with the previous one). Designers just need to follow clear App Store instructions. However, it is important to avoid building a standardized and boring application - a mistake that a lot of beginners often make. Though a skilled specialist can offer a simple and original solution that 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 that affects the cost of app design.

  • The latest trends

Everything in the world goes out of date, becomes obsolete, and the app design is not the last item on this list! A good UI/UX expert knows which trends are the most relevant right now, and what modern features can supplement your application in order to make it more profitable.

app design cost

Neither you nor a developer can properly take into account all listed factors. Only an experienced designer who knows all the nuances of the app creation process sees the best way to achieve the ideal result with minimal effort. However, now there is another important question, that is: how much does it cost to design a mobile app? We are ready to answer!

What goes into app design cost?

The app development cost depends on the ratio of the following criteria:

  • Rates of app development agencies. This factor characterizes how many dollars (euros) a specialist takes for the hour of his work.
  • The time spent on the app design and development. The more complex the project is, the more hours it will take to implement it.

We can summarize that all depends on the answer to the question: how long does it take to design an app? So it will be useful to take a look at an approximate scheme of the mobile app design development process.

  • Discussion. The first step of the mobile app development process is aimed to figure out the main expectations and desires of potential users and 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 the 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 this process. If the result of the work satisfies, then it's time to proceed to the next step, that is...
  • Prototyping. The client gets a visualization of each app screen so that he can imagine how his mobile service will look like. All the points at issue can be discussed. In addition, this stage of the mobile app development includes testing for compliance with the requirements and expectations of users.
  • Development of the final UI/UX design which should be intuitive and pleasant to use. This is the most critical part of the work that takes the most time and design costs.

So, as you can see, the app creation process is rather complex, multi-stage, and, therefore, not cheap… can one somehow reduce the app design costs? The answer is yes if you approach the issue correctly

What can make app design cost more or less?

Let's see what factors can affect the cost of the app design and lead to its increase or decrease.

#1. Location of the app development company

Strangely enough, but the location has a significant impact on the rate of the app development agency (and, therefore, it also affects the design cost). Namely:

  • USA: a very expensive option but a high-quality one. The rate of experts can reach $ 250 per hour.
  • Europe: more affordable option, up to $ 150 per hour (the most expensive choice is UK developers)
  • Ukraine: it’s an affordable and qualitatively option, $ 30-50 per hour
  • India: their services are really cheap but usually not too quality. $ 20-30 per hour

What to choose? In our opinion, the answer is obvious, namely - Ukrainian experts who not only have a moderate rate but also can develop mobile app design of really high quality.

#2. Complexity level

It all depends on the complexity of mobile applications: a difficult task requires more time and increases the cost of the app design.

  • Simple app designs imply a minimum of screens, one platform, and only some of the most significant features. This is a cheap option that usually requires up to 200 hours of mobile development.
  • The complex design of mobile apps: up to 500 hours of development, a lot of platforms, many various features and screens, different animation elements. Apps designed in this way can lead to increasing the development cost but sometimes it worths it

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

#3. Quality of work

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

A qualified app development company means:

  • many processes;
  • turnkey solution;
  • several designers with different visions;
  • extensive work experience;
  • a convincing portfolio.

By the way, all listed signs of the company's high qualification are inherent in our Agilie team. If you are interested in reliable good experts, feel free to contact us! In the meantime, let's return to the key question…

How much does it cost to design an app?

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

So, how much does app design cost?

  1. Preparation step which includes market research, analysis, adapting ideas, compiling a list of requirements and other similar processes. It takes up to 60 hours (depends 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.

how much does it cost to design an app

Having this data, you can easily calculate the cost of your app design.


Let’s summarize! Thus, 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 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 an app in the simplest way at first. Start with the MVP model, for example.

If you still have questions, contact us right away. We will consult you in detail and help you calculate the average cost of app design in your particular case.

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