How Much Does It Cost To Design a Mobile App?

Design is an important aspect of any app, whether it’s web or mobile. But among the 2.87 million apps on the Google play store, 1.85 million apps are just a copy of the other. In this blog, we will cover how to estimate mobile app design costs and other app designing things you must be aware of if you wanted to create a mobile app that sells.
It doesn’t matter how intelligent an app you make, it would be worthless if it follows a complicated design. This is because it’s already a gruesome task to make a loyal user switch from one app to the other. And the most a user gives is 1 or 2 attempts to use your app. If they find it difficult to use, they will leave it for good. 

Apart from this, designing a mobile or web app by hiring a mobile UI design company is a service that would consume a good chunk of your overall app budget. This blog shares insight on the same. i.e. the process and importance of designing an app and its development cost. So let’s get to it.

Why one Needs to Invest in Mobile App Design Service?

As per Statista, more than 25% of apps are uninstalled by the users after using them once. This is also a prime reason for the failure of 70% of all businesses. This low user retention rate is often due to poor app usability and flow of the app. To address this complicated subject of design it’s advisable to seek assistance from professional design services.

To avoid these problems one needs to invest wisely in the initial phases of their app development process. There are two different stages of developing an app i.e. application design and app development. This is also a common confusion among entrepreneurs who are new to this entire development process. One must understand the difference between the two.

Let’s learn more about the same in brief.

Application Design

Application design is a concept that has a lot to do with problem-solving. The sole aim of the process is to identify and offer solutions to one of the core problems that a user has. The foremost mistake that most entrepreneurs hold is to try and copy the software solutions of their competitors without concentrating well on their app’s purpose and audience’s needs. Designing a seamless app is a tedious process.

App Development

App development is the latter phase of this process, where one has decided upon the features they wish to inculcate and the brand they want to create. Yet many processes have to be completed before development.

One of the other questions that follow from learning the preceding is that how much does mobile app design cost when done by yourself? Well, it’s way cheaper than taking top web development services but to pursue the same one would need to have expertise in the subject of app designing tools, mobile UI/UX design, and the basics of app design.


Factors Affecting the App Development Cost

Successful App development is a result of many small processes that constitute a favorable outcome. These processes must be followed using the right practices or they won’t yield fruitful results. Let’s catch a glimpse of what they are and how they affect the overall app development cost.

Research on Business & Tech Components

An intuitive app solution can only be created when one has invested well into the starting stage of a design. Usually, development teams allocate a lot of time to research the targeted niche, competitors and their services, market trends, and more. Without having ample knowledge one would always end up with counter-intuitive app designs.

This is also known as the discovery stage where the business analyst and design team find a particular niche that will offer them different perspectives of the app. Analyzing the different views from numerous users that belong to different age groups helps determine the strong and weak areas of your app. And compels you to brainstorm solutions that build a simple and strong future app.

The aspects that can cost you during the discovery stage are:

  • The complexity of your app.
  • Hours spent researching and analyzing your business needs and competitors.
  • Narrowing down the essential features.
  • Platform discovery and use.
  • Team meetings with UI/UX designers and team, business analysts, and more.

UI/UX Design

Since prototyping is the primary necessity, you should take responsive web design services. Whether your app needs direct creation of UX wireframes or initial system sketch is decided on the complexity of a project. This hugely affects the total prototype cost estimate and as a result the overall app designing cost.

Let’s discuss in brief the factors that contribute to UI/UX design.


One has to start from the sketching sub-stage, especially with a complex project that has a lot of features, and is difficult to navigate. One can either use app design tools such as Sketch, Balsamiq, Figma, UXPin, and more or use free-hand sketching to present the overall concept of your app. Sketches are most suitable to portray the complicated and important app mechanisms.

UX Wireframes

One would need to know mobile app design tools to create UX wireframes. With these tools, you can create a visual structure of how various screens of your app should look, navigation to different pages, and the mechanics behind the same.

You can consider a UX wireframe as the skeleton of your app which will be now transformed into your final UI mobile interface.

Wireframes with Native UI Elements

While designing UI components you can add specific design structures like buttons, control styles, fonts, and more. You can also mark changes in other native UI components. If you have a small project a design can be considered equivalent to your basic app interface. It can also work well for MVPs or primary product versions with a fully-functional system.

The preceding if done following the right practices and approach, will significantly decrease the total app design cost. There are certain limitations that designers have to overcome such as designing UI components from scratch. For instance, icons, diagrams, graphs, and more. Using a mobile app development framework can reduce your hard work significantly. Here we move to the visual design phase, wherein the actual user interface is created.

Visual Design

Visual design refers to visual solutions i.e. a great idea to communicate with the users and paint your idea of the product into their imagination. UI mockups are inspired by UX  wireframes to demonstrate the styled design of an app. This process helps one identify the uniqueness of their app when compared to other competitors.

UI design services are responsible for internal layers, overall appearance, color schemes, branding, and more. You also have to think about how you will represent your content, font size, and more. This requires experience and creativity. Before the design team finalizes the UI design, they develop a couple of UI mockups that show different approaches to elements, style, color schemes, forms, and more.


How much does a Mobile App Design Cost?

Many factors divide the design cost. Let’s catch a brief look at the same.

App Complexity

Complexity assessment is needed for both app development and design. The following aspects decide on the app complexity.

  • Customization standards.
  • Platforms you wish to create an app for i.e. Android or iOS.
  • Needs and niche requirements of end-users.
  • Performance and complexity of the performance.
  • Type of app i.e. MVP or fully-functional app and number of users.

There are 3 levels into which the complexity of an app is divided i.e. simple, moderate, and complex apps.

Number of Platforms

There are different objectives and needs related to platforms like iOS and Android. An Android app requires extensive testing with different formats and resolutions due to such wide availability of devices. While iOS apps need a seamless UI. Due to these reasons, Android apps are costlier than iOS apps. You should try a mobile app development guide to know the specifics of this process.

You also have to decide on whether you wish to create an app for a single platform or both iOS and Android. The total design cost would differ based on the number of platforms you select.

Development Region/Location

There can be a huge difference in price depending on the development location you choose. As different areas of the world have numerous hourly development rates. Therefore this task when done by a USA designer and an Indian designer can cause you a great difference in price. The price difference is also a result of the different app design tools and working processes.

Designer Expertise

The cost of employing a designer is decided by the expertise and experience they have. They are many professionals that you can review based on filters such as pay, scale, platform, experience, and more. Similar to every other industry professionals charge more than newcomers.

Here’s an average bifurcation of various design costs along with the time it takes for those phases to be completed.

Stage of App Design Estimated Time Estimated Cost ($)
Planning 20 – 30 hours $200 – $600
Analysis 20 – 40 hours $200 – $800
Design 50 – 160 hours $700 – $2000
·         Sketches 10 – 20 hours $50 – $300
·         UX Wireframes 5 – 30 hours $100 – $500
Visual Design
·         Mood board creations 5 – 10 hours $50 – $600
·         UI Mockup Sample Options 5 – 30 hours $150 – $300
·         Finalized Mockup Creation 100 – 250 hours $2000 – $4000
Testing 5 – 25 hours $70 – $250

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How long does it take to design an app?


How much do UI/UX designers charge?


How to find a reliable app design company?


Why is design such an important aspect of creating an app?


Which aspects are the major contributors to the cost of designing an app?

Wrapping Up

Here’s a wrap to this read. We hope our blog offers useful insights on the concept of designing an app, factors that affect the design cost, and tentative price range. Get in touch with us today to learn how your app can be designed following the latest trends and techniques. Sign up for a free consultation today. Thank you for reading.


Saikat Ghosh working as a Business & HR head at mobile app development company, Technource. He is an Electrical engineer by education and studied management from IIM, Calcutta. He has worked last 23 years in client-facing roles like Marketing, Sales, and Support. He loves to work with on-demand app development, Marketing & Sales strategies, brainstorm new ideas and learn from people. When he is off from his regular job, he works for his theatre group.

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