How much does a Mobile App design cost?

No matter how much time and effort you put in to making an innovative and unique app, it's the design that matters most.

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In my opinion, the future of mobile is the future of everything. - Matt Galligan

It's the design that will influence if users would use your app, more than once and turn it into a profit-making solution. Essentials for a design-focused app development company, should take the below into consideration are:

  • App icons & logo designs
  • Competitor assessment
  • Graphic design
  • UI design
  • User study
  • UX design

Making sure that you keep a tab on the current and potential development costs, you need to familiarise yourself with these 6 aspects. Prioritising design with performance is key, as the development and design are worked on simultaneously.

Let's assess how much an app design costs!

Why do I need a Mobile App designing service?

According to Statista, 25% of mobile applications are used once, then uninstalled. Mostly it's because of the app's "poor functionality" or "tired design". Moreover, 70% of online businesses fail due to the users' dislike of how the app works.

How to avoid such scenarios?

Simply, just put more focus on mobile app design during the development process. A mobile app with great UX and UI design can offer the following advantages:

  • Simplifies the users' interaction with the interface
  • Harmonises the app's development
  • Boosts the rate of user engagement, by simplification of tasks
  • Helps convert mere one-time users into long-term clients

What are the stages of Mobile App design?

You cannot calculate the mobile app design cost without understanding every part of the process. The stages of mobile app design are complex and made up a few areas, such as research, analysis, prototyping and UI/UX. So, to explore the stages of mobile app design....

1. Evaluating an idea and making a 'lean canvas' model.

Define potential issues of the project and how your app would fix those issues. The development side would need to assess the initial idea and collect any data regarding the client's vision of the project.

By creating a 'lean canvas' model, you can get an overview of the concepts for your mobile app design. This stage is vital for developer preparation before starting the development proper.

2. Study the market & trends for Apps.

Assessing your app's potential market is a 3-part process:

  • client analysis
  • competitor study
  • market trends assessment

Start your market study process by reviewing any competitor analysis - don't just copy what they do though. Try to adopt a 'bigger-picture' view of your market by figuring out the trends and the aspects of these apps that users are interacting with most. This will give you your first target to reach and surpass. A few current mobile app design trends (2021) include:

  • Interactive or 'Conversational' design
  • Full-device screens
  • Content-based experience
  • Vibrant shades and hues
  • Simplification of the customer journey

3. Creating a mind map

You can build a mind map by assessing your 'lean canvas' model. It looks at the distinct needs of your app and helps you visualise the logical structure moving through the primary app elements. Make sure you stick to the app goal while making mind maps and make sections of the objects around it.

Then, you'll need to produce features or requirements for every section. After building the mind map, you can create lists that are more structured and comprehensive elements of the mind map. These lists will inform the further development of the mobile app.

4. Building a 'user persona' profile

The next stage of the mobile app design process is all about making a specific, not generic image of the user who will use your app. The 'user persona' must incorporate:

  • Their social standing
  • Their demographic data
  • Their behavioural model

A comprehensive 'user persona' helps the development team figure out the issue your app can fix for this particular user. Use behaviour model research to find out the issue the right way.

5. Mapping user story

Insight into how the 'user persona' will engage with your app, by performing user journey mapping is important as it helps designers gain insight into the 'perfect navigation map' for the user.

6. Low-Fidelity App prototyping

You should design a navigation idea or a low-fidelity prototype showing the navigation between screens, based on the platform you will create your app (web, Android, or iOS).

Using low-fidelity prototypes allows you to see the bigger picture, break down the steps and avoid getting bogged down in the details. Moreover, these prototypes are amazing in testing performance and recording a map of changes done.

7. Making a refined user experience

Is all about creating the detailed interface with the software, which will help with further development phases.

During this stage, you can make a high-fidelity prototype. Then, run the prototype on your target users to get feedback.

8. Building a UI design

This is the ultimate phase before app development. This phase is necessary to shape the look and feel of the app (colours, elements, typography, etc.).

9. Illustrations & Animations

Illustrations can be instrumental in communicating the main idea or concept of a mobile app feature.

The time required for making an illustration can vary, based on style notion, complexity and features being used. Illustrations that show unique/intricate characters can take much longer to build.

If you are thinking of animations, they are much harder to design than illustrations for obvious reasons. These dynamic objects or images are generally made in Adobe After Effects. There are two kinds of animations that are currently notable in app design:

  • Illustrated animations
  • Custom transitions

The style you select, the requirement of illustrations, animations and the whole design complexity ultimately contribute to the app design cost. So....

How much does Mobile App design cost?

This will depend on many aspects from app complexity to the platform on which it would be created and even the country it is made for.

1. App complexity

Both app design and development processes include a 'complexity assessment'. App complexity depends on:

  • Standards of customisation
  • The type and number of platforms (web, iOS, or Android) you will use
  • Specialisation and needs of users
  • The complexity of app performances
  • The number of Minimum Variable Product and user roles

When it comes to talking about the cost of mobile app development or mobile app UI design, 3 complexity levels are considered to give an estimate of the app UI/UX design cost:

  • Simple apps
  • Moderate apps
  • Complex apps

2. Number of platforms

Platforms like iOS and Android differ in their operations and appearances. An Android app must match with various formats and resolutions, whereas with iOS there is already a framework in place. For this reason, Android app design will be more costly than iOS app design.

You will need to decide if you want an app solely for a single platform, or do you want to design for both platforms (Android/iOS)? Based on your selection, the mobile app design cost will differ.

3. Cost by location

App design can depend on the geographical area as the cost of app design is assessed differently according to the location.

4. Expertise of designers

It can all depend on your budget. Experience, platform and technology expertise are good indicators. It won't be any shock that professional designers are more highly paid compared to junior designers.

5. Quality of App design

Premium quality app design services include precise solutions, several smooth-running procedures, and many years of experience to add to an impressive portfolio. These are worth looking for wherever you go.

How to optimise the Mobile App design cost

See some tips below:

  • Strategize your project properly by attending the Discovery phase.
  • Hire a professional and experienced app designer or development company.
  • Be fully engaged in the design process.

Bottom Line

The cost of mobile app design can vary vastly based on many factors, as we can see.

FAQs about Mobile App design cost

How long does it take to design an app?

The time to design an app depends on many factors. (ie. level of complexity, features, number of screens, platforms, designer's expertise, etc.)

How much do UI/UX designers charge?

This can heavily depend on where they are based.

The designers in USA can charge $150 per hour, in the UK can charge from $100 to $120 per hour, whereas app designers in India charge between $30 to $40.

How to find a reliable app design company?

Identify your requirements with as much detail as possible. While selecting an app design company you should focus on their portfolio, app design process, pricing structure, the ease of communication between you and the developer etc.