How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

Maria Rats, Writer

An app design plays a vital role in the future success of the product. It is not just about the way your application looks like. It comes together with usability, interaction, convenience and engagement. For this reason, the cost of app design depends on the number of factors. Moreover, professional designers need to complete a set of tasks in order to choose the best solution for your particular app. Implementation of a brilliant app design calls for:

  • An In-Depth User Research;
  • Competitive Audit;
  • Interface Design;
  • Graphics and Icons;
  • Logo and Users’ Experience.

These are only some of the tasks a professional app designer need to complete. They will also affect the cost of app design. If you want to determine a precise price for the design implementation, you need to have a clear understanding of what it includes.

How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

What Factors Affect the Cost of App Design?

The app will never have a success in case it does not come to an efficient solution for a particular problem. The same thing is with an application design. It does not matter if you modify your existing product or work out a design for a brand new application; it is supposed to be problem-solving.

Many startups and novice developers make a common mistake when considering some main competitors in the niche. They try to build a similar product without considering their rivals’ mistakes and misses. Simply following the strategy of your main competitors is hardly a god idea. They are not perfect as well while some of their ideas are not as efficient as they may seem. The best bet is to enable an in-depth research and explore the market or related niche. This is actually the first and foremost stage of the process.

Competitors’ Analysis and User research

Every process starts with three fundamental issues you need to keep in mind. They are as follows:

  • The level of competition in the niche.
  • The latest market trends.
  • Users or people.

Without an in-depth analysis you will never be able to identify your capabilities in the given mobile app segment or niche. For instance, you think of building a music streaming app. The first thing you need to do is to compare and contrast your main rivals in order to introduce your concept and check whether it will have a success among your target users. The idea here is to build an efficient customers’ feedback and identify all poor and strong sides of your product. The approach is also known as MVP version of the app.

Try to stop thinking of your main competitors and define some unique features that will be of great use to your particular customers. Try to be in your clients’ shoes to understand what they really except from the application and if it is possible to implement.

How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

Building a Prototype

Many novice developers underestimate the step of app prototyping. It comes together with the implementation of UX design features. The main mission of this step is to make sure that the application contains a logical navigation within the system guiding users from one stage to another increasing the level of convenience and usability. At this stage, testers check the validation of the concept in order to provide an efficient feedback. On the one hand, prototyping is one of the most time-consuming stages. On the other hand, it will prevent you from exceeding the budget and let you save a couple of bucks. In other words, this step does make sense. The main advantage here is that a development team will have a clear vision of the product and will get to the next stage in full swing with a complete and clear structure of the future development process.

Here at JatApp, we work as a team in collaboration with our every specialist from UX designer to the developer and QA engineer to build a prototype that will exceed our customers’ expectations and meet users’ requirements and preferences. At this stage, our mission is to ensure we understand our customers correctly and have the same vision of how the product should look like in the finale.

As a rule, prototyping requires:

  • From 40 to 80 hours;
  • Interactive prototypes and app screen wireframes;
  • Advanced tools like InVision, Pixate and some others.

When the prototyping is completed, it is high time we moved to the next stage.

Visualization and Design

Visual design is of the same importance as the app design. It determines the efficiency of user’s communication with the application. Also known as UI, visual design introduces the product to the target audience.

Every slightest detail matters when it comes to User Interface design. It means that you need to choose a proper color for the icons and elements of the app, design perfect shapes and typography communication. Moreover, a professional UI designer should be able to consider both functionality and performance of the app as well as its interface and the way your product looks like. Some of the latest app design trends include not only steady assets but also animation, slow motion and other great features that will make your application look up-to-date and trendy.

Visual design typically features:

  • Up to 300 hours (sometimes more depending on the complexity);
  • Delivery of icons, app logo and screenshots for the descriptions published in app stores;
  • A selection of specific tools like Sketch, InVision, After Effects, Apple Motion and some more.
How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

What Is the App Design Cost?

Now you have a clear understanding of what an app design is and what factors it can be influenced by. It is high time we spoke about how much an app design costs. Money always matters when it comes to the mobile application development process. Like any other process, the cost of app design depends on the complexity, a number of features, the type of mobile platform and some other crucial features. It also depends on the type of device whether you want to build an app for Apple Watch, Apple TV or iPad.

In some cases, less complicated apps for both iOS and Android do not require complex design solutions. If so, you have a chance to reduce the cost and save some time in case your product does not require animation, slow motion or after effect. On the other hand, some other factors may affect the final price. For example, the cost may vary by countries:

  • Developers from the USA charge the most for the app design. The price may go up to $150/hour. A high-end application may cost you a fortune.
  • The UK-based developers will also hardly put an ease on your wallet charging from $65 to $130 per hour.
  • Ukrainian designers can appear to be a good solution to the problem of the limited budget. Featuring the same level of expertise, they charge from $30 to $50 per hour.
  • If you opt for Indian developers, you can save the most and pay only $20 per hour when implementing an app design.

Project complexity is another crucial factor that affects the cost:

  • Simple Application – an app with some simple features that does not call for a complex design may cost you about $6,000 considering not less than 100 hours to complete the project. You can easily find some examples of such apps in all major app stores. As a rule, they are mainly for business, promotion campaigns and some other purposes that do not call for maximum users’ engagement and some complex actions;
  • Application of Medium Complexity – this type of mobile applications is a bit more pricy and complex. They call for more functionality and interaction with users. For this reason, they may cost you about $10,000 and take from 200 hours to complete the project. As a rule, applications of medium complexity include messengers like WhatsApp, for instance. They call for extra screens, interaction and support of different content types and formats you are going to share with your friends;
  • Complex Applications – Whenever you think of building a social media network or a streaming service to compete with some biggest names in the niche, you should be ready to spend at least $20,000 for the product and all necessary features implemented in your app. At the same time, the price can go even higher in case you need to develop an app to operate on various mobile platforms at the same time. It may take about 700 hours to complete the project of the highest complexity. The figures are approximate. They will vary depending on your particular requirements and needs.

The app design cost will also vary in accordance with the type of team you hire. Every time you want to save a couple of bucks, opting for an independent freelance design tea may be a good idea. On the other hand, some prefer choosing full-scale studios in order to avoid inappropriate codes, approaches and processes that may be to the detriment of the future development and programming stages.

Here at JatApp, we deal with applications of different complexity level. Our UI and UX designers can boast enormous experience in addition to a huge track record of successfully completed projects. Have a look at our broad portfolio and feel free to contact us in case you have any questions.

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