How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

If you are searching “How much does it cost to design an app?”,
here is the answer.

The average app design cost ranges between $3,000 to $15,000.

But, there are more elements to understand while determining the cost of designing an app.

In this blog, you will get information about the following points.

  • Complete bifurcation of application design cost
  • App designing cost based on stages
  • Average amount you should invest in app designing
  • How to reduce the cost of designing an app

So here we go.

How Much Does It Cost to Design a Mobile App? [Quick Answer]

The app design cost ranges between $3,000 to $15,000.

The cost of app designing depends upon the number of app screens, complexity, type of design team, and location. Along with understanding the app design cost, you should also know the mobile app development cost as well. Understanding the mobile app development cost will give a clear idea about how much you should invest in mobile app development.

Which Factors Impact Cost to Design a Mobile App?

Let’s take a closer look at the cost of app designing factors depending on different factors.

  1. Cost Depending Upon the App Complexity

    Depending on your product idea, the mobile app design is created. Therefore, app design complexity depends upon your app idea. For example, the number of screens, features, visual design, and usability.

    The simple app design will generally cost less compared to the complex one. The following table includes the complexity-wise app development cost.

    App ComplexityCost
    Simple App$3,000 – $3,500
    Medium App$7,000 – $10,000
    Complex App$10,000 – $15000

    Note: The costs mentioned in the table are approximate, if you want to know the exact cost of app design, you can reach out to an application developer company.

  2. Average Cost to Design an App Based on the App Platform

    While designing an app, you can either select the custom app design option or the native app design option. Also, these app categories also include different app types. Therefore, the cost solely depends upon the platform you select. The following table includes information about app type, its example, and the cost of Android and iOS platforms. So, you can compare the cost based on the app platform.

    App TypeExamplesCost
    Native App
    • Spotify
    • WhatsApp
    $10,000 – $12,000
    Hybrid App
    • Twitter
    • Gmail
    • Evernote
    $12,000 – $13,000
    Web App
    • Gmail
    • Google Docs
    • Netflix
    $10,000 – $15,000

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  3. Custom App Design

    A custom app design means designing a User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) from scratch. Instead of using premade libraries all the design elements will be crafted from scratch. To know you can go through this article – which is a good app design practice?

    Example of Custom App Design

    Custom App DesignExplanation
    • The design of this app is crafted from scratch and feels fresh every time you open it.
    • There is a unique illustration that offers a unique “Headspace Feel”
    Back MarketThe colour palette, iconography, and stickers make the app unique and cool.

    Let’s understand the advantages and limitations of applying custom app design to your mobile app.

    By choosing a custom app design, you can craft a unique mobile app design to allow your app users to have a new experience.Cost is the major factor here, as customising the mobile app costs more, and also takes time and effort. Apart from that, you have plenty of options available for selecting an app design as well as hiring a competent designer.
    You can showcase your brand’s vision, mission, and goal by reflecting it in your mobile app design.

    In the above table, you have understood the cost of designing an app, the following table includes the approximate cost of custom app design.

    App TypeCost
    Custom App DesignStarts from $3,000

    Another essential factor to discuss is the app development team. While designing an app, you need to make sure who you are hiring. The preference of hiring an in-house team, local design agency, outsourcing company, or freelancer directly affects your mobile app design cost.

  4. Average Cost to Design an App Depending on Team

    Below we have bifurcated the cost of designing an app based on the different types of the design team, including outsourcing team, in-house team, hiring local design teams, and freelancers.

    1. Outsourcing to an App Development Company

      The main advantage of hiring an app development company is they have enough experience and expertise about how the mobile app development process works. Their understanding of the design process is exceptional compared to freelancers, and local design companies. Because, the top mobile app development company focuses on quality, workflow, and communication. The following are the advantages and limitations of outsourcing your app design to an app development company.

    2. Advantages of Outsourcing to App Development CompanyLimitations of Outsourcing to App Development Company
      Have access to the experienced and best designers in the field.Outsourcing your project to an app development company costs you more.
      You can potentially increase your app’s revenue by outsourcing to an app development companyYour data security and confidentiality of the information might be at risk.
      Get access to industry experts to consult you about your mobile application

      Looking for Custom Mobile App Design?

      Let us help you craft an intuitive design for your mobile application and develop a fully functional mobile app solution according to your requirement.

    3. In-house Team

      In-house, the team works within the company. All of your marketing and branding will be handled under one roof. This type has its own advantages and limitations which are mentioned below.

    4. AdvantagesLimitations
      Activities of the internal team can be easily managed with the in-house team.Often in-house teams are limited to a single project, therefore the productivity they generate can be minimal.
      All the team members will be actively involved in the process, unlike freelancers.Compared to hiring freelancers, and outsourcing your project, a house team costs more.
      You will get high performance because all the developers are involved in one project.
    5. Local Design Agency

      In this case, you hire the design agency and explain to them your brand and design requirements. The agency then appoints app designers who will dedicatedly work to design iOS and Android apps for your business. Hiring a local agency has its own advantages and disadvantages.

    6. AdvantagesLimitations
      Local design agencies have a better understanding of the local market and this helps you to customise your app design when building for the local market.You don’t get the flexibility to change the team members in the local designing agency you hire.
      Easy and fast communication with your design team for quick results.The quality of the design work majorly varies depending upon the team.
      You are able to interact and participate in the whole process of an app design
    7. Freelancers

      Hiring freelancers is undoubtedly the most cost-effective solution you can get. However, you need to invest your time in guiding freelancers about your expectations, sometimes you may not receive the desired output as well. The following table includes the advantages and limitations of hiring freelancers for your app design project.

    8. AdvantagesLimitations
      Freelancers are cost-effective compared to hiring app development companies.Most freelancers lack reliability and efficiency
      Freelancers are easy to hire and they are instantly available.As some freelancers don’t set a working schedule, it is challenging to communicate with them

      The following table includes the mobile app design team-wise costing.

      App Design TeamCost Per Hour
      In-house team$60 – $70
      Local design agency$100 – $120
      Outsourcing to App Development Company$35 – $50
      Freelancers$25 – $40
  5. App Design Cost Depending on the Location

    Apart from the app’s complexity, another important cost factor is the location from where you are hiring app designers. For example, if you are residing in the USA and looking for app design services, you can choose to hire a team from India, as it would cost you less compared to hiring a USA based app development company. App designers cost high in the USA. The following table includes the location-wise cost of designing an app.

  6. LocationCost Per Hour
    USA$70 – $130
    Canada$50 – $100
    Australia$40 – $90
    Europe$65 – $110
    Asia$30 – $60

What is the Cost to Design an App Based on App Design Process?

Check the following table to know the cost of app design based on the app design process.

Profile Designing StageTimelineApprox. Cost Per Hour
Business AnalystPlanning and Analysis1 – 2 WeeksStarts from $28
Wireframing & Prototyping3 Weeks
Low-fidelity Wireframe1 – 2 Weeks
High-fidelity Wireframe2 – 3 Weeks
UI/UX DesignersApp Designing2 – 3 WeeksStarts from $30

To calculate the total cost of design, you can use the following formula.

Total Hours of Design X Hourly Rate of Designer = Total App Design Cost

Let’s understand how to calculate cost of design.

For example: Let’s take hourly rate of app designer is $35 and total hours to design an app takes 100. So, the cost of would be $3500.

100 X $35 = $3500

Check the following section to understand each phase of app designing in detail.

  1. Planning and Analysis

  2. As David Ogilvy said, “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”

    Therefore, it is essential to plan ahead and analyze as much as you can before finalizing the app design idea. The entire mobile app should be properly planned before it goes to the next stage. The app should also be planned with targeting end users in mind.

    How to Plan and Analyse App Design?

    • 1.1 Open Google Play Store or Apple App Store, search for the same application concept as yours and check each application in detail. To understand their features, you can even install the app on your mobile and use the app.
    • 1.2 Websites such as Behance and Dribbble are also a great help when it comes to knowing the design concepts and latest design patterns.

    Once you prepare a plan for your mobile app design, then you need to create wireframes of your mobile app.

  3. Wireframing

    Designing mobile app wireframes before the actual design is an important part. Because wireframes help to clearly visualize the placement of design elements on the mobile app. Basically, wireframes are known as the skeleton of a mobile app. As wireframes show the important elements on the app screens, so it becomes easy for designers to create actual designs. Generally, there are two types of wireframes. Let’s understand each type of wireframe one by one.

    • Low-fidelity Wireframe

      A low-fidelity wireframe is the skeleton of a mobile app screen. This type of wireframe is known as the first representation of a designer’s idea. Low fidelity is known as the initial blueprints of app screens that help to give an idea of how an app would look like.

    • High-fidelity Wireframe

      A high-fidelity wireframe is similar to the actual product design look and feel. High-fidelity wireframes are more than just placements of design elements on an app screen. This type of wireframe has detailed information about the app screens. For example, high-fidelity includes details like content, stylistic elements, colour, patterns, and visual components. So, it is easy to convey what a product looks like.

  4. Prototypes

    A prototype of an app in an interactive mockup as it contains user interfaces, screens, navigation, and functions without code and final design elements. The prototype looks exactly like the actual design of your mobile app. You can say a prototype is a replica of what your end product would look like. So, when you are creating an actual design, there are very few changes.

  5. Designing

    After creating a prototype of an app screen, the same prototypes are converted into the design. App design is the look and feel of your mobile application. In the mobile app development process, creating the design of a mobile app is the most important part. Depending on the design further development is done.

How Much Should You Invest in Mobile App Design Services?

Your 30% to 35% of the app development budget should be invested in mobile app design. Even the app design depends upon the UX as well.

Planning to save on app design costs may result in less user satisfaction and result in bad user experience.

However, the app design prices vary from company to company. Depending upon their location, cost, and experience of the team prices vary. But, you should make sure to set a limitation of investing in mobile design. The mobile app design cost depends upon the following factors.

Team LocationLocation of mobile app development team
The Complexity of Your Mobile AppCost directly affects the functionality of the mobile app
Design TimelineIf the app design timeline increases so does the cost

How to Reduce Mobile App Design Price?

Mobile app development can go out of budget. If you don’t get the right guidance, your app development budget may get out of your hand. Therefore, spending frugally and efficiently will help reduce your app development cost while developing a featureful mobile app.

  1. Carefully Plan and Finalise Your App Requirement Prior to App Development

    As you plan to develop an app, you will have a specific app idea in mind. You are clear about the app design and the type of development you require. However, as the app design begins, you might start to have different ideas about the app. To avoid that situation, you can plan to create a product requirements document or PRD. You can consult our app development team regarding PRD.

  2. Prototype Creation is Important to Keep Your Costs Low

    Prototype creation is the most important element while designing an app. By creating a prototype you can see the future version of your website and function it accordingly. The main advantage of prototype creation is, it helps you reduce the time to develop a website. Even, by investing in prototype creation, you will save hours of work for your developer and save cost as well.

  3. Outsource Your App Development to Control Your Design Costing

    Every business wants to save costs. Especially, while developing a mobile app, you should focus on cutting costs while developing a fully-functional mobile app. Hiring an in-house team may cost you significantly higher than outsourcing app design to an experienced mobile app development company. Here are some of the advantages you can get while outsourcing your app design.

    • Outsourcing app design costs are significantly lower as you don’t need to hire full-time employees and only pay the amount as per your project requirements
    • You don’t require to take repetitive calls to explain your requirements to the designer. Rather, the outsourcing company will manage everything from their end.
  4. Build MVP App and Test Features

    Directly investing your money in a fully-functional product is risky. But, a minimum viable product can help. By developing MVP, you can test the waters by only integrating the important features. In short, the minimum viable product is the scale-down version of your product having important features that the majority of your audience craves.

    You might be surprised to know that Uber and Airbnb Groupon start with MVP development. Therefore, applying the MVP version will ensure high-quality and lean products.

  5. Compared to Native Apps Cross-platform Mobile Apps are Cost Effective

    Cross-platform app development is a boon for every app entrepreneur. As it will help you significantly lower your app design cost as well as allow you to host your app on multiple platforms. As native app development may cost you a bit higher than cross-platform app development.

    What you can do is build a cross-platform mobile app that is essentially a web application that supports both iOS and Android platforms. You can reduce your cost by selecting cross-platform or building web apps for your business.

  6. User Existing System Instead of Building One

    When you develop custom functionalities rather than using 3rd party libraries and APIs, the app development cost increases. Therefore, try to focus on using the existing and stable components that fulfil your mobile app requirements. In today’s time, there are existing 3rd party components for every functionality. You can simply find and integrate the components to save your cost.

Want to Know Your Mobile App Design Budget?

Contact us. Let us analyze your requirements and share a complete budget related to mobile app design.

Still, have questions related to mobile app design cost? The following list of FAQs will help you clear your doubts.

FAQ About the Cost of Designing an App

How much does a wireframe cost?

The wireframe design costs from $25 to $75 per screen. The cost of designing a wireframe can be based on hours as well. The wireframe cost varies depending on the complexity of the mobile app. Even the mobile app revisions count as well.

How much time does it take to design an app?

The app design time takes 2 to 6 months to design. However, the time depends upon multiple factors such as the number of screens, complexity, and revisions received in the design as well.

Which tools are used to design mobile apps?

The following table contains the list of mobile app design tools.

Mobile App Design ToolsDescription
Adobe XDAdobe XD is a powerful UI/UX and prototyping tool for mobile apps. By using Adobe XD, you can quickly go from mockups and wireframes. Adobe XD alone is enough to simulate design and enough to cover the entire design process.
SketchBased on macOS, Sketch is a simple yet powerful UI/UX design software. It is similar to Adobe Photoshop, however, the aim of this software is for prototype and wireframe design.
FigmaIt is a well-known prototyping tool and vector graphics editor which is compatible with Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Chrome. The focus of this tool is on UX and UI design. As well as the software allows real-time collaboration between designers.
MockplusMockplus is also a prototyping tool to design a mobile app for Android and iOS platforms. You can easily upload different designs from Photoshop, Sketch and Figma as well.

What are the things to consider before designing the app?

Here are the important points to consider before designing a mobile app.

  1. Research your competitors to understand the need of your customers
  2. Decide the app design timeline and budget to avoid burnout
  3. Know the charges to publish your app on the Android and iOS stores
  4. Hire a dedicated developer to understand the design guidelines of the Google play store and apple play store

Know the Exact Cost of Designing an App

Understanding the exact cost of designing an app is crucial before you start developing your mobile app. In this guide, we have covered in-depth information about the cost to design an app. As the cost can vary on multiple factors, by reading this blog, you will not miss out on any cost factor. We have even added points which will help you reduce the cost of designing an app.

If you are not sure about how much amount to invest in your mobile app design, this guide will help you answer that question. In case you have additional questions related to app design development costs, or how much cost to submit an app on App store then our app development team will surely help. At Space-O, our mobile app developers have developed more than 4400 iOS and Android mobile apps and provide you with the best app development services as well.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.

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