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Have you ever wondered about the cost of designing an application? Design is a part of the software development life cycle. And, it is a key player in the end-product success.

So, designing is a part of the SDLC that has its own features and flows. For this reason, to create a visual part of the mobile app, it is vital to engage with a team of designers. It takes a combo of researching, doing mockups, giving out creative ideas. And, the time spent on creating a unique design. These are the things that will occupy designers the most. In the end, they will meet both user satisfaction and usability needs.
Everything a designer does during app development impacts the mobile app design cost. So, it is possible to track how much it would cost to design an app.

mobile apps design | cost of mobile apps

What is mobile app design cost: comprehensive estimation rules. If you’d like to develop an app, but don’t know whether you’ll fit your budget – go ahead and read further. The article will include all the relevant info about mobile application design. Starting from the initiation phase and going into the actual design of an app prototype. Stay with us to know more!

App design cost: why do you need app design in the first place?

Application design is a service and a part of the custom mobile app development. It is important because most end-users value great UI and UX decisions. For example,

if mobile UI design is bad you will:

up to 8 hours to create a mood board

spend more time on development, resolving issues on the spot

earn less revenue as frustrated users won’t spend money

So, UI is all about making things easy for the end-users. And, mobile app UX design can:

solve 85% of problems if you try testing your design with user

reach out to 62% of users, who rely on their past experiences

earn less revenue as frustrated users won’t spend money

A successful design should include:

thorough research of user personas and client requirements

UX design of navigation and user flow architecture building

UI design of attractive and catchy visual elements

design adjustment to branding requirements

additional animations and illustrations design

Important constituents of mobile application design cost Research

Solid research of requirements is the basis of any product development lifecycle. So, your research has to be deep and extensive. It should include your target audience, competitors, main market trends, and more.

Getting into solid research will allow achieving a user-friendly and usable design. This design will enhance your business and make you on top of your competitors.

mobile application design | cost of mobile apps

The app design cost at this stage will base on the following answers:

UX design

Building a UX design, or prototyping is quite a big process, where you get to see how your app will look in the end. But, most importantly, you can make changes during the process. And, this way, save up your project budget, and time.

This phase may or may not involve the following:


Sketching is adhered to when the app is complex and has to include lots of features and difficult navigation. This way, designers carry out sketches to show the basic features of the app. These features are the most important ones and show the app’s actual functionality. They may use Figma or a similar tool to do that.

Usually, a designer works with a business analyst to make sketches. It may take them up to 24 hours to make these hand drawings. The work of both and the hours spent on sketches will surely impact mobile app design price.

cost of mobile apps | Sketching
cost of mobile apps | Wireframing

Wireframing aims at making the structure of the future application. And, it also, make the user flow. It is the skeleton of the app. The time spent on one app screen can be more than 2 hours. The time spent on a screen can be more than 30 minutes. Everything depends on the designer’s experience. Or, the tools used. And, mainly, the complexity of the app. If the app is complex and requires lots of screens – count the progress in days. What’s more, app complexity impacts the design costs heavily.

Native UI elements

Figma is the tool that helps in making a detailed structure of the design. You can use it to add the needed fonts, buttons, and control styles. Also, to add native UI components. Some projects may use this type of design to create a basic interface. You can save costs here for this design will be soft of an MVP.

UI design

Visualizing everything a user wants to see is one of the best ways to resolve user pain points. And, why not? After UX wireframes, you receive UI mockups. These are the design product you work with further. You may give them a more stylized look and make them stand out among competitors.

To understand what the whole UI will look like, it is vital to create UI mockups. These mockups will serve as experiments with style, elements, forms, shades, color schemes, etc. So, before doing something major as the whole UI, it will be essential to play with the style components and see whether you can create something innovative and fitting.

cost of mobile apps | UI design

But, the process will require:

more than 8 hours to create a mood board

up to 20 hours to create samples of UI mockup (up to 3 options for 2 screens)

up to 20 hours to finalize the mockup with the unique design

Of course, everything depends on the app’s complexity and the number of screens.


Then the process turns to brand design. It includes logos, fonts, and illustrations. First, you’ll need to create a mood board, and then the logo itself. But if you are a business, then you need to have your logos placed within the app.

To create a logo the right way, you should:

Have an idea and research it (up to 16 hours)

Create a logo sample (up to 24 hours)

Finalize your logo (depends on app complexity)

Illustrations and animations

Every illustration in an app should transmit the app’s main purpose. For this reason, illustrations can be of different styles. And, the time to create at least one will vary according to the app’s complexity. So, count on up to 32 hours of designer’s work.

What’s more difficult than illustrations in an app? Of course, animations. They should be dynamic images. And, might be time-consuming indeed. So, let’s just say up to a week. And, it will be ok in terms of complexity and quality.

cost of mobile apps | Illustrations and animations

Factors that impact the cost of designing a mobile app

Let’s consider the following factors:

What is mobile app design cost: comprehensive estimation rules. Then the process turns to brand design. It includes logos, fonts, and illustrations. First, you’ll need to create a mood board, and then the logo itself. But if you are a business, then you need to have your logos placed within the app.

To create a logo the right way, you should:

Different platforms

Designing a mobile app just for one platform (iOS or Android devices) takes a relatively solid budget. But designing for both at once will be quite expensive. Maybe, there is a chance to design a cross-platform mobile software. It might be a bit cheaper. But, after all, everything depends on your requirements. In any case, designers will have to adjust the app to any platform. And, you probably know, that there are features in iOS that Android lacks, and vice versa. So, choosing a platform, focus on your target audience and the needs you have to meet.


Building an in-house app can cost you a fortune. So, it would be wise to outsource your software development to an expert vendor. But, here’s the thing. You should make solid research before trusting your vendor with your idea implementations. The cost of designing a mobile app will mainly vary according to the country your vendor is from and the market trends.


The complexity of your app defines the number of main and additional features it will have. And, also, the laconic or rich design it should have. The more BA, designers, and developers have to input efforts and time into creating the app – the more it will cost. Perhaps, it is best to focus on several functional features (like in an MVP). And, create a laconic design. Or, as we call it now, minimalistic.

Time and Communication

If you have a deadline to meet, your development should be implemented by experts. Certified designers with solid experience can produce output quicker. But, the cost of one experienced designer will be from $26 to $33 according to Some have higher hourly rates. Everything depends. To save costs, it is better to hire the whole team to build you a custom product. This way you can be sure you’ll meet the deadline. And, also that your communication with the team will be successful.

How to cut the cost to design an app?

1- Make a deep and extensive project plan

cost to design an app

What is mobile app design cost: comprehensive estimation rules. If you think planning is a tiresome and unneeded activity – you are wrong. Planning can give you a full idea of what you need to accomplish and the cost to design an app. If you can’t deal with planning and research on your own, there is a way out. Try a discovery phase service. This is the practice, where you can save up costs, time, and efforts on building a mobile app solution. How? A discovery phase aims at giving you extensive documentation on your product’s advantages and disadvantages. Also, it provides comments and recommendations. With the help of this phase, you can develop your app according to a plan.

2- Hire a professional team to carry out your project

cost to design an app | Hire a team to develop mobile app

The team you will work with has to be on the same page with you in almost everything. As you will have to communicate with designers most of the time to transmit your ideas and check what they’ve done. The more you cooperate – the better. People on your team have to understand what is the scope of the design project and what are your preferences. This way your mobile app UI design cost will be lower. Mainly, because there will be no misunderstandings, errors, or things to fix.

3- Be as specific with your requirements as possible

If you hire an excellent team – this is only 50% of success. The rest of it is based on the correct and detailed communication of your needs to the team. And, also, take into account the stakeholders’ requirements. You should heal everyone on your team (investors, partners, etc.) to make sure nothing is missing.

cost to design an app | hiring requirement to hire a team to develop mobile app

4- Be realistic according to project deadlines and human efforts

If you have a deadline, the team may or may not meet it. To cut costs, listen to the timeframes the team suggests to you. These are most likely the real deployments timeframes there will be. They include every stage of design and the number of hours used to complete each task.

cost to design an app | project deadline

5- Design an MVP

Designing a full product may take you more time, more human effort, and more money. Why won’t you get an MVP first? This will be a complete app with minimum features present. But it will function as it should. And, what’s more, you will receive useful feedback. It’s easier to alter an MVP than the whole product. And you will save up costs.

Final thoughts

What is mobile app design cost: comprehensive estimation rules. Designing a mobile application is a process you should always have a plan for. Ans stick to guidelines. As an SDLC, the design stage has steps called iterations, where designers try to fulfill all your needs in both user interface esthetics and user experience logic. To achieve a good result, you need to understand what features will cost you a fortune, and which ones will be enough. That’s why we have produced this comprehensive estimation to calculate your average project pricing.

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