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How Much Does It Cost to Design an App? All You Need to Know

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When you're starting a business, one of the very first things you have to determine is how much it's going to cost. This goes for anything - whether you're opening up a restaurant or starting a new online store. And when it comes to developing an app, the cost can vary greatly depending on what kind of app you want to be created and how intricate the design process is. In this article, we'll break down everything you need to know about app design costs so that you can make an informed decision for your business.



What Is App Design?

App Design is an ongoing process that includes User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) elements. Decisions are made based on user research and feedback. The UX Designer focuses on the flow of your application, while the UI Designer takes care of how your app's users will interact with your interface. 


So, what goes into the cost of app design? Generally, there are three main factors that contribute to the price: design time, development time, and backend services. Let's take a look at each one.



Design Process

Design is potentially the most important part of creating an app - after all, it's what users will see and interact with the most. As a result, good design takes time and effort to execute properly. Generally, app designers charge by the hour, so the longer it takes for them to create a beautiful user-friendly interface, the more it will cost you.


Before jumping into the design process, Check out the 10 best mobile app designs.



1. Footwork


When you're in the early stages of coming up with an app idea, it's important to determine the importance and value of your proposed concept. A good start is research on similar solutions in the marketplace, as well as a general understanding of market trends and other pertinent information such as potential target users that would provide solid ground to build upon moving forward.


The interaction design of the app must be unique and intuitive, captivating people's attention, yet seamless enough to work with their put-upon lifestyles making it one of many solutions they use on a daily basis instead of only when they feel like it.


  • Time: 40-50 Hours

  • User-behavior flows, personas, imagination/experience.

  • Project statement, user stories, team picking.



2. Moodboard

Before any UI designs are created, the user experience team will present a mood board. This helps the client to understand what direction the designers are thinking. The mood board should have relevant images, illustrations, patterns, and even color schemes so that when presented in front of the client they can get an idea of what they're going to get once all is said and done by comparing it to what was proposed on the mood board initially. 


It's crucial for both the web design team and potential users to understand each other, which can be accomplished through this technique. Often clients don't know exactly how else to express their thoughts about certain issues if a suitable medium isn't available to them beforehand. 


So showing them a presentation before any work begins goes a long way towards establishing an open dialogue afterward as well when things begin coming together on-screen!



3. Wireframing & Prototype


When planning your project, these are the first visual deliverables that will assist you with refining and validating your ideas. It’s important to do usability testing and focus on creating something that has a good flow based on your user’s needs. There are great tools like Figma which will help you get digital prototypes up and running much faster while saving time.


  • Time: 100-120 Hours

  • Tools: Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, etc.

  • Output: Wireframe, App Screen, Prototype



Read:- 10 Best Mobile App Design Tools



4. End design product


This is the final version, after many iterations and a lot of refining, of the product design. We are happy with how it turns out in terms of branding, graphics, and all other aspects that make this an eye-catching package, and which we now feel ready to take to developers who will code up what we have designed.


  • Time: 300 - 350 Hours

  • Tools: Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, Invision, etc.

  • Results: Complete user stories and Tasks, the final cut of Product Design Deliverables, Including Icons, Logos, etc.



Development Process

Once the design is finished, it's handed off to the developers who will bring it to life. Like the design, development takes time and is often charged by the hour as well. However, there are some cases where a developer may quote you a flat rate for the entire project.



1. Frontend 

The front-end is an app a native user will use. In most cases, these apps consist of interactive end-user experiences that use an API and a back-end for managing data. In some cases when a native app needs to allow users to work without internet access, the app may utilize local data storage. The backend creates and manages this local data storage where the mobile front-end can then access it when needed.


You can utilize almost any web programming language and databases for the back end. For native mobile app development, you have to choose a technology stack required by each mobile OS platform. iOS apps can be developed using Objective-C or Swift programming software language. Android apps are built using Flutter, Kotlin, or Java.


  • Time: 200 - 250 Hours

  • Tools: Object-C, Swift, Flutter, etc.

  • Results: Responsive App, Complete Workable



2. Testing 

Use cases have been around for as long as mobile app development. In fact, they are the very first things discussed when looking to develop a mobile app. Combining this method with test cases and software quality evaluation, you’re on your way to discovering an effective testing process. 


When it comes to testing cases, make sure you have your QA team ready with everyone’s knowledge of your functional requirements and objectives. This will help produce accurate test cases that are thorough and capture all necessary components of your app in form of use case testing like navigating the screens or determining if certain features work just the way they should be.



App cost-efficiency 

What makes an app’s basis complex? There can be two reasons: additional technical features as well as specific design decisions that require a lot of attention. With the use of UI kits, you can save yourself some money and still make your project look nice by having a consistent style guide for your team to use.



Attributes affecting the app cost 


Cross-platform implementation: There are two major mobile platforms: the gigantic Android and the iconic iOS. The best way to build your brand in one way or another is by taking care of both – that means you have to make sure your application will run smoothly on both mobile operating systems. This may require peculiar app design patterns depending on their respective versions of platform restrictions regarding application usage, speed and etc.



Marketing support: App launches should follow successful guerrilla marketing campaigns. The most effective way for your app to succeed is by making sure that people responding to this campaign are targeted appropriately and offered an incentive or reward for completing the desired action. There should also be social media outreach, and ongoing ad spots on appropriate networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others.


App design costs geographically

The first proprietary applications for rudimentary mobile platforms like Garnet OS and BlackBerry OS started to appear in the early 2000s. These types of devices were essentially global pointers to information on a computer system so that a user could check their emails or send out text messages and so forth. The rates were high because the programming industry was still new, but as more and more companies tried to flatten the learning curve, hiring designers got cheaper and cheaper.


How much do app designers make?

Today the rates at which UI designers charge clients vary in different parts of the world. But one thing that is important to know is that rock bottom when it comes to prices means rock bottom when it comes to quality. Though design services come at a set price, you can be sure of getting the best quality for your money if you go with someone well-versed in UX Design. 


So how much are good app designers charged per hour? As I mentioned before, it depends on what kind of cost your UI design will entail - Ultimately though, from $25/hour and up you can expect to pay more for better work. It also depends on the geographical location of a professional because rates may differ depending upon where they have been trained or have worked previously.


How to count your app cost?

So how much does all of this cost? Well, that really depends on the complexity of your app and the number of backend services you require. But as a general rule, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5000 to $150000 for an app design.


Of course, that's just the cost of the design and development process - you'll also need to factor in marketing and launch costs, which can range from $1000 to $20000. But overall, developing an app can be a very costly endeavor.



Mobile App cost range


Simple app:

by uihut

This type of mobile app design cost starts at $5,000 and might take up to 100 hours. For example, you can visit UIHUT. The initial business scheme was well-known, there were enough existing-working concepts available to choose from and the process of market analysis was not complex.



Medium complexity app:

by uihut

The Fit for Bucks application will cost between $10,000 and $20,000 to develop. Because this is a project related to fitness-based apps, the development time usually spans about 200 hours. Fit for Bucks is an innovative startup that lets users trade in their daily step counts on the mobile application in exchange for various products from local businesses. 


As it relates to fitness applications, the research stage required far more effort because of the extent of research when it came down to understanding steps and then subsequently coming up with means by which people could earn discounts. These complexities include the intricacies of the app’s architecture and the number of screens that were required for each detail.



Complex app:

by uihut

These are usually worth over $20,000 in design and count 400+ hours. At the same time, the main idea of a mobile app is in making it as accessible, fast, and user-friendly as possible. If the app is too heavy, it might be losing in terms of its reach. 


At the end of the day, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to app design costs. Every business is different, and each app has its own unique set of requirements. So be sure to consult with a professional before making any final decisions. And if you're still not sure where to start, contact us and we'll be happy to help.




Final Words

So there you have it - everything you need to know about app design costs. By understanding the factors that contribute to the price, you can better gauge what kind of budget you'll need for your project. And if you're still not sure where to start, contact us for a free consultation. We'll be happy to help you get started on your next app. Thanks for staying with us.




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