mobile app design

A Comprehensive Guide To Mobile App Design Costs 2021

First impressions are 94% design related. From competitor audit to UI UX app design, designing an app is a herculean task!

App Design Cost

What’s seen is sold. Right! 

When you’re developing a new app or optimizing the existing one, designing an app is more about solving a problem, than how the app looks.
We recently released an article on the cost of developing an app. Now, it’s time to estimate the cost of designing a mobile app. 

Considering some of the top tier companies like Airbnb, Uber, Google, and Apple dedicates a good part of their success to their user-centric design strategy for delivering extraordinary user experiences.

Designing an exceptional UX isn’t a cakewalk. It begins with “understand your user.” Now, what makes an app user-centered? 

To design a high-quality app, it’s essential to figure out what are the necessary aspects of the product’s UX and market success that depends on many other variables. After all, the design is not only about how the app looks but how does it work?

In this blog, we will outline the essential steps involved in app design, the factors that influence the mobile app design cost, and everything to help you get started with mobile app design. And analyze how much does it cost to design an app?
Let’s dive in. 


What is the mobile app design?

Mobile App Design is a process of designing mobile apps, encompassing faster loading times, accessibility, and overall user experience.

According to Adobe, App design combines the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). While UI lends itself to the overall style of the app (including the colors, fonts, and general look and feel), UX focuses on the actual functionality and usability.

What are the stages of mobile app design?

An effective app design process revolves around delivering a great user experience and problem-solving approach. The basic steps of the mobile app design involve research, analysis, prototype designing, UI/UX, testing, and branding.

1. Analyze app idea

Estimated time: 20-40 hours with a maximum of 150 hours

App development starts with an app idea discovery and brainstorming. The very first step of app design is to convey the app idea correctly to the developers. During each stage of the mobile design, do substantial market research, study your audience well, create user personas to segment your users, analyze the actual user demographics, and behavior patterns. 

This phase is crucial because designers work to take the client’s requirements and no one likes to pay the redesigning cost. 

2. Work on the prototype (UI UX Design Cost)

Work on the prototype (UI UX Design Cost)

Now, you are ready with your app idea, the next step is to shape them with documentation and wireframing. How much does it cost to build an app prototype? 

To understand the app functions and future scope, try to focus on app usability, project complexity, and navigation. This stage includes App sketching, Wireframing, and User Experience (UX), and App Animation guides

  • Sketches

To design a great mobile app, sketches are used to display complicated app mechanisms. Popular sketching tools are Sketch, Buildfire, Adobe XD etc.

  • UX Wireframing

During this process, designers create interactive layouts to structure the app screens and showcase app screen connectivity with the help of some of the best mobile UI design tools for app designers. UX Wireframing ensures the app flow and gets the visual concept of an application that gives a general understanding of an app and all the functions it does. 

  • UX Wireframes with Native UI Element

The mobile app UI design cost varies from app to app. To give an idea of the basic app interface and more detailed design structure, add distinct fonts, buttons and control styles, and other native UI components constitute the UX wireframe. Finally, the prototype phase ends with usability testing and validating the concept. Special tools like MARVEL, Balsamiq, and Photoshop are used.

3. Create Visual Design (UI)

Create Visual Design (UI)

In mobile application development, the visual design consists of UI mockups, that help users to understand the basic idea behind the app. It gives a clear idea of different approaches to style, use of different elements, forms, shades, color schemes, and others.
It’s important to know that visual design and branding are inter-related. Visual design is about creating a cohesive product style and includes an app’s logo, a mobile app icon, and screens.

Branding is another essential stage of mobile app interface design as it includes the creation of logos, fonts, and brand illustrations. Branding begins with mood board creation and then shifts to logo design. Check out the top app UI design trends and keep your eyes on how your competitors are designing an app.

The cost to create the visual design is further divided into - 

cost to create the visual design

4. Deciding factors that influence app design cost in 2021

Here are the factors on what, app design cost depends. 

  • Mobile app designing cost of hiring a designer

The cost of hiring a designer depends on your budget and pocket. You can find a range of professionals, in terms of technology expertise, platform, experience, and pay range. If you want to hire a professional senior designer, you can have to pay up to $150 per hour or even more. At the same time, the less experienced designer can take only $45/hour.

Mobile app designing cost of hiring a designer

There are two major aspects of app development, function, and appearance. If your users want the app to be highly functional, your primary focus should be on the app features and secondly appearance. Just go with the flow, follow the market standards, look out to your competitors, and invest more to enhance the app features.

  • Mobile app designing cost by region

If you’re looking to outsource your application designing, then services may vary according to the region. Although the cost to design an app differs between countries, we have listed out the average cost to design a good looking app from the most common hourly rates for design in US dollars.

Mobile app designing cost by region

  • Mobile app designing cost by app complexity

Whether you’re designing an app or developing one, both processes involve complexity analysis. Firstly, let us show you what defines the app complexity?

Number of platforms you’re using to design an app (Web design, Android/iOS)

  1. Number of user-roles and MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
  2. The complexity of app functionality ( Including AR)
  3. End-user requirements and specialization. 
  4. Customization standards 

Further, we have divided the cost to design an app estimation into 3 complexity levels. 

Mobile app designing cost by app complexity

  • App designing cost based on the type of platform 

The development of native applications plays a fundamental role in deciding the cost of mobile app design. The cost of designing a mobile app varies from platform to platform, whether you’re going to design an Android App or an iOS app.        
However, the cost of app design for iOS tends to be higher due to bigger payments on Apple App Store and more strict rules, as compared to Android. Let’s figure out what are the key aspects. 

App designing cost based on the type of platform 

Every app is unique as compared to design, function, and number of platforms, we suggest you research your target audience well and decide which platforms and technologies you would like to work on. 

To sum up

IBM says

With this, we have reviewed almost all the important aspects that influence the cost of designing a good application for iOS and Android. 

Apart from app complexity, Android/iOS app or both, type of the targeted devices, designer experience and geography, etc., there are as many things that need to be considered, before designing a good mobile app for your business. 

App Design Cost

If you have a great app idea in your mind, let’s give it a quick shape. Get inspired by some of the top mobile app design companies that have successfully created a global presence and are working to empower human ideas through the well-crafted website and mobile app designs.

Ayush <span> Creative Head </span>
Written By
Ayush Creative Head

With a strong knowledge of the latest UI/UX design trends, Ayush, the creative head of MobileAppDaily, is curating enticing designs from the past five years. His work helped in achieving the desired user experience for many top brands. Right now, he’s at the helm of designing team and is leaving no stone unturned to devise futuristic designs.

Want To Hire The Best Service Provider?
MobileAppDaily will help you explore the best service providers depending on your vision, budget, project requirements and industry. Get in touch and create a list of best-suited companies for your needs.
mobile app design

Top 9 Tools For Expert Mobile App Designers [2021]

4 min read  

When it comes to mobile app designing, the overall design should be dynamic in nature. Even though every application designing project is different from another, under no circumstance your design should be static. To make this possible there are several tools for mobile app designers that can be use

mobile app design

5 Ways to Add Engaging Design to Your App in 2021

4 min read  

Mobile applications are literally dominating the world with their outstanding benefits and extreme outreach. The creation of an application from idea to live product is transformed by the mobile app development world using keen knowledge and precise analysis. Still, some apps fail in the market just

mobile app design

Mobile First Design in 2022: Development to Testing Stage Guide

4 min read  

A few years back, developers initially used to build a desktop website and later transformed that into a platform-oriented design as per client requirements. But now, the scenario has completely changed where business entrepreneurs raised their focus on having a mobile-oriented design for their bran

mobile app design

Mobile App Design Guidelines to Build an App Users Love

4 min read  

While designing an app, there are a few things that bother mobile developers the most. For example; laggy UI, app development cost, and app crashes among others. Now, to solve that problem, a proper plan considering mobile app design guidelines is important. User Interface is the first impression mo

MAD Originals
MAD Originals

Cut to the chase content that’s credible, insightful & actionable.

Get the latest mashup of the App Industry Exclusively Inboxed

  • BOTH
Join our expansive network, build connections and expand your brand presence.