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App Design Cost: Explaining the Costing of App Design

Catch your users’ attention by delivering a mobile app with an irresistible user interface (UI) and an unforgettable user experience (UX). Because the truth is, a well-crafted app can mean the difference between a loyal user and a disappointed one. But what’s really at stake here is the app design cost. You might be asking yourself, How much will it cost? Well, it goes beyond dollars.

The price you pay reflects the quality, intricacy, and impact of the design.

Sure, expensive apps often boast a polished design and seamless user experience. However, the real challenge lies in creating an intuitive and cost-effective design. That perfect balance where cost meets quality can make your app stand out.

So, what exactly do we mean when we refer to app design cost? It encompasses a whole package, from the eye-catching visuals to the smooth user flow and every tiny interaction in between.

This article is your guide to delving deep into these crucial factors, shedding light on the elements contributing to the overall cost. By understanding these nuances, you can ensure that every penny you invest in your app’s design brings you significant returns. 

App Design Cost

How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

App design cost is a burning question for anyone planning to venture into the mobile application realm. Understanding the cost is essential as it’s one of the significant factors influencing the app’s success. 

Let’s break down the cost depending on various elements:

Cost Depending on the Complexity

Complexity Level
Approximate Cost
Basic (simple features, limited screens)$1,000 - $5,000
Standard (more features, advanced design)$5,000 - $15,000
Advanced (full features, intricate designs)$15,000 - $40,000

The app design cost varies significantly with the complexity of the app. Basic apps with limited features will cost less than those with intricate designs and multifaceted functionalities.

Cost Depending on the Type of Team

Team Type
Approximate Cost
Freelancer$10 - $150/hour
Small agency$30 - $200/hour
Large agency
$100 - $500/hour

When considering how much it costs to design an app, the type of team you choose plays a pivotal role. Hiring freelancers might be cost-effective for small projects. Still, for more comprehensive designs, agencies often provide a more holistic approach to working on your project.

Cost Depending on the Location of a Team

Approximate Cost/Hour
U.S./Canada$10 - $150/hour
Western Europe$30 - $200/hour
Eastern Europe$100 - $500/hour
Asia$10 - $80

The geographical location of your design team can have a significant impact on the cost of designing an app. While teams from the U.S. or Western Europe might charge higher rates, those from Asia or Eastern Europe might offer more competitive prices.

However, the app designer’s cost hinges on multiple factors. Balancing quality with affordability, based on your specific needs and budget, will pave the way for your app’s success.

Let’s see in detail the potential factors that affect app design cost.

What Factors Impact the Cost of a Mobile App Design?

When you consider creating a mobile app. It often begins with the pressing question: how much will the design cost? The answer isn’t straightforward. Various factors play a role in determining the app design cost. To help you understand, let’s dig deep into the significant factors:

Type of Design and Customization

  • Custom Designs: Tailor-made designs catered to your specific needs will raise the app designer’s cost.
  • Pre-made Templates: Using templates is cost-effective but might lack a unique touch.
  • Level of Detail and Interactivity: More intricate designs with animations and interactions increase costs.

If you want a tailor-made design, you need to invest in the creative domain because it takes more effort to create a personalized experience that people remember.

Type of Application

This is another crucial factor to consider when designing an app. 

Here is why:

  • Native Design: Native app development means an app created for a specific platform (iOS or Android) and often carries a higher cost of app design due to its exclusivity and performance benefits.
  • Cross-Platform App: Designed to work on multiple platforms using a single codebase. It can be more cost-efficient than native designs but may compromise on some native features.
  • Hybrid App: Hybrid Mobile App development combines the best of modern programming languages, such as React.JS and Kotlin, with the right balance of technology, functionality, and fun! It’s cost-effective but might not deliver a fully native experience.
  • Web App: Designed for web browsers and generally cost less but might not offer the same user experience as mobile apps.

Now, it is up to you to consider which type of app is the best fit for your target audience and why. Having a solid clear understanding is the key to creating a best-in-class experience.

Technical Complexity and Scale of the Project

Now comes the complex part. The technical features often come with an increase in cost.

Here are a few technical factors that can impact app design costs:

  • Features and Functionality: More features mean more design elements, impacting the app design cost.
  • Integrations: Incorporating third-party integrations or complex back-end structures add to the charges.
  • User Roles: The design complexity increases if your app has various user roles with different interfaces.


Are you ready to navigate the complexities of your dream app? It is time to consider the Top 11 UX design trends. Because if you want your app to stand out, you need to keep up with technology trends.

Type and Location of the Hired Team

While the location significantly influences app design cost, the experience and expertise of the team play a pivotal role in determining your app’s overall quality and success. A skilled and experienced UI/UX design team can interpret your vision accurately, anticipate potential pitfalls, and deliver a design that looks good and functions seamlessly.

In regions like the U.S. and Canada, costs range from $50 to $250 per hour. This often reflects the high standard of living and the extensive expertise available. Contrastingly, in Western Europe, rates float between $35 and $170 per hour. However, it’s essential to remember that a higher price doesn’t always guarantee superior quality.

Eastern European designers might quote $20 to $150 per hour. At the same time, Asian developers, often considered the most cost-effective, can charge between $10 and $80 per hour. 

But regardless of the region, prioritize the team’s track record, experience, and portfolio. 

After all, investing in a seasoned team might mean higher upfront costs, but it can save you from costly revisions and ensure the longevity and success of your app. So, when considering your budget, ask yourself: are you factoring in the value of expertise?

Thus, the geographical location of your design team is a massive determinant in the cost of designing an app. Hiring from regions with a lower cost of living can lead to significant savings, but expertise varies.

As you embark on your app design journey, consider these facts carefully. Each decision impacts the final app design cost, ensuring you get the best blend of quality and affordability. What’s your priority for app design?

How Does the Design Process Impact the Mobile App Design Cost?

Understanding the design process is pivotal when estimating app design costs. Each phase, from ideation to the final prototype, involves dedicated resources and time, directly affecting the overall budget. 

Here’s how different stages of UX and UI design can impact the application design budget:

UX Design and Its Impact on App Design Cost

The essence of an app isn’t just its functionality but how users feel when navigating through it. A well-thought-out UX design can be the defining factor between an app’s success and its downfall. However, a more sophisticated UX can also elevate the app design cost. But what is this investment channeling into?

Let’s break down the stages of app design that determine the cost.

Discovery Phase: Pre-design Research

This is the first stage of creating a timeless experience. It all starts with a clear vision of whom you want to sell. Understanding the target audience is the cornerstone of an effective UX design. 

By tapping into potential users’ needs and behaviors using

  • Interviews, 
  • Surveys, 
  • Usability tests.


Designers can craft an intuitive app experience. This initial research might affect the app design cost. Still, its value is unmatched in laying the foundation for a user-centric design.

Now it’s time to make a user persona. Personas aren’t just imaginative characters. They embody different user segments. By fleshing out these personas, designers ensure that every user interaction feels personalized. The goal is clear: every user should feel the app caters specifically to them. This demands effort to create an effortless and user-centric experience. 

Standing out in the app realm is more than a desire; it’s a necessity. Therefore, a thorough competitor analysis allows designers to find the perfect balance between industry standards and innovative offerings. 

Recognizing the design gaps provides a unique opportunity to shine, even if it slightly increases the app design cost.

Mind Mapping

Transitioning from a sea of raw data to tangible design strategies requires systematic planning. Brainstorming sessions serve as a catalyst, igniting the spark for innovative ideas for user satisfaction. No matter how unconventional, every idea can potentially enhance the user experience. The digital world is a unique place, and you never know what resonates with your audience. 

Next comes storyboarding. It is visual storytelling. Charting out the user’s journey ensures that every step feels intuitive from the moment they launch the app to its culmination. It’s all about predicting user behavior and designing interfaces that feel second nature. After ideation, it is time to initiate the design process. 

Wireframing might seem like just laying out blueprints, but it’s much more. By determining the structure early on, designers ensure a logical flow, setting the stage for detailed design. It’s a step that can influence the app design cost, but its role in ensuring a coherent user journey is crucial.

Low-Fidelity Prototypes

These basic interactive models offer a sneak peek into the app’s design and functionality. Feedback at this stage is gold, allowing for early revisions and realignments, ensuring the final design doesn’t miss the mark.

High-Fidelity Prototypes

Here’s where the design starts to come alive. Detailed and refined, these prototypes are a mirror reflection of the final product. User testing at this phase is crucial. Gathering refined feedback ensures that the final app design resonates perfectly with its intended audience.

While the various phases of UX design can influence the app design cost, it’s a strategic investment. Allocating resources wisely in UX ensures user satisfaction and potentially skyrockets user retention. After all, the ultimate goal is to have users fall in love with your app from the very first interaction.

UI Design and Its Impact on App Design Cost

In the realm of app development, while UX focuses on the user’s experience, UI centers on the visual elements. The aesthetics and interactivity of your app are paramount in determining its success and influencing the overall app design cost. The user interface has come a long way. From smaller screens and touch-based input, these 10 user interface best design practices have made significant changes in the field of UI/UX design.

Choose a Color Scheme

Colors aren’t just visual stimulants. They’re powerful tools for conveying your brand’s identity. Choosing colors that align with your brand image and values ensures branding consistency and evokes certain emotions in users. 

For instance, a calming blue might be perfect for a meditation app, while a vibrant red could be apt for a fast-paced game. Deciding on a suitable color scheme while keeping user emotions in mind can play a pivotal role in the app design cost.

Create a UI Kit

In the world of UI, consistency is vital. By crafting a UI Kit, designers can ensure that elements like buttons, sliders, and checkboxes remain standardized throughout the app. Not only does this maintain a cohesive look and feel, but it also saves development time in the long run. 

Moreover, it’s essential to have adaptable elements within this kit. With many devices available, these components should seamlessly adjust to different screen sizes and resolutions, ensuring every user gets an optimal experience. This adaptability can influence the app design cost, but the payoff in user experience is well worth it.

Design Icons and Logo

An app’s icon is its first impression. Crafting a unique and memorable icon ensures your app stands out amidst a sea of icons in app stores. Similarly, a memorable logo embeds your brand into a user’s psyche, fostering loyalty and enhancing brand recall. 

While these elements might escalate the app design cost, their contribution to brand identity is invaluable.

Design Animations

Gone are the days of static apps. Modern users crave interactivity. Animations serve as perfect engagement boosters, keeping users hooked. But they’re not just for show. Functional transitions using animations can intuitively guide users between different app sections, making navigation a breeze.

While UI elements can significantly impact the app design cost. They make your app visually appealing and functionally efficient. Striking a balance between beautiful design and practical utility is vital.

So, when considering the app design cost, it’s essential to factor in the intricacies of both UI and UX. This hugely depends on UI/UX design tools that modern-day designers choose to create a compelling experience.

Tips for Reducing App Design Cost

Navigating the realm of mobile app design can be both exhilarating and costly. But with strategic maneuvers, it’s feasible to construct a compelling app without depleting your funds. 

Let’s explore some effective strategies:

Outsource Your App Development Projects

The world is abundant with talent. Outsourcing to regions with a lower cost of living allows collaboration with gifted app designers without the hefty price tag. It’s not just about saving on app design costs. It’s also about flexibility. 

However, good things demand time and investment. If you have an app design project. Many things go into the process of designing, and thus, it takes more experts to create an experience and maintain its performance. 

Hence, it is better to commit to a dedicated team. Small to large-sized businesses can harness the skills of external agencies based on the specific demands of their projects. This approach brings in expertise with long-term value.

Determine the Hidden Costs Beforehand

Transparency is the cornerstone of any successful financial endeavor. It’s imperative to have open dialogues with prospective app designers or firms. Grasping every nuance of the proposed app design cost, especially potential add-on charges can be the difference between staying within budget and unexpected overspending. Having a clear financial roadmap can prevent future monetary surprises, ensuring you stay on track.

Make Use of Available App Design Templates

In today’s digital era, ample platforms furnish pre-designed templates. By utilizing these, you’re not initiating the design process from the ground up, leading to tangible savings in mobile app design expenditures. Moreover, the beauty of these templates lies in their adaptability. They can be tailored to resonate with your brand, guaranteeing your app retains its distinctive flair.

Build an MVP Instead of Full-Fledged Product

The essence of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is its stripped-down nature, focusing solely on pivotal features. This tactic slashes the initial application design cost and paves the way for market testing. Once you gather feedback, it becomes clearer where to channel resources, ensuring every dollar is invested in enhancements that users genuinely desire.

Go for Cross-Platform App Development Approach

The beauty of cross-platform development is its efficiency. Instead of juggling multiple codes tailored for Android or iOS, you have a unified codebase, easing the workload for app designers and coders. Moreover, the inclusive nature of this method ensures your app caters to a more diverse audience, maximizing your returns on investment.

Remember, informed choices during the nascent stages, from zeroing in on the apt application design methodology to allying with adept app designers, can usher in substantial savings in the long haul.

How to Pick the Right Design Partner?

Navigating the intricate maze of app creation can be daunting. The path you choose hinges significantly on the design partner you select, as this decision has a profound impact on the final product and, of course, the app design cost. Therefore, partnering with a like-minded design ally becomes crucial. 

Here’s an in-depth guide to lead you toward the ideal choice:

Examine the Portfolio

A designer’s portfolio is more than just a collection of work. It’s an embodiment of their creative essence. Diving deep into their showcased projects offers insights into their design capabilities. By meticulously analyzing their past creations, you can gauge their versatility, commitment to evolving design trends, and attention to detail. Ensuring that their design language resonates with your brand vision is essential. After all, a suitable design partner will align with your preferences and be conscious of optimizing the app design cost.

Peruse Testimonials and Monitor Social Media Presence

In today’s interconnected world, word of mouth is invaluable. Customer testimonials provide a firsthand account of previous collaborations, highlighting both the designer’s strengths and areas of improvement. These insights can be pivotal in gauging the app design cost-to-value ratio. 

Additionally, a designer’s social media presence works as a digital resume. Platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn, frequently used by designers, showcase their latest work, interactions with clients, and responsiveness to contemporary design shifts.

Engage in Direct Interaction

There’s immense power in personal conversations. Hosting a face-to-face or virtual interview with potential design partners allows you to understand their approach to projects and get a feel for their passion and professionalism. This step, though seemingly straightforward, is essential. A harmonious working relationship, built on respect, transparent communication, and shared goals, often results in a more efficient project flow and controlled app design cost.

Evaluate Their Approach to App Design Cost

While quality should never be compromised, understanding how a potential partner approaches cost can give insights into their efficiency, resource management skills, and transparency. 

  • Do they offer a clear breakdown? 
  • Are they flexible and open to finding cost-effective solutions without hampering design quality?

The questions will keep you aligned with your vision and help you find a skilled design partner. A thoughtful approach, backed by thorough research and guided by the steps above, will surely lead you to a partner who brings your app vision to life without straining your budget.

Looking for a Mobile App Design Team?

Creating a mobile app means making many choices. One of the biggest is the app design cost. If you’re a startup, you might be thinking about how to stand out and offer something unique.

That’s where RevvLab can help.

We specialize in designing standout iOS, Android, and cross-platform applications. With us, you won’t just get a cost-efficient app design; you’ll get an app that people love using. We combine the latest technology with our deep understanding of UI/UX, ensuring users enjoy every moment they spend on your app.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Cost of Designing an App Logo and Icon?

A: The app design cost can vary significantly, especially for logos and icons. Prices may range from $99 for simpler designs by emerging designers to over $1000 for detailed creations. It’s essential to factor this into your overall app design cost and ensure you’re clear on inclusions, revisions, and rights linked to the given price.

How Much Do UI Designers Charge?

A: UI designers’ rates can differ widely based on experience, region, and project complexity. On average, freelancers might charge anywhere from $20 to $150 per hour, with specialized or well-known designers demanding even more. When budgeting for app design costs, it’s crucial to gauge a designer’s expertise and review their portfolio to ensure you’re getting good value for your investment.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Mobile App?

A: Costs vary based on complexity:

  • Simple app: $5,000-$50,000, with basic features like login and user profiles.
  • Medium Complex App: $50,000-$120,000, adding features like social integrations and payment gateways. 
  • Complex app: $100,000-$300,000, incorporating advanced tech like AR/VR and AI. 

Your app’s features and design intricacies determine the final app design cost.

Freelancers Vs. App Design Company. Whom to Choose?

A: Freelancers can offer a more flexible and often lower app design cost, which is suitable for small projects or startups with tight budgets. However, an app design company provides a comprehensive team with varied expertise, ensuring high-quality results and more streamlined management, especially for larger or more complex projects. The choice depends on your project’s scope, budget, and the level of expertise required.

How Much Does it Cost to Design a UI/UX App Prototype?

A: Calculating the UI/UX design cost requires detailed scrutiny of app features, design needs, and the chosen platform. Generally, the cost of designing an app prototype hovers between $10,000 to $32,000, though specific pricing can vary based on the complexity and developer expertise.

For Which Platform Should I Develop My App First: Android or iOS?

A: The choice between Android and iOS largely depends on your target audience and market objectives. If you’re targeting a broader, global user base, Android might be preferable due to its dominant market share. However, if your focus is on markets like the U.S. or Western Europe, where iOS holds a significant share and users tend to spend more in-app, starting with iOS could be beneficial. Always consider demographic preferences, projected ROI, and regional popularity before deciding.


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