How Much Does It Cost to Design a Mobile App

Do you know that the amount of global mobile app downloads reached 204 billion in 2019? For comparison, in 2016, this number was 140.7 billion. The mobile application market is growing very actively and competition between apps is just unimaginably vast. If you want your application to be popular among users, it shouldn’t only be technically developed and have an attractive design but, first of all, it has to solve your potential users’ problems.

When you decide to create a mobile application design for your business, you need a functional design which is aesthetically beautiful at the same time. Creating a high-quality design requires certain skills, time, and resources. The price of mobile applications depends on many factors. So, in this article, we want to shed the light on the topic of how much it costs to design a mobile app in detail.

Custom or native design: what to choose?

What is a native design?

With native applications, companies can make an application according to individual requests. The user can then use it conveniently, in addition to the website they are already used. This integrity is a significant advantage of native applications.

Here are a few more pros of a native application:

  • productivity and high speed
  • uninterrupted gameplay
  • installation only from official markets
  • a specific operating system supports the native mobile application
  • can work both with the Internet and offline

But there are a few cons of this type of application:

  • only one platform coverage
  • creation is difficult and time-consuming

What is a custom design?

Among the benefits of the custom app:

  • Provides the exact functions and capabilities that your business will need, and differs from the finished software that can not offer a complete set of features.
  • Has a definite competitive advantage as it is developed exclusively for your business
  • Control settings and functionality
  • Does not require additional license costs

But also such applications have a number of disadvantages:

  • The high enough cost of such software
  • Big risk to choose the wrong developer, everything may go unplanned, and you will lose money
  • A lot of time and development effort compared to native applications.

App design cost factors

Mobile app design company experience and location

Here is an approximate price for the hourly designer work by countries:

  • North America(United States and Canada) — $50 — $150/h;
  • Australia $50 — $150/h;
  • Western Europe & UK $50 — $100/h;
  • Eastern Europe (including Ukraine) $25 — $50/h;
  • India works for $20–49/hr

Nevertheless, a high price is not a guarantee of high quality. Often projects are made better and faster in regions with a lower app design cost. Business owners should study thoroughly the company with which they want to collaborate and learn their projects; this will be the main guarantee of your good cooperation.

The complexity of creating a mobile app design

  • simple apps: it usually takes from 100 to 150 hours to develop it, and with an average price of $ 50, it will be somewhere around $ 5000. Such an application includes one platform and standard UI design components.
  • medium complexity apps: this application usually takes 200–250 hours (approximately $ 10,000 at $ 50 per hour). Typically, such an application has additional screens, various content, and complex interactions.
  • high complexity apps usually take from 400 hours (at $ 50 per hour, it will be $ 20,000). Such an application includes two or more platforms and various types of complexity in design and animation.

Different platforms

Why is it so essential to decide at once which platform will be used for your mobile app? The answer is simple: the app design price directly depends on the platform of the mobile application. App design cost also depends on which mobile application you want to create and the degree of the app’s complexity.

Mobile app design steps

Step 1: Research and analysis

Why is research important before you start developing an app? This aspect is very significant because it’s difficult to understand how to create a design that will be popular and user-friendly without a thorough study and understanding of each aspect. The market situation comprehension helps identify the main strengths and weaknesses of competing apps and how these problems can be addressed in the future application design process. When the designer conducted comprehensive research and decided on the exact direction of design creation, he proceeds to the next stage: the creation of UX and UI design.

Step 2: UX design

Designing a mobile app always starts with UX design. Prototyping and sketching are some of the key aspects of creating a mobile app design. This framework serves to ensure that the application is logical, convenient, and useful. UX design should determine what impressions a person will receive from using and how exactly he will use these products.

Would you like to know why do you need invest in User Experience design? Then you should probably read our UX article.

Mobile app design costs will directly depend on each point of creation. The better and more complex the design you want to create than accordingly the price for its creation will be higher.

At the stage of creating a UX design, the price depends on how much time is spent approximately on creating wireframes. They exist in different granularities: low fidelity wireframes and high fidelity ones. Therefore, the higher the quality of the study, the longer the creation takes.

Our company’s average time to create mobile UX wireframes varies between 1–2 hours for each unique app screen design and 20–30 minutes for each subordinate screen.

Step 3: UI design

UI makes an application design, website design or other product intuitive, attractive, and as simple as possible to use with the help of certain graphic solutions.

The UI designer is responsible for how each screen or page will look like. He creates buttons and checkboxes, fonts, color schemes, and various visual images.

How should the button look like to make it convenient to click on? What font size to choose so that the text is legible and readable. How to issue an error message so that it attracts attention but does not annoy? Answers to these questions help to find UI-design interface.

At the stage of creating UI design, mobile app design price also varies. App UI design cost also depends on the number of hours spent on the creation of a design element.

You can observe the approximate calculation of UI design elements hourly expenses below:

  • the creation of mood boards takes from 6 to 8 hours.
  • the creation of a sample user interface layout is often splurged from 16 to 20 hours for 2–4 style options on 1–2 main application screens.
  • the creation of the final layout of the user interface is approximately 1–2 hours per screen with simple app design and from 16 hours or more for one screen with a complex design.

Would you like to know what UI and UX mean in web designing and understand its difference? Then you can take a deeper look at our difference between ui and ux design article.

Step 4: Branding

The average cost for logo design depends directly on the average time needed for this design.

  • Research and idea development — from 8 to 16 hours
  • Samples creation — 16 hours and more

The creation of a brand book usually takes 8 to 10 hours, which influences the final app design cost.

How much does it cost to design an app at Gapsy Studio

  • the average cost of a designer’s work per hour is $28
  • as for the average cost for mobile app design, it will be from $ 3000 to $ 5000

We will be happy to work with you and create quality work together:)

Summing up

We hope that this article was useful to you and helped you to understand what budget you need to order the creation of application design in our studio. Of course, all this estimate is approximate, and you can contact us on the Contact Us profile for a more accurate determination of the app design price. Check out our works on Dribbble to be sure that we are experienced in design, and thanks to the variety of our services, we can handle any of your ambitious desires.

Originally published at

Gapsy Studio is one of the leading UI/UX agencies. We focus on: mobile and web design and development, branding and animation.

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