How to Estimate the Cost to Design an App in 2019

How to Estimate the Cost to Design an App in 2021

Nowadays, users are quite spoilt due to many different applications in the market. As a result, creating a responsive and amazing design becomes an important task during the development process.

To reduce the risks of the app rejection by the market, it’s better to consider the design beforehand.

UI/UX Designer

Of course, you need to hire a UI/UX designer. There are some arguments below.

Many companies that have decided to create an application on their own try to save money on design. As a result, they hire a developer with some knowledge and skills in Photoshop. Freelance engineers tend to say that they can build an app from scratch.

However, there are a lot of risks related to quality and deadlines. Additionally, it’s quite difficult to find and combine to skilled professionals in one person. Design and development are different fields that require years of experience.

Let’s discuss alternatives. There are a lot of software development companies that offer full-cycle development (application design and development). Moreover, design agencies can provide you only with the design. In any case, the application design is created by professionals. So, you will get the high-quality of the product.

Mobile App Design Process

The application design process can be divided into several parts, e.g. interaction design, user experience design, user interface design, and so on. However, some of these steps are optional depending on the project requirements. Of course, each team of designers has its own approach to build the design.

It’s high time to look through the most common steps.

#1. Research

This step requires studying the project requirements, target audience, and clients’ vision in detail. Moreover, such spheres as users’ expectations, preferences, and latest trends also need to be considered beforehand. At the end of this stage, it’s possible to provide a rough estimation of the app design.

#2. Wireframes

The wireframe is a schematic placement of objects that need to be in the final version. Simply saying, it’s a skeleton of your future application. Looking through wireframes allows finding the best solution and then convert them to the UI design. After this stage, you can have a detailed estimate for the application design.

#3. UI Design

The user interface or UI is about creating a visual concept of the application. UI designers are in charge of building pages, screens, color schemes, and so on. The app interface is always developed according to the technical requirements.

If you create a mobile application for both platforms, designers tend to start from iOS and then adapt the design for Android. Additionally, there are separate versions for tablets and wearables. They are developed at the same time but estimated separately.

#4. Other Design Processes

This stage usually consists of such actions as the creation of graphics, animations, and interactions. Usually, this stage is also estimated separately.

Difference between iOS and Android UI Design

There is almost no difference between the prices of design for iOS and Android. Of course, the design for these platforms requires knowledge of guidelines restrictions. Let’s consider several examples.

iOS App Interface Design

The iOS application design should follow standards that Apple described in the Human Interface Guidelines. Designers should follow them in order to avoid refusal from publishing the application to the App Store.

The most important thing in Apple’s concent is that the company tends to standardize applications. As a result, every app looks like a part of the ecosystem.

Android Application Interface Design

Design for Android apps is more complicated. There were no guidelines for designers to follow until 2015. Of course, a lot of pitfalls occurred. So, Google decided to create User Interface Guidelines.

However, there is one more challenge of Android application design: it’s necessary to consider all versions of operating systems. Additionally, there are a lot of devices and resolutions that need to be taken into consideration during the design process.

In order to create a beautiful design, the specialist should know these guidelines and have all the required skills like experience in design tools and so on.

Mobile Application Design Cost by Countries

Of course, the prices of app design vary according to the region. However, you need to remember that the cheapest design can not be the most professional. As a result, you need to explore the market to find the appropriate variant.

There is an opinion that Eastern Europe provides affordable rates and high quality. A lot of successful startups (Grammarly, Teleport, and more) created their design and developed an application in this region.

App design cost around the globe

Mobile Application Design Price by Complexity

The final price of the application design always depends on the complexity. The more complex the design is, the more hours the designer needs.

For instance, you know that the creation of your design requires 180 hours. So, you need to multiply this number by company’s or freelancer’s hourly rates in order to find out the final price.

Let’s consider an example. Taking into consideration the minimum and maximum amount of hours, we can see the following numbers:

  • Creating wireframes for a mobile application can take from 8 to 80 hours.
  • Developing UI/UX design usually requires from 25 hours (for a simple app) to 300 hours (for a complex application).

So, if you take $50 as an average hourly rate (this rate is typical for Eastern Europe), the price will be the following:

  • Building wireframes can vary from $200 to $2000.
  • Creating a UI/UX design is from $600 to $8000.

As you can see, the final price can vary a lot. It’s impossible to calculate the cost without looking through your requirements and expectations.


Wrapping up this article, the design is the first thing that the users see when they open your application. As a result, responsive and user-friendly design can attract more clients. On the other hand, an uncomfortable and incomprehensible one can lead to the rejection of your application.

About The Author

Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It’s a mobile and web application development company in Ukraine. He enjoys telling about tech innovations and digital ways to boost businesses.

*Featured Image Credit: Illustration by Darmawan R. Dipo on Dribbble