How Much Does It Cost to Design a Mobile App

10minutes read
mobile app design cost

Do you know that the amount of global mobile app downloads reached 230 billion in 2021? 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.

Designing a mobile app can be a daunting task. To design a mobile app that is both functionally and aesthetically pleasing, it is important to understand the cost of doing so. The cost of designing an app can vary greatly depending on the country where the company creating the app is based, the complexity of the design, and many other factors. After all, you don’t want to invest a lot of money in a project that may not be successful. So in this article, we will take a look at some of those factors and how they can affect the cost to design a mobile app.

App design cost
how much does it cost to design a mobile app

Custom or native design: what to choose?

Application design includes a wide range of tasks: studying user behavior, analyzing competition, designing user interaction and UX, designing a mobile application interface, graphs, icons, and logo – and this is not a complete list. But before you start to perform all this huge list of tasks, you need to decide what design is needed for your application: custom or native?

What is a native design?

A native mobile application is created for a specific platform and is directly installed on the user’s device (occupying a certain amount of memory). The user downloads such applications through the application store such as the Google Play Store for Android apps and the Apple App Store for iOS.

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 using. 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 to this type of application:

  • Only one platform coverage
  • Creation is difficult and time-consuming

What is a custom design?

Custom apps are applications that are created for specific users’ needs. Unlike native applications, they are designed to satisfy specific needs within the organization rather than the masses’ use.

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

This is one of our projects – Pickle. For this application, we made a custom design using the latest technologies and methods for creating UI/UX design. The result is an incredibly colorful and functional application that allows users to simplify the creation of events and use only one application instead of the 3 usual ones.

gapsy studio pickle app design
pickle application design

App design cost factors

When it comes to cost, there are a few factors to consider. The cost of the app design itself is one factor, as well as the cost of developing the app. The cost of marketing and launching the app may also be a factor. Let’s take a closer look at each of these cost components.

The cost of designing an app can vary greatly, depending on the complexity and features of the app. Generally speaking, the more complex and feature-rich the app, the more it will cost to design. So what are the main factors that influence the creation of mobile app design?

Mobile app design company experience and location

The mobile app design price depends a lot on the company location that you want to collaborate with.

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

price for the hourly designer work by country
countries hourly designer rate


  • North America (the 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. Highly skilled app designers and developers can command a higher rate, so the cost of designing an app can quickly add up. If you want a custom-designed app with unique features, be prepared to pay accordingly.

The complexity of creating a mobile app design

Creating a mobile app design is not an easy task. It requires a lot of effort and time to create a design that looks great and works well on different devices. The cost of creating an app design can vary depending on the complexity and features of the design.

Some app designs are more complex than others and may require more work and time to create. This can increase the cost of designing the app. In addition, some app designers may charge more for their services if the design is more complex.

It is important to consider the complexity of the app design when calculating the cost of designing an app. Make sure you discuss this with your managers so they can give you an accurate estimate of how much the design will cost.

the complexity of creating a mobile app
mobile application design complexity

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. If you want to create an app that is customized for your business or organization, the cost will be higher.

There are also cost factors to consider when launching an app. Apple charges $99 per year to list an app in its App Store, and Google Play charges $25. You’ll also need to budget for marketing and promotion expenses. In most cases, it takes money to make money – especially when it comes to launching a new app.

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. Keep in mind that these costs can vary depending on the features and functionality that you want your app to have. So if you have a specific vision for your app, make sure to discuss this with the designer so they can give you an accurate estimate. And if you need help finding a designer, check out our directory of mobile app designers.

High complexity apps

Such apps usually take from 400 hours of designer’s work (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. When it comes to cost, it’s important to factor in all the different aspects that go into creating an app. This includes the cost of designing the user interface, developing the functionality, and creating the custom illustration design and animations. There are also costs associated with testing and deploying the app. So before you start designing your dream app, be sure to have a realistic idea of how much it will cost.

Different platforms

After you have determined what business sector your mobile application will cover and what problems it will solve, you should decide on the platform for which this app will be developed. In some cases, it is more rational to develop applications for a particular platform, in others cases for both platforms. It all depends on the app idea. Of course, it’s better to think in advance whether the app is for iPhone or Android owners to avoid wasting time on this in the future.

cost to design an app by platforms
platforms as a factor affecting the app design cost

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.

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Mobile app design steps

Let’s briefly discuss what steps you need to do to create an easy-to-use mobile application and what steps affect the price of the application.

Step 1: Research and analysis

So where do the work on the project and the mobile app design creation begin all the same? Our designers from Gapsy Studio always do research first. We delve into your project, analyze all competitors, scrutinize trends, and select solutions that will help you stand out from others. This process usually takes us 6 to 10 hours.

creative process of ui/ux design
the creative process of design

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 proceeded to the next stage: the creation of UX and UI design.

Step 2: UX design

The main goal and purpose of any business are to increase sales and enhance business growth. UX/UI design plays an essential role in achieving this goal. It improves the user experience and customer satisfaction which ultimately helps increase the number of users of the specific application.

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.

mobile app design ux steps
this is how our designers make ux app design

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

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 2-3 hours for each unique app screen design and 30 minutes-1 hour for each subordinate screen.

Step 3: UI design

After creating wireframes for a mobile application, the next stage is their addition, the UI design. User interface design is like a visual embodiment of UX 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.

mobile app design ui steps
this is how our designers make ui app design

What 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 interfaces.

You may find this topic really interesting. Don’t miss it, read our article on The Most Emerging UI Design Trends to Follow.

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 element’s 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 style options on 1-2 main application screens.
  • The creation of the final layout of the user interface is approximately 2-3 hours per screen with a simple app design, and 14 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 the difference between UI and UX design articles.

Step 4: Branding

Statistics from the most recent survey showed that 25 percent of apps downloaded by users worldwide were only accessed once after download. It suggests that it’s difficult to please users with new apps. They can download your application but use it only once. And for an excellent mobile application, it’s important to be used on an ongoing basis. That is why branding design services are essential in creating the design of the application. That is, the metal shell of your app that sets it apart from other similar apps.

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

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

By the way, do you know how essential a logo design is for any business? Not yet? Then hurry up to read our Ultimate Guide on How to Design a Great Logo For a Business.

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

Gapsy Studio is a professional mobile app development company that offers cost-effective app design solutions to clients across the globe. Our team of experienced app designers can help you create an intuitive and user-friendly interface for your app that will make it stand out from the rest. We understand that cost is an important factor for most businesses when it comes to app design, and hence offer competitive rates without compromising on quality. So if you’re looking for cost-effective app design services, Gapsy Studio is the right place for you. Get in touch with us today to learn more! Our designers know for sure all the latest trends in creating the coolest and most aesthetically attractive mobile apps. We will help you to create the application of your dream. You can find out Gapsy Studio app design price of our projects below:

  • the average cost of a designer’s work per hour is $35
  • as for the average cost for mobile app design, it will be from $4000 to $5000
app design cost in our studio
how much does it cost to design an app in gapsy

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

You may also like: How much will it cost for you to design a website?

Summing up

Creating a mobile app design is a complicated process that can’t be neglected if you want to create a valuable product. If you invest in creating a quality app design, your product won’t be without attention and will bring you profit in the future.

We hope that this article was useful to you and helped you to understand mobile app design cost and what it depends on. 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. Fill out the form and we will contact you as soon as possible for cooperation!

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