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How Much Does It Cost to Design a Mobile App?

UI / UX Design
Mobile App Design Process

One of the most important aspects of a successful mobile app is its design (UI/UX) development. Beautiful and pleasant screen designs, neat buttons, and visual effects in the correct place bring out a user’s positive emotions and encourage them to return to the product again and again.

The appearance of a mobile app is inextricably entwined with its user interface design. Its clear and convenient structure ensures highly efficient visual communication with the user. Design is not just about app appearance, it is also about the way it works.

We have already written about the cost of mobile app development. Now let us talk about the prices charged for its design. This is an important point, so we will start with the main aspects.

Why Does Mobile Application Design Matter?

Every design is developed to solve specific problems. It does not really matter whether you are developing a design for a new product or redesigning an existing app, because your goal will always be to solve a particular issue.

When launching an app, the design is the first thing that a user sees. A good mobile app design provides the following benefits:

  • it greatly simplifies interaction with the interface, making it user-friendly;
  • it converts users to customers at an increased rate;
  • it allows users to reach their objectives faster and increases the rate of their involvement and returns;
  • it streamlines the development of the perfect product to meet the needs of the target audience.

Through a business prism, these factors are really important because product success largely depends on them.

What Does the Mobile App Design Cost Depend On?

How much you charge for mobile app design services usually depends on the number of development stages. A customer may have independently analyzed the market and knows their users, in which case they may already have a ready-made sketch and a prototype which simply needs some improvement. However, let us consider the most common situation: when everything needs to be done from scratch.

1. Wireframing. It all starts with a schematic framework design — a kind of app skeleton which shows its general functionality and appearance without too much detail. As the developer and customer discuss the development, the framework gradually becomes more detailed up to the stage of an interactive prototype.

Mobile app wireframing

While this may seem to require excessive cost, prototype creation actually saves your budget as the development team receives all the data necessary to work efficiently. On your part, the minimum number of modifications are required, since everything needed was already discussed at the stage of prototyping.

2. Target platforms. Platforms like iOS and Android differ in their behavior, navigation, and many other elements. You may sometimes need to create a product for both main operating systems at the same time.

Android needs to be matched with many different formats and resolutions. Apple has everything standardized. That is why, in the latter case, there are fewer screen sizes requiring adaptation.

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3. A number of screens (functionality). A user profile may have a specific screen design which is different to its app settings screen, due to the required functionality and complexity of each screen. It takes time to design each screen appearance. Consequently, the more screens an app has, the more working hours the designer will spend.

Mobile application multiple views

The more functions you plan to introduce in your future app, the more screens you will have to design, and the higher the cost of the design services will be.

4. UX design. At this stage, developers focus on ways people use apps. It is necessary to elaborate their structure, navigation, various statuses, and dialogues. This stage involves testing the user experience by creating an interactive prototype.

5. Animation and other processes. Animated elements and effects can influence usability, attract users’ attention, or entertain them. For example, they can make interaction with the product more realistic. We have already written about the main types of animation in a mobile application and recommend you read that article.

You may also have to create additional graphic elements, such as a set of icons. Animation and additional graphic elements take time and are priced separately.

6. Designers’ work cost. Work performed with the same quality but by specialists from different countries can vary greatly in price, since the cost of services is evaluated differently in different parts of the world.

For example, the UI/UX designer’s rate in the USA can reach $200 per hour, while the same quality of work from a specialist from the Ukraine will cost $30 to $40 per hour.

Worldwide designers hourly rate

7. Post-release service. Some work on an app design can still continue even after the release. Many design elements can be redeveloped or renewed after a product is tested in real conditions and you start receiving feedback from real users.

In a situation where you already have ready-made frameworks or some design materials, the work will cost less since you do not have to start the whole process from scratch.

Some Numbers

The price of mobile app design services is based on the number of hours spent by a specialist. The more complex the app, the more time it will take to design it, and the higher the development budget will be. You can see approximate values in the table below:

How Much Does it Cost to Design an App

These values can be multiplied by the average hourly rate of specialists from different regions:

  • $10 to $20 per hour — India, Pakistan, Bangladesh
  • $25 to $45 per hour — Eastern Europe
  • $40 to $60 per hour — Western Europe
  • $65 to $130 per hour — United Kingdom
  • $150 to $200 per hour — United States.

Therefore, mobile app design services may cost $1,500 to $30,000, depending on design complexity and the developer’s hourly rate.

Additional time may be required to create icons, screenshots for app stores, and promotional materials.

How to Optimize the App Design Cost

There are several proven methods to reduce the cost of mobile app design services without losing quality:

  1. Carefully plan your work. A well-planned and well-implemented strategy is a proven way to cut costs.
  2. Hire specialists from Eastern Europe. For example, find talented workers in Ukraine. If you cooperate with Ukrainian UI/UX designers, you will discover more affordable specialists, as well as a number of other advantages. With the same quality, the work will cost you much less than hiring designers from the USA or Western Europe.
  3. Focus on basic functions. The more functions you plan to implement, the more screens the designer will have to develop and draw. Therefore, we advise that you postpone secondary functions to a later date.
  4. Hire professionals. A company with considerable experience which employs experienced designers will spend less time on each project. All processes will be done the right way, and each team member will know exactly what to do. Consequently, fewer man-hours mean smaller necessary budgets.

These are only four tips, but if you stick to them, you will save a lot of time and money.


Design quality can play a crucial role in your product’s success. So, it is definitely necessary to invest in its development. At the same time, you have to understand that the price for mobile app design services depends on many factors, and no one will be able to give you an exact quote without prior analysis.

In our article, we have shared the main aspects for you to consider. If you understand them correctly, you will get a rough idea of the variety of factors that can affect the final cost. However, to make an accurate assessment, you have to personally speak to the project owner and learn further details.

If you have an idea, and you would like to get a product in which excellent functionality will be combined with an attractive design — contact us. Lvivity team will help you put your ideas into practice!

January 05, 2021

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