Blog Summary:

This blog covers everything related to app design cost. It also discusses the importance of considering cost while crafting a high-quality app design and provides tips for controlling design expenses. Moreover, you’ll learn the factors influencing the final cost, such as the app’s complexity and the chosen design team.

There are misconceptions that digital software and products are only about good appearance. Of course, the aesthetic factor matters, but an insightful user experience should also be considered to catch user interest.

Did you know that mobile apps have massive potential? According to global market research by Allied, the mobile app market is projected to hit $777.4 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 14.4% from 2023.

No wonder there’s so much excitement about creating the next game-changing app! An intuitive application will benefit every business type. Whether you are a startup or an enterprise seeking to boost customer engagement, app development will be both thrilling and demanding.

However, there is one significant aspect to consider in this thrilling app development process – cost to design an app. It’s the big, unanswered question for anyone entering the app development world. The financial aspect feels overwhelming and raises anxieties about hidden fees and cost breakdowns.

As mobile app usage explodes, so does the demand for skilled app designers. This guide will illuminate the key factors influencing app design cost, ensuring you make informed decisions for your project.

Importance of Costing for a Successful Mobile App Design

Costing is the foundation of any successful app project, and mobile app design is no different. A clear budget enables you to prioritize spending and make fast, informed decisions.

A fancy and featureful app sounds great, but if it exceeds your budget, it could be in vain. So, extracting the app design costs helps prioritize features and ensure they align with your budget.

Another thing is that a mobile app design isn’t a multipurpose process. A complex app with advanced features, intricate animations, and custom illustrations can become highly expensive. If you understand the upfront cost, you can set achievable goals for the outcome.

Moreover, costing allows you to manage the project easily by creating a project timeline and counting the needed resources. This further allows you to utilize time efficiently and avoid delays caused by budget shortages.

Furthermore, if you know the cost of designing an app, you can explore and compare different options. Ultimately, you’ll be able to determine the ideal design team–freelancers, an outsourcing company, or an in-house team. Also, you can easily assess whose rates align with your project’s expectations and budget.

The next important point about the mobile app design cost is that it allows you to estimate potential revenue. This way, you can determine the app’s sustainability and potential ROI. Lastly, if you prioritize the cost of mobile app design, you can create a roadmap for a successful app within your budget.

How Much Does it Cost to Design an App?

The app design cost ranges from $3000 to $30,000 or more. The prices depend on the app’s design complexity, type, team type, and the platform used for app development. Let’s explore the app design cost based on various factors in a tabular form:

App Design Complexity

It’s the most significant aspect when you interpret the cost to design an app. Simple apps with basic features are less costly to design compared to a medium-complexity app. On the other hand, an advanced app with a lot of functionality, an intricate user interface, and custom animations costs more.

Complexity Estimated Cost Range(USD)
Basic $3,000 – $10,000
Medium $10,000 – $20,000
High $20,000+

App Design Type

The cost of designing an app also fluctuates depending on the type. For specific pricing information, see the table below.

Custom Mobile App Design$20,000 – $50,000+

App Design Type Estimated Cost Range(USD)
Native App Design $10,000 – $30,000
Checkout Process $2,000 – $4,000

App Design Team Structure

The charges are different for various teams–a freelance designer, a design agency, or building an in-house team. Freelance app designers offer lower rates but may lack the experience of a larger agency. On the other hand, companies have a team with diverse skill sets but charge premium costs to align their expertise.

Team Structure Estimated Cost Range(USD)
Freelance Designer $6,000 – $15,000
Design Company $48,000 – $78,000+
In-house Design Team $35,000 – $75,000+
Outsourcing Company $12,000 – $30,000

The platform you choose for your app doesn’t directly impact the design cost. However, it influences the overall application development process, which can be factored into the final price.

Platform Estimated Cost Range(USD)
iOS and Android apps $10,000 – $30,000
Cross-platform Design $12,000 – $35,000

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What Factors Influence the Mobile App Design Cost?

The factors explained below immensely impact mobile app design cost. However, it’s a complicated process. Let’s consider all the aspects involved in detail to extract the mobile app design price:

App Complexity

The design complexity of the application is based on the below determinants.

Number of Roles

The size of your design team will depend on the project’s complexity. For projects of average complexity, a project manager is essential. They will oversee the following tasks:

  1. Define User Needs & Goals
  2. Develop User Personas
  3. Design App Wireframes
  4. Build App Prototypes
  5. Refine Interface based on User Feedback

Number of App Screens

Your application will require different screens for various functionalities across multiple platforms. Get help from an innovative mobile app design company to integrate the following app screens:

  1. Welcome and Onboarding Screens
  2. Login Screens
  3. Navigation Screens
  4. Informational Screens
  5. Menu Screens
  6. Error Screens

Number of App Features

The number of features truly defines the purpose of your app and your target users. Below, we’ve enlisted some essential features for mobile app design:

  1. User-Friendly Interface
  2. Responsive Design
  3. Easy Navigation
  4. Push Notifications
  5. Minimalistic & Attractive Design
  6. Feedback Mechanisms & Gestures
  7. Social Media Integration
  8. In-App Purchases
  9. User Analytics & Performance Metrics

Types of Design

Mobile app design comes in two main categories, and the cost will depend on your choice. Let’s explore the 2 different types explained below:


Custom design involves designing the User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) from the ground up. In this type, there’s no relying on pre-built templates. This approach can be costlier than using native designs, but it can also lead to a more effective and tailored solution.

There are risks involved. However, a custom design yields innovative results if executed correctly, especially when you cater to the customer’s perspective. Additionally, a custom mobile app design allows you to open up opportunities for unique designs, distinctly representing a brand identity.

Native app

Native app development requires following platform-specific design standards for layouts and all the elements. This allows you to calculate the additional cost of custom design on top of the base platform design. Additionally, a native app is more familiar, time-saving, cost-effective, and easier to implement.

Type of Team

The mobile app design charges also fluctuate based on the type of team. There are basically four different team structures from which you can choose your preference: an in-house team, a local design agency, freelancers, and an outsourcing agency. All of these team structures have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s check them out in detail.

In-house Team

Due to their physical proximity and shared goals, in-house teams foster smoother communication and coordination. However, building an in-house team is time-intensive and expensive, as it requires recruitment, onboarding, and ongoing management.

Local Agency

If you are considering working with a local design agency, then it’s the best app idea as you can collaborate with a design team based in your area. An App design company in the US usually charges around $150 hourly.


When you hire freelancers, you can have the flexibility to select the experts. The estimated cost is $6000 for freelancers. However, most of them charge on an hourly basis, which counts toward $15 – $25 per hour.

Outsourcing Agency

This implies hiring a company based outside your area in another country, such as the UK, India, or USA. Hire an outsourcing agency to complete your project with less budget and first-rate quality. The starting costs of an outsourcing firm for app designing are estimated at approximately $12000.

However, the charges can be higher depending on the agency’s reputation. Moreover, there is also a great option to outsource the entire software development project to India to get your project done quickly.

Type of Platform

The major mobile platforms, Android and iOS, have different feature sets and appearances. Android platform must follow all the necessary protocols for various solutions and formats. However, this is different in iOS mobile apps.

Hence, the cost of developing Android applications can go higher. There is typically a small price difference between iOS and Android UI design, but there are variations to be aware of.


Android app development is an evolving domain. To stay competitive, app designers must continuously adapt to new frameworks and concepts that meet users’ evolving requirements. Android has a vast array of platforms that present app developers with a unique challenge. Hence, there is a higher development cost compared to iOS apps.


iOS app development costs used to be quite expensive in the past, but now the market has become more competitive. This, along with Google’s stricter quality standards for the app store, has helped drive down costs and ensure a better user experience.

Only building an iOS app won’t work in today’s times. Your app should be on different platforms and compatible with different devices in order to cope with the current trends. The prices can go higher a bit, but that’s the most to meet user needs.

Let’s check the cost factors for designing iPhone and iPad mobile apps.

  • iPhone

Entry-level models don’t require high-resolution graphics for the display. Hence, the design cost is slightly lower, around $3,000 to $10,000+. However, iPhone 6 Plus and newer phones use retina displays, which incur a 25% cost increase due to the need for high-resolution graphics.

  • iPad

Design costs for iPad app development jump by 50% compared to iPhone mobile apps. iPads require not only high-resolution graphics but also special design solutions to accommodate their larger size and unique functionalities.

How Do We Calculate the General Cost of App Design?

You can calculate the general app design cost based on the time taken, the resources required, and fixed costs.

Time and Use of Resources

It’s one of the major factors in estimating the mobile app design cost. First, inform the designer about the features, number of screens, and animations to include in the app. Afterward, fetch the approximate deadline for the app design based on the functionalities to include.

Then, multiply the estimated time by the designer’s hourly rate to get an approximate figure. Additionally, you need to consider the design resources needed, such as user interface (UI) kits or stock photos. These generally have a fixed cost.

Fixed Charges

When you opt for freelancers or app development companies, you might encounter a few who charge a fixed base cost for app design. This initial base fee usually covers the initial project setup, communication channels, etc.

Let’s figure out how to calculate the cost of app design when the agency has a fixed price.

Total Cost = Base Cost + (Estimated Hours * Hourly Rate)

Note: It’s just an example. The actual cost varies depending on the app’s specifics and the designer’s experience level.

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How Does the App Design Process Impact Costing?

Just like the app development process, an app design process also impacts the entire app development cost. A well-defined design process helps you stay within budget. However, a poorly planned process leads to unforeseen expenses and delays.

Below, we’ve assembled the different stages of the design process that impact the app costs:

User Interface Design

The primary focus of app designers in UI design is crafting the visual elements of your application. These elements comprise the layout, color scheme, typography, buttons, and much more. Of course, a beautiful user interface is a must for app development, but it also increases the cost if not managed effectively.

The first factor impacting the cost of app design is the complexity of the UI Design. Simple, clean UIs with minimal elements are more cost-effective to design. Complex UIs with custom animations and interactions take longer to develop, increasing project costs. So, it’s advisable to opt for a minimalist design that gives the app an aesthetic look and feel to reduce costs.

Design Iteration is also one factor to consider. Multiple rounds of design revisions significantly increase costs. Hence, it’s essential to clearly define your intended users and brand guidelines upfront.

This way, there are minimal requirements for excessive revisions. Moreover, early usability testing uncovers usability issues and prevents costly rework later in the development stage.

UX Design

The next step, UX design, ensures a smooth and intuitive experience for users interacting with your app. A well-designed UX design helps to ensure a smooth and intuitive experience and increase user engagement. However, the UX design choices impact costs in several ways:

The first cost factor of UX design is how the information is organized within the app. Complex Information Architecture (IA) with nested menus and hidden features requires more design effort and testing.

The user flow is also one factor impacting UX design cost. When you map out user journeys for important tasks, you can determine possible bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. Hence, through this strategic planning, you prevent costly fixes during development.

Another factor in UX design is prototyping. Creating interactive prototypes enables users to test the app’s functionality before actual development begins. Identifying and fixing usability issues at this stage saves time and money later.

App Development Stage

The design decisions you make significantly impact the cost of an application development. Let’s check this in detail. The number and complexity of features directly affect your mobile app development budget. To manage the cost, prioritize core functionalities and consider a phased launch for advanced features.

Moreover, the platform you select also affects the cost. For example, cross-platform development requires designing for different UI guidelines and functionalities.

So, consider your target audience and budget when choosing platforms. Additionally, if you maintain consistent UI/UX across all app screens, the development complexity and coding time are reduced significantly.

Factors to Consider While Choosing a Team for App Designing

Successful app development is directly related to the design team you select. But you might come across this question–” how do you choose the right app design partner in this plethora of options?” So, below, we have explained the three deciding factors when finalizing your app design team:


Start by exploring the team’s portfolio. Consider these questions:

  • Do their projects resonate with your app’s vision?
  • Are their designs user-friendly and visually appealing?
  • Are they experienced with developing apps identical to yours?

However, a well-curated portfolio showcasing diverse projects reflects the team’s adaptability and range.

Skills and Expertise

Do you know that a great design goes beyond aesthetics? The app development team should possess a strong understanding of UI/UX principles. To check their skills and expertise, look for answers to the following questions:

  • Can they navigate complex functionalities and maintain a seamless user journey?
  • Do they have experience with the specific platforms (Android, iOS) you’re targeting?
  • Do they have expertise in areas like user research, prototyping, and animation?

All these are crucial to designing a well-rounded app.


Positive reviews from happy customers suggest that the team is ethical and capable of delivering perfectly. Prioritize reviews that emphasize transparent communication, on-time project delivery, and a commitment to client contentment. Moreover, if possible, interact directly with past clients to gain deeper insights into the team’s experience.

When you carefully consider these factors, you can connect with an app design team that fulfills your app design vision.  It’s important to note that an ideal team is more than technical skills. Here, you need to look for an app design partner who builds a visually stunning and user-centric app.

5 Smart Tips You Can Implement to Reduce App Design Cost

It’s exciting to turn your app idea into reality, but its costs quickly spiral out of control. So, we’ve compiled some key strategies to keep your app design cost in check.

Planning is Paramount

Do not directly dive into mobile app design. Take a step back. First, precisely define your app’s objectives, target users, and key features. If you go stepwise in this roadmap, you can definitely reduce unnecessary features and keep the app development focused.

Wireframes are Your Design Skeleton

Wireframes are low-fidelity mockups that map out the app’s layout and user flow. At this point, take your time with the aesthetics. You need to focus on functionality and user experience (UX).

Wireframes are quick and inexpensive to create. They also allow you to iterate and refine the app’s structure before investing in detailed design.

Prioritize Basic Functionality

You must resist the urge to stuff every feature imaginable into your mobile app’s first iteration. Rather, begin with a minimum viable product (MVP) that offers the core functionalities users need to solve their problems.

This way, you can validate your concept, gather user feedback, and prioritize future app features based on real-world data. Additionally, this staged approach helps to cut app design cost upfront. Additionally, you can rest assured that you’re building features users actually want.

Design for Multiple Devices but Strategically

Do you want to reduce your mobile app design cost and also broaden the reach by targeting both Android and iOS platforms? That’s okay, but it also increases the design cost. However, there’s always a way out.

You can opt for a cross-platform development approach that uses a single codebase to create apps for both platforms. This significantly helps to cut the app design cost and time. However, if your app relies heavily on device-specific features, native mobile app development for each platform would be necessary.

Organize Your Design Requirements

Clear communication between the app designer and developers is crucial for cost savings. First, document your design requirements. Use tools like style guides and mood boards to represent your design vision visually. This will reduce ambiguity and prevent rework, saving time and money during development.

Implementing these strategies can achieve a high-quality app design at a significantly reduced cost. Remember to focus on a mobile app design that has core functionalities to solve user problems. It is far more valuable than a feature-stuffed mobile app that needs to be revised.

How is Moon Technolabs the Right Choice for App design?

Moon Technolabs is an eminent mobile app development company that excels in design as well for several reasons. We have experience designing apps for different industries, including e-commerce, travel booking, and doctor appointment booking apps. That is why our app design services will cater to your wide range of project requirements.

Moreover, we clearly outline your app’s design, which includes understanding client requirements, creating wireframes, and collaborating with designers. This structured approach ensures we deliver a final product that surpasses your expectations.

Another added advantage is that we use cross-platform frameworks to develop apps, which significantly saves time and money. This is a plus if you want your app to be accessible on iOS and Android platforms.

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Wrap Up!

The app design cost greatly depends on the complexity of the app, the type of design team you choose, and the platform you target. The blog post outlines several factors that influence the cost of mobile app design, including the number of app screens, the number of features, and the type of design (custom vs. native).

It also provides tips for reducing app design costs, such as planning, prioritizing core functionality, and using wireframes. All in all, the blog provides a useful resource if you are considering developing a mobile app.

Key Takeaways:

  • The design cost for an application ranges from $3,000 to $30,000+.
  • The cost to design an app is affected by its complexity, the type of design team, and the platform you target.
  • Despite the high costs, there are ways to reduce the cost of app design by planning, prioritizing core functionality, and using wireframes.



What is the average app design cost?

The mobile app design costs range from $3000 to $30,000. This range is directly proportional to factors such as the complexity of the app, team location, their experience, and your design requirements. Additionally, a well-designed app is essential for user adoption and success, so it's worth investing in quality design.


How much does it cost to hire a designer for an app?

The cost of hiring a UX-UI designer is usually $3000 to $30,000. This wide range is due to several factors that impact design costs. It depends on what features you teach in the app, the location and experience of the team, and the type of hiring (freelancers or agencies).


How much time does it take to design an app?

On average, designing a mobile app takes 4-6 months. A simple app with fewer functionalities can be completed within 2-4 months. However, a complex app can also take 9+ months. TOn average, designing a mobile app takes 4-6 months. A simple app with fewer functionalities can be completed within 2-4 months. However, a complex app can also take 9+ months. This is just design time, though. The development adds additional time.his is just design time, though. The development adds additional time.


How much does an app cost per month to run?

A simple app with low traffic costs around $10 per month on cloud platforms like AWS or Google Cloud. This cost covers server fees, storage, and bandwidth usage. Moreover, the monthly cost will increase if the app advances and requires more resources.
About Author

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.