App Design Cost

How Much Should You Pay for an App Design?

Application design is a booming industry today. Demand causes prices to rise, so many businesses find apps too expensive. Here is a financial breakdown of such a project that will help to answer the question: How much should you pay for an app design?

What App Design Price Includes and What It Depends On

App design is no longer a whim. It’s a pressing necessity for businesses wishing to keep in contact with their clientele and deliver value. With so many people accessing the Web exclusively via smartphones, you can’t any longer be successful in the offline space only. 

Still, many businesses are pushed aback by the financial question when it comes to app development and launch. Many falsely think that the app designer cost should necessarily be enormous. This confusion mostly comes from a lack of understanding of the app’s price components and how to reduce it if you’re on a budget. 

Here is a detailed guide on the price breakdown to help you estimate the correct budget for your app without delaying your business’s digital transition. 

A Typical App Design Cost Breakdown 

Here is a list of tasks your dev team will complete on the way from an idea to a working app. 

  • Idea validation and competitor analysis (20-40 hours) 
  • UX design (from 60 to 100+ hours) 
  • UI design (50 – 100+ hours) 
  • MVP/prototype testing with real users (from 5 to 20 hours)

This is only a breakdown of the design phase of your project; it doesn’t include the front-end and back-end development work that all takes much time and consumes the lion’s share of your budget. Thus, the design phase typically takes anywhere from 135 to 200+ working hours, and this estimate should guide you in the budget estimate. 

The simplest formula is to take the number of hours needed for work and multiply it by the hourly rate of your development team. App design is priced very differently, from around $10 per hour in third-world countries like India to $50+ in western countries.

So, we recommend weighing your alternatives first, depending on the sum of money you have at hand for the design aspect. For instance, if your budget should not exceed $3,000, you can calculate the maximum hourly rate you can afford (it will be from $15 to $22). 

Another life hack is to ask several teams for their time estimates. Time planning is always arbitrary, as experienced designers can do complicated work within 1-2 working days, and junior-level coders can require a week for similar tasks. Thus, it’s optimal to consider several proposals and go with the one offering an optimal time-to-market within your budget. 

What Do App Design Prices Depend On?

Besides features, you need to factor in the additional aspects affecting your ultimate budget for app design. What are they? 

App Developer Location

The app development labor market has indeed become globalized. There are capable and experienced teams in all parts of the world. And the best about it is that you can outsource the project literally anywhere in the world, depending on your quality expectations, time zone overlap, and the language you speak.

App Developers in North America, Australia, and Western Europe charge much more than coders in Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. So, you need to conduct thorough research, choose several companies, and request quotes from them based on your project specifications. The global talent pool is at your fingertips, and it would be a shame to ignore such a cost-saving opportunity. 

App Designer Collaboration Model

Another significant aspect of app design is the model of work with your development team. The most expensive variant is hiring an in-house app design team for this project. You’ll need to pay an HR manager for the recruitment and accommodate all the staff with taxes, social package, and office hardware/software provision hassle.

The second model is hiring an external firm with a ready-made team for your project. It’s a bit cheaper than an in-house variant, as you don’t need to employ people officially, give them computers and software, and pay taxes for them.

But the firm you choose will still charge extra fees for team maintenance and administrative duties. The cheapest variant is to go for a freelance team or create your own remote team; it’s a bit cumbersome, but it’s the best way to go if you’re short of money. 

App Design Team’s Expertise

 Everything’s logical here. The more experienced your app developers are, the more they charge for assistance. You can take risks and work with a team of junior-level beginners who won’t break your bank. But such an approach is very dangerous, as you may end up with a flawed code and numerous vulnerabilities.

On the other hand, employing a credible, experienced team of senior-level dev stars is not affordable for many. These specialists typically charge a considerable extra for their time and effort, which is affordable only for well-established businesses. 

Thus, an optimal variant is to pick a company with experienced Team Leads and a mixed team of coders of various seniority levels. Newbies can execute routine tasks while the security, design, and integration tasks are done by senior-level pros, ensuring that you get a high-quality app. 

Rarity of Tech Stack Design

The modern app design market is diverse in terms of technologies and software products. Thus, the one who surprises users with innovative, state-of-the-art technological features wins a real competitive advantage.

However, new and emerging technologies usually have few specialists in the labor market, and their time is very expensive. For instance, you’ll need to pay extra for blockchain engineers, those who work with NFT and tokenization, and developers working with cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies. 

Software Cost

The software used by your app development team may become a source of significant expenditures. As the app design market is booming now, new handy software products and tools emerge to make the developers’ work simpler and equip your apps with unique features. Thus, if you plan to use some kind of innovative software, you might need to reserve a significant sum of money for it. 

Plan the App Design Budget in Advance 

As you can see, the price of your app can vary broadly. Even startups on a budget can create sleek, attractive apps with many innovative features if they plan everything thoroughly, remove all redundant functions, and partner with a reasonably priced provider. So, don’t haste to abandon this project because of financial limitations; you can always strike a good deal. 

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