How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

How much do I have to pay to have an app designed? What does the design price consist of and what affects it?

There is no need to carry out any additional research to say for sure that the price issue is the first and the most common question that our customers address to us.

Asking this question, you expect to get a short and exact answer, and often you feel confused to get only counter-questions in replay instead. This is a simple matter, as such question is like an iceberg: the more we go into detail, the more information we get that impacts the final answer, one way or another.

Umbrella is professionally engaged in web and mobile development, and in this article, we are going to tell you about the components of the cost of designing an app and factors that affect it, and to specify the price range for creating a mobile app design depending on these factors.

The first factor, which impacts the cost of both the design and the entire app development as a whole, is the application itself, and namely:

1. complex functionality

It seems logical that complex apps imply a higher cost. But the cost does not necessarily depend directly on the complexity of the functions to be implemented in the app. It is quite possible that such functionality is not the first of its kind. In this case, both the developers and the designers can utilize the previous professional experience, thus reducing the time required for and the costs of a mobile app, respectively.

2. number of screens

This factor is undoubtedly taken into account, when calculating the price, but there is also no direct dependence between it and the mobile app design cost. The application can consist of ten screens with unique style and unique complex functions, requiring more than one day of work both on the part of the developers and the designers. Or it can include 50 screens of the same type, with simple standard functions and transitions, which take much less time to create.

3. unique functions and design

These characteristics directly influence the cost, since any new unique function or style requirement, even if not most complex, require definite time and efforts on the part of the creators.

The second factor, which impacts the cost of the future app, is an actual executor.

Since the cost formula of any product looks as follows:


The selection of a specialist is of high importance: geographic location, qualification, experience, status are all taken into account.

1. status: freelancer or professional team

It shall be understood that design of a future application is not limited to eye-pleasing pictures.

Design is a foundation that forms a basis of the future function of the application and predetermine whether it will be easy and pleasant for the users to interact with it. Therefore, creating a design includes UX research (studying the experience of user interaction with the product), considering the results of such research when creating a UI (user interface) and, undoubtedly, a visual aesthetic component.

When choosing an executor for the job, it is necessary to consider whether one freelancer will be able to cover and take into account every aspect. Most likely, such an expert will be a combination of UX/UI and graphic designer, while a professional team can offer you a few highly specialized experts. Though this will affect the price, accordingly.

2. location: in various countries the work of designers is paid for in different ways:

According to the Neuvoo site (online resource to search for jobs and implementers), an average fee of an UX/UI designer is:

  • in Canada 66,741 USD per year or 34 USD per hour;
  • in the USA 72,359 USD per year or 37 USD per hour;
  • in Germany 58,786 Euro (which is 69,032 USD as of the date of this article) or 30 Euros (approximately 35 Dollars, respectively).

At the same time, according to PayScale (a company specializing in providing up-to-date online information on the job market), an average annual payment for a UX designer in India is 609,379 Rupees per year (9,503 US dollar at the exchange rate as of the date of this article) or approximately 5 USD per hour.

3. qualification of specialists

The payment range varies depending on whether you hire a freelancer, who is just starting to work, or an experienced specialist, who possesses definite specific skills.

According to the information on the site Indeed (one of the world’s largest online job search platforms) an hourly rate of a graphic designer in the USA varies from 7.25 to 48.15 USD.

Additionally, it should be mentioned that if you refer to world-renowned experts, be prepared that their prices will be much higher, as you will have to pay for the brand as well.

The third factor, which affects the cost, is you, our dear customers:

comprehensive definition of input requirements for a future app

The more precise is the formulation and definition of the requirements and the concept of a future product at the initial stage, the lower is the risk that the originally agreed design price will differ from the final one. If, in the process of working on the application, you, as the customer, constantly request to make modifications or additions, be prepared for the price to change, respectively.

Now let’s pass on directly to learning how to design a mobile app and to the figures. Meanwhile, please, keep in mind all the above factors affecting the cost of the app creation.

In order to avoid talking about abstract prices and software products in our article, let’s take as an example a mobile app type, the most popular among our customers, which operates on SaaS (software as a service) model.

Such app includes three working areas:

  • Provider, who offers services to customers based on a software product (application);
  • Customer, who needs such services directly and is ready to use them;
  • Administrator, who regulates the interaction between the Customer and the Provider.

Although the functions of the application are to some extent standard, it cannot be referred to simple. The development of such an application takes approximately 3-4 months. On the average, the application of this type consists of 30-60 screens.

The design of the application, in general, includes the following steps


The research covers customer’s requirements, competitors, market situation, target audience and other factors associated with the product. As a result, the customer receives either an oral expert opinion, as a minimum, or a detailed specification.

In case with our application Umbrella team will inquire about your vision of the final product and your expectations, and develop a mindmap (functional scheme) and/or specifications for you. Such document will show the underlying logic of the modules to be included in the future product, as well as basic requirements to be considered by the designers and the developers in their work.

This stage requires, on the average:

Time: 8 to 40 hours
Number of specialists: at least, 1 + a customer representative
Cost: on the average, the cost will range 3 to 50 USD per hour.

If you place an order for an application development with Umbrella, we will offer you this design stage for free.


Based on all the available information and prototypes, and taking into account UX/UI requirements, mockups of specific screens are created for various devices and different resolutions.

This stage requires, on the average:

Time: 30 to 100 hours
Number of specialists: at least, 1
Cost: on the average, 5 to 50 USD per hour


The mockups created by the designer are tested to identify finally any eventual errors and inconsistencies so that they can be eliminated at this stage already. It is recommended to hire a professional test specialist who can evaluate the app usability prior to starting the development.

This stage requires, on the average:

Time: 10 to 40 hours
Number of specialists: at least, 1
Cost: up to 7 USD per hour

This stage can also be free of charge depending on the terms of the contract with the contractor.

As a result, the average design cost (complete service package) for such an application will vary from 300 to 5,000 USD.

You have every right to argue that the above range is too wide: but do not forget that we have talked about the application type in general, without knowing the exact terms, conditions and requirements.

If you want us to calculate the exact price for your future product, just contact Umbrella!

The call and the cost calculation will not take long, and communication with our positive-minded managers will be another inspiring experience in the course of your working day!

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