Designing an app – what, how, and at what price?

The services of mobile application designers are now increasingly in demand. Many users switch to the mobile Internet and increasingly order services and goods through smartphones. Applications should be functional and have an attractive design.

Order mobile application design services

It is common to think that design is responsible for a product’s appearance, but Steve Jobs argued that design is how a product works. The development of the design of mobile applications allows you to make the highest quality product according to the following criteria:

  • Functionality – mobile web design should be clear and convenient. It will not be possible to retain users if there is an inconvenient placement of buttons in the application.
  • User Interface (UI) – a specialist must think ahead and accurately calculate all user steps. Otherwise, the application will not be in demand or will have to be completely redesigned.
  • User experience (UX) – in conditions of intense competition, it is important that the application is as simple and intuitive as possible. If there are cool graphics and animated icons, but it is difficult to understand how it all works, then consumers will very quickly find a better replacement.

The combination of all these criteria will ensure a high-quality mobile application developed by Otakoyi.Software.

You can order the design of a mobile application from a mobile app development company both at an affordable price and at a high cost.
It depends on the level of the performer and his experience. In this article, we are going to address the primary questions:

What the design cost includes 

When you order an application design, the price depends on the amount of work done. On average, all design work consists of three main components:

  • analysis
  • prototyping
  • visual design.

Although all these three stages are closely interrelated, and each of them cannot be considered a complete design without the others, be careful. We recommend that you always clarify with companies not only how much the design of the app costs but also what is included in the development of the design. So that after signing the contract, it does not turn out that you have to pay extra, for example, for research, or that the price was indicated only for UI or UX design.

What are the main stages of the application design process?

#1 Research and analysis

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This stage should be completed before the development of test samples. What exactly does this stage consist of? 

  • Target audience analysis. Professional designers always try to put themselves in the users’ shoes. “ok, we have designed this icon. Can we put it right here? What happens if we change its position? What will the app look like if we delete it?” This is about user experience.
  • Brainstorm. Designers and developers present all ideas related to the project. This step is similar to audience analysis because you must study all possible user cases here.

As a rule, the research and analysis phase takes about 40-45 hours. However, this value can also vary depending on how many specialists and of which proficiency are working on the project.

#2 Concept and prototyping

The team presents the basic design concept at this stage and builds a prototype. Designers collect the best ideas and develop a prototype based on this. The next step is UX design. It’s all about usability, remember? The prototype will be tested on a target group of people so that developers can collect feedback and make certain adjustments to the project.

As for the development time, the prototyping stage will take approximately 80-90 hours.If you’re a UX designer looking to improve your skills, plenty of design tests are available to get certifications.

#3 Design

This is by far the most time-consuming part of the entire design process. As a rule, this stage takes about 250 hours. The designer has already done almost all the work up to this point. Its task is to implement existing ideas into reality with the help of various tools. In order to tell a story through the application of shapes and colors. A story that will be simple, believable, and understandable to the user.

#4 Testing

Professionals always make several versions of the same element. Sometimes the number of such versions can reach up to 10 or even 15 if we are talking about an expensive and complex product. “10 versions of one” means extra time – sometimes, it can take several days to design one icon. But as a result, we may get a better solution, which was also tested on the target audience. 

At this stage, we will add an additional 50 hours to the total project development time.

Let’s now calculate how much it costs to develop the design of the application as a whole.

The cost of designing a mobile application

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It should be noted that the more complex the application, the more time designers should spend on project design. Developers need less time to develop a simple application. Why do we want to emphasize this? There is a little trick.

Before starting the design, pay attention to how much time the development teams say they will need to finish the project. The design of a huge project takes at least 200 hours. If you are told that a complete design project will take 70 hours, you need to look at the company’s portfolio in detail and also seek advice from a third party. Now let’s move on to the price calculation.

Regarding simple app design, developers need about 90 hours to complete all four stages. This is equivalent to $4,500 (in the hourly rate of $50). As a rule, these applications are developed for one specific platform (IOS or Android) and have a standard set of elements.

Otherwise, the design of a more complex mobile application will take about 150-170 hours and will have additional transitions between screens, extensive content, and different functions. This time is equivalent to $7000 – 8000.

And finally, designers must spend 300 hours or more to develop a top-notch app from scratch. The creation of such applications costs about $15,000 (and more). The most important reason why the development of such programs is so expensive is the presence of cross-platform. This significantly affects the final cost.

However, complex programs are not very popular. Despite providing users with many features, developers are still struggling to find simple solutions for apps. Developing a simple application takes less time and resources, and it will be easier to make adjustments in the future.

Wrapping up

Whom to choose to develop the design of your application is up to you. But we recommend weighing all the pros and cons, studying each market, and assessing the risks. Only then will you be able to make the right decision. And to determine the quality of the contractor’s work in advance – look at their portfolio, study the projects that this company has performed, and assess how diverse they are and whether they meet your expectations. It is also recommended that you look at the reviews of the companies you are considering. This can help you understand their strengths and weaknesses. After weighing all the factors, you can determine your acceptable price-quality ratio.