Of course, you know that a mobile app design is not only about colourful buttons and images. An app design carries a lot of weight, as a first good impression depends mostly on the quality of design. The more effort designers put in to creating an attractive and user-friendly design, the greater your chances of reaching more people.

We’ll start off with some of the top reasons for hiring a UI/UX designer and continue by revealing what it takes to create an app design in 2019. Lastly, we’ll crunch some numbers towards the end to help you estimate your costs.

Reasons to hire a UI/UX designer

If you are still hesitating as to whether you need a UI/UX designer or not, we firmly state that you need to hire a specialist.

The fact of the matter is, many startupers that have a tight budget look for ways to save on software development. It’s importance is commonly overlooked, and they consider it reasonable to exclude a UI/UX designer from their project budget. That’s a bad move. Some of them assume that designers just click a few buttons and the software design is complete, so there is no need to pay thousands of dollars for a designer.

Inexperienced entrepreneurs make one more mistake – they hire a freelancer and make them responsible for both mobile app development and for design and quality assurance. Unilateral control leads to serious risks – one specialist cannot be highly skilled in all tasks and often lack the auditing objectiveness required. Experienced UI/UX designers spend a lot of time perfecting their craft since their field of activity requires the knowledge of various skills.

That is why it is better to find a software development company that provides all the necessary services like a team of designers, a team of developers, QA engineers, marketing services and so on. Many companies are able to produce software on a turnkey basis.

Of course, the cost of development company services will be rather high, but you are investing in the future of your app. Keep in mind that poor-quality apps will simply fail and no one will ever use them. Needless to say, a great app design is very important.

how much does it cost to design an app

Source: Dribbble

The process of mobile app design building

Mobile app design steps may include user interface design, user experience design, motion design etc. It doesn’t mean that it’s mandatory to include all these steps. Everything depends on the project and its specific requirements. For example, user interface and user experience are the basis of any app design and they remain an integral part. We recommend that you to get acquainted with the main steps of the app design workflow that is part of the process of many software development companies.

#1. Research

Everything starts with analysis and research of the app itself, target audience, the needs, wants and requirements of customers. It is very important to study the preferences of a specific target audience. Also, designers need to find out what new design options are available to them for app development. In fact, a new mobile app design could become a solution to a specific problem. That is why designers should consider them. A mobile app design should keep up with the main needs of customers and help them solve a specific problem.

Once research is complete, designers together with requirements analysts provide clients with a rough estimate where the approximate price for an app design will be indicated. If everything proceeds well, designers can move to the next stage.

#2. Wireframing

A wireframe is the skeleton of a future app that is drawn schematically to show customers how their app will look when it’s finished. Wireframes are designed based on the main trends and preferences of the target audience analyzed during the research phase.

The building of wireframes helps designers create a perfect user interface that will attract more users and will be developed specifically for one app. Moreover, the development of wireframes is not an expensive process; it helps designers choose the right model of UI for a customer, thereby saving time.

Wireframing of an app

If the client is satisfied, the project moves forward to the creation of a user interface design on the basis of the designed and approved wireframes.

#3. UI design

User interface combines elements and components of software that makes it possible for a user to interact with the software. UI/UX designers create the viewable part of the app. They build buttons, colour schemes, screens, pages, and so on. Simply put, designers create the full-fledged visual design of an app. Specialists use the technical specification drawn up before the designing process, where all required steps are described.


The main goal of designers is to create a UI that will be the solution to a problem, as this is the main criterion of any app.

As a rule, designers start with the iOS operating system, if the app requirement states that it should be cross platform. Then they can deal with the Android devices since it takes more time, due to a large number of devices that run using the Android OS. Also, if clients need an app for a tablet or smartwatch – it will require a separate design process that will be estimated additionally.

#4. Additional processes

These processes include animations integration, loaders, banners, and so on. It is not an integral part of the process, since not every app requires these elements.

Cinema GO

Source: Dribbble

iOS and Android UI design – what’s the difference?

The price difference is not substantial between the development of Android and an iOS app, but in general, the design process is a bit different for these two platforms. We recommend you do your research.

iOS app UI design

To create a design for iOS apps, designers should keep to the Human Interface Guidelines from Apple. It contains specific standards for all iOS apps and it is necessary to comply with them. Guidelines include requirements for each app to help developers and avoid rejection during app publishing to the App Store. But the main goal of Guidelines is to provide designers with one uniform standard that is applicable for any iOS app.

Android app UI design

Google has also created its UI guidelines since the large diversification of app design had a negative impact on users’ perception in general. In 2015, Google created Material Design  – standards that all Android apps should adhere to.

The Android OS is used on multiple devices so it takes much more time for designers to create one app design that will be perfect for all screen resolutions and so on.

Mobile app design cost

First, let’s define an average hourly rate that we will use as the main rate to calculate how much app design will cost in 2019.

The hourly rate depends on the region where software developers are located. If you look at the map below, you will see how the price of a development hour is different geographically.


We will take a price as of $50 – it is the average hourly rate in Eastern Europe.

Proceeding to estimate, we can summarize the following:

  • Wireframing in app design can take from 8 to 80 hours;
  • UI/UX design can vary from 20 hours for a simple app to 300 hours for a complex one.

As a result, we can see that the cost of wireframing a mobile app will be from $400 to $4000.

The UI/UX design cost can start from $1000 and may exceed $15,000. Everything depends on the complexity.


So, as you can see, an accurate development quotation is only possible if you specify all the requirements, so that analysts can calculate everything. The only thing left to do is hire a reliable company that will create a high-quality product for you. We wish you good luck!

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