Graphic design · Mobile App Design

How Much Does it Cost to Design an App?

Vladislav Pshenychka Marketer – Erminesoft

October 21st, 2016

The design is appealed to convert views to downloads. Investments in an early stage impact highly on user engagement metrics in the future. It's not an accident that top applications have an irreproachable design.

Vivek Shah Digital Marketing Manager- Web Analyst- SEO, Social Media Marketing Expert- @WebCluesInfoTech

Last updated on December 3rd, 2018

So you want to know how much does an app cost to build? There is no magic number for this—it depends! It depends on what the app is trying to do.

Many people have ideas of apps they would like to have built. Sometimes the person will be an executive at a large company who needs to build an app for their customers or employees. Other times it’s a budding entrepreneur with a big idea.

Steps for Developing an App Project:

( 1. ) The initial step is making plan and deciding the essentials of your future application. You need to consider its elements and how they will fulfill the client. Attempt to see whether your undertaking fills a hole in the business sector or not. This is an essential stage since it sets up everything that will be produced later.

( 2. ) The second step is more imaginative. As we have said ordinarily, outline is critical for an application. A decent interface, stylishly and regarding use, is an absolute necessity for an application. It is jabber to make a stunning application if clients can't make sense of how to utilize it.

( 3. ) Third step: the mock-up. It is a fundamental stride, on account of which you can get a sneak peak, a sort of draft to distinguish ease of use issues.

When you are done with the initial 3 stages, it's the ideal opportunity for the specialized stage, with the advancement of the visual computerization and programming.

( 4. ) With the advancement of programming you make the spirit and body without bounds application. It is a long and entangled stage, and the more nitty gritty and customized the task of the application is, the more costly and extensive it will be as far as programming. It's here that applications and autos have the most in like manner.

( 5. ) Once the application has come to fruition and life, you need to test it. It's critical to test the application painstakingly keeping in mind the end goal to see how it works and its ease of use some time recently the last distribution.

In the wake of finishing the control test, the application is prepared to be published. Clearly, the undertaking doesn't end here!

( 6. ) This is the ideal opportunity for showcasing effort, for the dispatch and advancement of the application. You need to consider doing some web examination and concentrating on your group of onlookers, not just to convey your application to the top additionally to attempt and get back a portion of the monetary venture embraced.

Development life-cycle:

Requirement Gathering

Design Phase

Development Phase

Quality Assurance Phase

As Approximate Rate On ISO Certified Company:

1 : A simple iPhone and Android App development (in native) = $ 1,000 to $ 4,000

2 : Database iPhone and Android (in native) = $ 8,000 to $ 50,000

3 : Games can cost (Any platform)= $ 10,000 to $ 250,000

John Maloney Internet of Things Executive Consultant, IoT Engineer

October 22nd, 2016

@viktor your response 'Mobile app development cost' is already 160% 'of the budget.' That's hilarious and telling.

It is a Sisyphean task to estimate software development 'costs' from the 'budget.' Beware.

For an excellent, apropos example, the original question was, "How Much Does it Cost to Design an App?" Yet, you offered estimates for mobile development cost (?), not design. This is emblematic of many serious problems developing software - answering a question that was never asked! It is a classic 'anti-pattern.'


Suggest you read 'the bible' of software engineering, The Mythical Man-Month. BTW, it's called the "bible" because"everybody quotes it, some people read it, and a few people go by it."

Finally, US Federal Govt has spent $2.1B (yes BILLION) for design and dev of the app for the failed 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act' (PPACA) aka Obamacare. It is a galaxy of govt software incompetence. 

Because govt has an unlimited 'budget' (taxes) app design & dev costs are of NO concern whatsoever. For example, offered the Administration to build and run the PPACA app for 5-years... for FREE. The offer was summarily rejected by smug govt apparatchiks that 'know better' and get rich in the process.

Again, beware of ever forecasting software design and development from the 'budget.' Rather, focus on creating and keeping customers.

Viktor Dmytrenko Digital Marketing Manager at Ubertesters

Last updated on December 3rd, 2018

Mobile app development costs includes the following factors:

1) App planning costs - around 15-20% of the budget

2) Markapping and Design creation costs - around 30% of the budget

3) Management costs - around 7-10% of the budget

4) App development costs - around 40-50% of the budget

5) Testing costs - around 15-20% of the budget

6) Promo and marketing activity costs - around 20-30% of the budget

To develop more or less simple mobile app will costs you from $15k-18k. Calculate the real sum

Jon Alirez Strategy, Innovation, MBA, Big 4, Entrepreneur

August 23rd, 2017

I used an App to design apps (yes, there's an app for that...) while in grad school, AppCooker. Think the full version was $20. Not to be confused with an app that helps you BUILD your App. This is all design.

Sebastian Pereyro

October 23rd, 2016

Something to understand is that the apps that you see at the top have iterated over that product  dozen or hundreds of times before getting to that state. Thinking that you can get it right the first time is a very common mistake. The design of the app is part of a bigger process, of discovery, validation and re work. The cost though will depend on the team expertise, size, complexity of the product that is being built, time to market, feature list, and others.

An estimate without knowing the specifics, should be taken as a very wild guess.

Tom Thomson Jones Creative tech-head, eager to explore and learn.

August 1st, 2017

Cost should be the final factor you come to, what you need to fully understand before you progress is your scope of the project - what exactly you need in the build down to the nearest button.

Knowing this will help you save on iteration and keep scope creep (I see this the whole time - I am even prone to it myself) and cost down to a minimum.

If you went to a high-end designer with a crystal-clear brief it might end up costing the same as approaching a low-end designer with a partial brief!


August 23rd, 2017

A piece of paper and a pencil are free. If you can't put your ideas down on paper first, then the cost of your designer will be much higher. "Good" design can be learned. Use what's working in a competitors app to guide your initial designs. "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Free tools abound. JustInMind is a free wire-framing tool.

Erin Dames Looking for a co-founder who can code. Problem-solver with a medical/medicolegal interest problem.

September 7th, 2018

As someone who has hired an app developer in the past, I will tell you that it depends on the app developer you elect to hire.

Speaking from personal experience, I have been quoted USD25,000-40,000 for a responsive app (as in the app can be used from the website and from a mobile app) based on a rate of about $30-45/manpower hour for building the essential functions necessary for the app to work. That was on the lower end; the higher end that I've paid has been about USD$60,000-80,000.

The quote range I gave were given to me by both freelance developers as well as a company employing an entire team to work on my app project.

Mind you, the lower quote range is a quote that I got based on the fact that I had already done a few things:

1) I decided what problem(s) I was solving with my app;

2) I decided what essential functions I absolutely needed to do so;

3) I envisioned what the app should look and feel like and did my best to replicate that (I learned how to use Powerpoint/Keynote to create that vision and then a prototyping/mockup tool InvisionApp to create the functionality as best I can).

When I paid for my first app (which was a Web app), I had no idea how to do it so the only things I went in with are the problems I wanted to solve and ALL the functions I felt were necessary for solving it. This led to more meetings with the team and more discussions on functional requirements and everything so it took longer (and was billed by the hour, of course).

Take home message: your app designing will cost less if you go in with as much background work done as you possibly can.

Dave Girgenti

October 22nd, 2016

My international tech company builds database apps for $25K. That includes all UX/UI. Additional monthly management and features are separate.

Ilya Lipovich Angel Investor/Operations leader

October 24th, 2016

As most everyone above mentioned it depends!  For many of our clients we have done a "Discovery" phase which explores and outlines all expected features from the client together with creation of a clickable prototype through Invisionapp. With this information you can do a few things.

- decide on which features you want included in your MVP based on provided time estimates
- take information generated during this phase to investors.  You will have a prototype as well as user stories that describe your product much better then just an idea can

Good luck!