App Design Cost 2024: How much does it cost to design an app

  • #ApplicationDesign
  • #UXDesign
app design cost

Curious about the app design cost in 2024? You're not alone. Entrepreneurs often grapple with the decision of whether to hire an app development company or go for internal development. In 2024, app design costs are a crucial consideration before diving into your project.

Let's dive into the 2024 landscape of app design costs. You’ll uncover all the factors influencing prices, helping you make savvy decisions.

What You'll Discover in This Guide

In this guide, you will unravel the mysteries of app design costs in 2024. Here's what's in the article:

Factors Driving App Design Costs

Dive into the details affecting app design costs, from complexity to platform adaptability, UI/UX design, and customization.

Understanding Cost Structures

Compare hourly rates with fixed pricing, explore geographic factors, and weigh the benefits of freelancers versus agencies.

Estimating Costs and Budgeting

Discover the importance of defining project scope for accurate estimates. Learn about prototyping, iterative design, testing, and quality assurance within budget constraints.

Insights from the Industry

Stay ahead with stats and trends, like the surge in global app downloads. Get the bigger picture of the evolving app landscape.

How Much Does it Cost to Design an App? [Quick Answer]

Curious about the app designer cost? Here's a quick breakdown: designing a mobile app usually falls within the range of $5,000 to $150,000 or more. The actual price hinges on factors like app complexity, platform choice (iOS, Android, or cross-platform), customization level, and the design team's expertise.

In a nutshell, simple apps might cost less. But if your app is complex or packed with features, expect a higher fee.

To nail down your budget, consider your project's specific needs and objectives. Remember, your app's specifics dictate the cost.

Factors that Affect The Cost of Designing an App

Unlocking the secrets of app design price involves diving into various factors. Understanding these elements is key to navigating the financial landscape of your app project. From different design types to the teamwork dynamics within design teams, each aspect has a say in the overall cost of app design. Let's delve into the nitty-gritty details.

When it comes to app design, two main routes stand out: Custom Design and Native Design. Let's break them down:

1. Type of Design: Crafting Unique Experiences

There are two types of design. They are:

Custom Design

Custom design offers a unique user experience tailored specifically to your brand. It's all about innovation and standing out from the crowd. However, be prepared for higher costs and potential risks along the way.

Native Design

In native design, you stick to platform-specific design guidelines, which can significantly cut down on expenses. Following established principles ensures a smooth and efficient design journey.

Custom Design vs. Native Design: Making the Right Choice

How can you make the right choice between custom design and native design? Let’s take a look at their pros and cons.

Custom Design: For Crafting Unique Experiences

Pros of Custom Application Design

  • Brand Identity: Establish your own unique brand.
  • User-Centric: Prioritize the app user experience.
  • Creative Freedom: Enjoy flexibility and creativity.
  • Scalability: Adapt easily to changes.
Cons of Custom Application Design

  • Longer Timelines: Expect a longer design process.
  • Higher Costs: Custom designs might require a bigger budget.
  • Complexity Management: Managing intricate features needs careful planning.
  • Maintenance: Ongoing upkeep may be necessary.

Native Design: Seamlessly Integrated

Pros of Native Application Design

  • Platform Consistency: Blend in seamlessly with native systems.
  • Enhanced Performance: Optimize for better app performance.
  • Development Efficiency: Streamline for quicker development.
  • Community Support: Tap into thriving developer communities.
Cons of Native Application Design

  • Limited Creativity: Must stick to platform guidelines.
  • Cross-Platform Challenges: Maintain consistency across different systems.
  • Platform Dependencies: Adjustments may be needed with updates.
  • Learning Curve: Users may struggle with different native designs.

2. The Complexity of the App: Designing for User-Centric Experiences

Designing a user-centric app? Let's unravel the complexity:


Consider roles like crafting user personas, outlining wireframes, developing prototypes, and ensuring intuitive interfaces. More roles mean more intricacy and often, higher costs.


Navigate various screen types, from welcoming onboarding to secure login, seamless navigation, and friendly error messages. Each screen adds its flavor to design complexity.

Screen Types to Address

  • Welcome and Onboarding: Engage users from the start.
  • Login Screens: Ensure secure and friendly logins.
  • Navigation Screens: Ensure seamless user-guided journeys.
  • Error Screens: Clear error messages for user convenience.

Influence on Design Complexity

  • Impact on Complexity: More roles and diverse screens mean higher complexity. Be ready for increased design costs.
  • Budget Considerations: Understanding these complexities is crucial for budget planning. As roles and screens multiply, strategic planning becomes your design compass. 

3. Exploring Team Dynamics: Collaborative Options

Type of Team
Average Cost
In-house Team
Close Collaboration and Control
$60 – $70 per hour
Local Design Agency
Proximity for Better Communication
Higher Costs (e.g., $175 per hour in Chicago)
$175 per hour in Chicago
Outsourcing Agency
Competitive Pricing with Maintained Quality
Potential Communication Challenges Due to Geography
$35 – $75 per hour
Flexible Choice of Specialists
Limited Oversight Compared to Agencies
$25 – $75 per hour
  • In-house Team: Leveraging internal staff demands resources but ensures close collaboration and process control.
  • Local Agency: Choosing a nearby design agency fosters communication but often comes with higher costs. For example, in Chicago, hourly rates can hit around $175.
  • Freelancers: Selecting freelancers offers flexibility at rates ranging from $15 to $75 per hour, a budget-friendly alternative.
  • Outsourcing Agency: Engaging an offshore agency, like UX 4Sight, balances competitive pricing and quality, though distance may pose communication challenges.

4. Cost Depending on Complexity: App Ideation at Play

App complexity mirrors the intricacy of your idea. Assessing roles, unique features, usability, and visual design helps gauge design costs accurately.

Simplify your business model and tackle challenges efficiently for a budget-friendly app design.

5. Visual Designs: Aesthetic Impact on Cost

Ever thought about how your app's look affects the bill? Visuals, from colors to fonts and UI mockups, play a big role in the design cost.

Using just 2-3 colors can save you bucks. Plus, picking the right fonts and visuals gives your app that extra flair without breaking the bank.

6. Illustrations and Animations: Elevating Design with Visuals

Graphic elements like icons, logos, vectors, and animations aren't just for show—they enhance your app's branding and interactivity. However, while animations inject personality, they can also hike up design costs due to the extra time and effort needed.

7. Functionality: Striking the Right Balance

Adding features such as in-app purchases and social media integration can level up your app's functionality, but it also means higher design costs. To stay on budget, focus on must-have features like user log-in, search, and sorting, ensuring a balance between functionality and cost.

8. Accessibility Compliance: Designing for Everyone

Ensuring your app meets accessibility standards adds complexity to the design process. Creating an interface that accommodates users with diverse needs might increase both design intricacy and cost, but it's essential for inclusivity.

9. App Maintenance: Future-Proofing Your Design

Thinking ahead to post-launch maintenance is crucial. Designing with future updates in mind ensures a smoother transition in the long run. It can greatly influence the ease of maintenance.

10. Exploring App Design Costs Around the Globe

Let's take a look at the design costs across different countries and regions:

United States (US): Premium Expertise, Premium Price

How much to design an app in the US? Well, top-tier design skills and innovation come with a hefty price tag due to the competitive landscape and advanced proficiency. The average app price is around $48,000.

United Kingdom (UK): Quality at a Discount

How much to charge for an app in the UK? Quality design services at a lower cost compared to the US make the country a sweet spot for those seeking excellence without breaking the bank. In the UK, the average app design cost is $40,000.

Australia: Where Quality Meets Affordability

How much does it cost to make your own app in Australia? Skilled designers and cost efficiency make the country an attractive option for those after top-notch work without sky-high prices. The average cost to create an app is $36,000.

Western Europe: High Quality, Moderate Cost

How much does creating an app cost in Western Europe? In this region, you'll find quality design at a moderate cost, giving you bang for your buck. Here, the average design cost is $28,000.

Eastern Europe: Competitive Pricing, Superior Quality

How much would it cost to create an app in Eastern Europe? The region offers competitive rates without skimping on quality, making it a budget-friendly yet reliable choice. The average cost to create an app is $12,000.

India: Budget-Friendly Brilliance

How much does an app cost to create in India? The country shines as a hub for cost-effective design brilliance, offering businesses access to skilled professionals without draining their budgets. The average design cost is only $6,000.

Average Cost
Western Europe
Eastern Europe

Exploring App Design Costs: Insights from Abdul Suleiman

How much is an app?

For an insider's view on app design costs, we turned to Abdul Suleiman, the CEO of UX 4Sight. According to him:

"After leading countless app design projects, we've seen it all. From straightforward to complex, our recent projects showcase our dedication to top-notch, tailored solutions. On average, our clients typically invest anywhere from $30,000 for simpler projects to $100,000 and beyond for those jam-packed with features."

Remember, these numbers are ballpark figures. The real cost hinges on specifics like customization levels, platform requirements, and the desired user experience. At UX 4Sight, it’s all about collaboration, ensuring the solutions fit seamlessly with your goals and budget.

App Design Realities: A Dive into Cost Variations through Mini Case Studies

In 2023, global mobile app downloads skyrocketed to nearly 77 billion in the first half alone! That's over three percent growth from 2022, where users grabbed about 74.4 billion apps, according to Statista. With numbers like these, understanding app design costs is crucial for your business success.

Let’s take a look into a few case studies to have a practical understanding of how various factors influence the cost variations. 

Immediate Care Center of Westmont (ICCW)

Immediate Care Center of Westmont (ICCW) is your one-stop urgent care solution serving Chicago's western suburbs. Their mission is to save you from all the hassles of traditional emergency visits.

Partnering with UX 4Sight, ICCW aimed to revamp its branding and boost conversions. After a thorough design audit, we pinpointed a major issue: visitors were leaving the site without taking action.

We dove in and fine-tuned the website, The outcome? A remarkable 252% increase in monthly online call conversions!

With a simple design tweak, ICCW saw remarkable results, proving the power of thoughtful design in boosting engagement and conversions.

Bitcoin of America (BOA)

Bitcoin of America (BOA) revolutionizes digital currency exchange, offering seamless transactions in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. With a nationwide network, including user-friendly ATMs and an intuitive app, it’s your gateway to effortless crypto management.

Facing challenges in enhancing user experience, BOA teamed up with UX 4Sight. We set clear objectives: revamp the website & app to boost conversions and reduce bounce rates. Our approach? A thorough UX review, designing a sleek UI prototype, and implementing smart solutions.

The results speak volumes. Account conversions soared by 67% and bounce rates dropped by a solid 12%!

Outsourcing to App Development Companies: Weighing Advantages and Limitations

Outsourcing app development has become a go-to strategy for many businesses, but it's not all smooth sailing. Let's break down the highs and lows of this approach.

Advantages of Outsourcing

  • Cost Savings: Tap into top-notch expertise without breaking the bank, and ditch hefty infrastructure costs.
  • Global Talent: Explore a world of skills and time zone perks for round-the-clock development.
  • Focus on Core Goals: Free up internal resources to focus on what really matters while the pros handle the tech stuff.
  • Speedy Solutions: Get your app to market faster with streamlined development and rapid scalability.
  • Risk Sharing: Spread the load with your outsourcing partner, making tech turbulence easier to weather.

Limitations of Outsourcing

  • Communication Hiccups: Language and cultural barriers can lead to missteps and delays.
  • Quality Quandaries: Struggle to maintain consistent standards and oversight when the reins aren't in your hands.
  • Security Snags: Entrusting sensitive data to an external team comes with its share of risks and compliance headaches.
  • Flexibility Frustrations: Contracts and pre-set scopes can cramp your style, and bespoke solutions might be off the menu.
  • Dependency Dilemmas: Relying too heavily on an outsourcing partner can leave you feeling vulnerable and out of control.

Decoding App Design Cost Structures: Hourly Rates vs. Fixed Pricing

When it comes to app design, knowing the cost structures is key to nailing your budget. Let's dive into the two main models: hourly rates and fixed pricing.

Hourly Rates


  • Flexibility: Need to tweak things as you go? Hourly rates give you that freedom.
  • Detailed Tracking: You'll know exactly where your money's going with detailed time tracking.
  • Adaptability: Perfect for projects that evolve over time or need lots of changes.


  • Budget Variability: Your final bill might vary as hourly rates depend on how much time is spent.
  • Complex Invoicing: Keeping track of all those hours can make invoicing a bit of a headache.

Fixed Pricing


  • Budget Certainty: With a fixed price, you know what you're paying from the get-go.
  • Scope Agreement: Helps nail down project details upfront, minimizing surprises later on.
  • Simplicity: Invoicing is a breeze when you've got a set cost to work with.


  • Limited Flexibility: Once the project's underway, there's less room to change things up.
  • Scope Creep Challenges: Keeping the project on track can be tough without incurring extra costs.

So, whether you're all about flexibility or prefer to stick to a set plan, choose the pricing model that suits your project best.

Choosing the Right App Design Cost Structure

When it comes to app design costs, finding the right structure is like picking the perfect route for your journey. Let's break it down:


  • Project Scope: If your project is crystal clear with minimal changes expected, fixed pricing gives you peace of mind.
  • Flexibility Needs: Need room to pivot and tweak as you go? Hourly rates might be your ticket.
  • Client-Designer Relationship: Strong communication is key, no matter which route you choose.
  • Risk Tolerance: Assess the project's risks and your budget comfort level to make the call.

In the world of app design, the choice between hourly rates and fixed pricing is a game-changer. Whether you're all about adaptability or crave budget certainty, knowing the ins and outs of each model sets you up for success.

How does the design process impact the cost of mobile apps?

The app design journey is like navigating through different phases, each impacting the final cost. Let's break it down.

The app design process can be broken down into three main phases: discovery, design, and development.

Discovery Phase

It's all about understanding the problem you're tackling. Dive into market research, create user personas, map out user journeys, and analyze your competitors.

Market Research

Dig deep to uncover your target users' needs and what they're willing to pay. This insight fuels the design process, ensuring your app hits the mark in the market.

User Persona

User personas wield a big influence. They help prioritize features and flag potential usability issues, saving time and money down the road.

User Journey Mapping

Visualizing how users interact with your app is a game-changer. It uncovers pain points, streamlines the experience, and ultimately slashes development costs.

Competitor Analysis

Learn from the competition. Study what works, what doesn't, and where the gaps lie. It enables you to build a more user-friendly and successful app, while also helping you seize untapped market opportunities.

Design Phase

Now, let's dive into the design phase, where creativity meets functionality.


Think of sketches as the blueprint of your app. They're quick and rough, but incredibly insightful. They allow you to play around with ideas without committing to anything concrete right away.


Next up, wireframes. These are like the skeleton of your app, mapping out where each element goes. It's a crucial step to ensure everything flows seamlessly and efficiently.


Now, let's bring those wireframes to life with prototypes. Prototypes are like a sneak peek into the future. They give you a taste of how your app will function in the real world. It's invaluable for catching any hiccups early on and refining your vision.

User Testing

Last but certainly not least, is user testing. This is where you put your app in the hands of real users and see how they interact with it. Their feedback is pure gold, helping you fine-tune every detail and ensure your app hits the mark.

Development Phase

Let's dive into the development phase, where you bring apps to life.


Think of coding as the language your app speaks. It's what turns those static images into something dynamic and interactive. Without it, your app would just be a pretty picture.

But coding isn't just about making things look good – it's about making them work too. It's what allows your app to connect with databases, fetch information, and respond to user input.


Once the code is written, it's time to put your app through its paces. Testing is like taking your app for a test drive – you want to make sure it runs smoothly and does what it's supposed to. Plus, it's a great way to catch bugs.


Finally, it's time to release your app. But before you hit that "go" button, you want to make sure everything is perfect. That means planning and testing the launch process to ensure a smooth rollout. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

By mastering each phase, you're not just designing an app – you're crafting a cost-efficient, user-centric solution that stands out in the digital realm.

UX 4Sight Perspective: Navigating Cost Variances in Mobile App Design and Redesign

In the realm of mobile application design, there's a world of difference between crafting something brand new and giving an existing app a makeover. Abdul S., CEO of UX 4Sight, sheds light on the cost disparities between these two journeys.

Starting Fresh: Designing a New App

Abdul stresses that building a new app involves a whirlwind of creativity and strategic planning. Here's why the price tag might be a bit higher:

  • Unleashing Creativity: Dreaming up a fresh app concept demands innovation, which can mean extra dollars for those lightbulb moments.
  • Deep Dive into Users: Crafting from scratch means diving deep into user research to ensure the app fits like a glove, which adds to the overall cost.
  • Brand Building: Creating a new brand identity from scratch – logos, color palettes, and messaging – adds to the tab.

Revamping the Old: App Redesign Costs

When it's time for a makeover, Abdul suggests a different cost landscape:

  • Spotting Pain Points: It's all about finding and fixing what's not working. This careful analysis can impact the budget, especially if there's a laundry list of fixes.
  • Working with What's There: Leveraging the existing app's framework can cut costs, but upgrading features and squashing bugs may still nibble at the budget.
  • User Feedback Matters: Incorporating user feedback is key. This iterative process ensures the redesign hits the mark, but it can come with its own price tag.

Closing Thoughts: Balancing Innovation and Optimization

Abdul weighs in, saying the cost gap between creating a new and revamped design lies in finding the sweet spot between innovation and optimization. Creating something new is thrilling, but there's value in refining what's already there based on user feedback and industry trends.

Tips for Reducing App Design Cost

Looking to cut down on app design costs? Here are some savvy strategies to keep your budget in check:

  • Plan Smart: Take the time to map out your app's features and functionality. A clear plan upfront helps avoid costly changes later.
  • Stick to Basics: Focus on essential functionality. Start with a prototype and resist the urge to overload your app with features. Keeping it simple saves on costs.
  • Tap into Experts: Consider hiring a mobile app design and development company. They specialize in creating cost-effective solutions tailored to your needs.
  • Design for All Devices: Remember, your app should work seamlessly across smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Designing for multiple devices upfront prevents costly redesigns later.
  • Future-Proof Your App: Think ahead. Design your app with future devices and operating systems in mind. By staying ahead of the curve, you can avoid pricey updates down the line.

How to pick the right design partner?

Looking for the right design partner? Here's how:

  • Portfolio Check: Review the company's portfolio to assess its design style and expertise. Look for past projects similar to yours and assess their effectiveness in solving design challenges.
  • Client Reviews: Explore client testimonials and reviews to get insights into the design partner's reliability, communication, and ability to meet deadlines. Positive feedback from previous clients is a good sign of a trustworthy partner.
  • Expertise and Specialization: Assess the design partner's expertise and specialization. Ensure they have experience in your industry and understand your specific requirements. A specialized partner is more likely to deliver tailored solutions.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Evaluate the communication channels and collaboration process offered by the design partner. Clear and open communication is vital for a successful partnership, ensuring that your vision is understood and implemented effectively.
  • Budget Alignment: Discuss pricing and ensure it aligns with your budget expectations. While affordability is crucial, prioritize value over cost alone. A design partner offering high-quality services within your budget range is ideal for long-term success.

Wrapping up

In the dynamic world of app design, making the right choices can spell the difference between success and setbacks. Understanding the intricacies of app design costs in 2024 is paramount for any business venture. 

By delving into factors like complexity, functionality, and team dynamics, you can navigate the landscape with confidence. Whether you're starting from scratch or giving an existing app a facelift, balancing innovation with optimization is key. 

By following savvy strategies to reduce costs and selecting the right design partner, you set yourself up for success in the ever-evolving realm of app design. 

So, roll up your sleeves, dive into the details, and craft a cost-efficient, user-centric solution that stands out in the digital sphere.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does it cost to design a mobile app?

Mobile app design cost can range from $3,000 to $50,000, depending on factors like complexity and team location.

2. How much does it cost to design an Android app?

For a standard Android app, expect to pay between $10,000 to $50,000. Costs vary based on app type and features.

3. How much does it cost to design an iOS app?

Designing an iOS app typically costs $10,000 to $50,000 for a standard version, with variations based on features and audience.

5. How much does it cost to create an app?

App design cost depends on the size and complexity of your application. Some apps cost as little as $5,000, while others can cost over $1 million.

6. How much does it cost to redesign an app?

Redesigning an app can cost $10,000 to $100,000, varying based on complexity and desired improvements. Let’s not lose sight of what it costs the business to have designed it poorly the first time around in terms of unmet expectations of customers, negatively affected brand perception, lost sales, added design / development efforts. In fact, according to NASA it’s 100x more costly do fix a design after launch than before launch. 

7. What makes a good app design?

Good app design is characterized by an appealing color scheme, fast loading times, easy navigation, and readability. Ease of use is key. It’s also key to work with a partner that can strategically help you design your app to meet your business goals and customer expectations from the start for optimal ROI outcomes. 

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Abdul Suleiman
Abdul SuleimanChief Experience Officer
Abdul Suleiman

Abdul has helped over 40 Fortune 500 companies make informed user-centered design decisions through evidence-based user research and UX best practices. As an Adjunct Professor, Abdul has taught in DePaul University’s graduate UX programs and for nine other universities.

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