How much does app ux/ui design cost?

Jan 14, 2022 | HOW WE MAKE IT

Sooo… How much does app ux/ui design really cost?

Design (UI/UX) development is one of the most critical parts of a successful mobile app. Beautiful and pleasant screen designs, clean buttons, and strategically placed visual effects evoke positive emotions from users and prompt them to return.

Any mobile app UI design is directly linked to its appearance. Its simple and practical design enables an effective visual contact with the user. So, if you’ve found yourself searching, “How to develop an app?” or asking, “How much does it cost to develop an app?” keep reading. We’ve put together this simple guide on mobile app design pricing of UI, one of the most critical aspects of this creation.

What is Mobile App UI Design?

The user interface (UI) is the point of interaction between the user and the mobile application. A good user interface design should be functional, dependable, usable, and, finally, enjoyable. If you’re not skilled with UI design, you can simply hire a professional designer to do it for you. They will help you come up with a plan that meets your goals and reaches the audience.

The Mobile App Development Process

First and foremost, before you even look for experts, you need to prepare a brief based on market research and business analysis. The brief will tell your expert team what you would like to create, why you want it, and what they should do. Your chosen software-house will then have to run some workshops.

Next, the designers and architects will work with you to explore the possibilities and requirements essential for the preference on technology, design process, and overall business outcome.

This collaboration will pop up more data from in-depth analysis and market research, finding the right tools, and uncovering the right approach to the project. By then, it will be possible to describe application requirements and the project scope, which means that you can finally schedule the work properly.

However, before the team starts coding, you should focus on the UI design process. User experience is more than just appealing graphics. It’s about how users experience the app at every step of their visit. This part involves users’ research, wire-framing, and prototyping, among others. Finally, a UI designer will work on the app’s visual aspect, and you will get a high-definition UI design.

Back and front-end developers will then be able to work on the two sides of the application. Together with quality assurance specialists, they will ensure that the app is free of bugs and runs smoothly. Developed and thoroughly tested applications can later be deployed and then released to the market for end-users.

Mobile App Design Pricing

The cost of a mobile app UI design differs depending on a whole catalog of variables. So, here we will go through the UI design process to find out how much it all costs:
Research

The user interface design starts with research: namely, the identification of users and the context in which they will interact with the application. The process consists of user personas with corresponding user-flows and research that will tell you your audience’s needs and problems so you can build on that aspect.

Estimated cost: $800-6,000.

Information Architecture and Low-Fidelity Design

After getting the usage scenarios and user knowledge, the designer can create the entire app system, screen by screen, encompassing all navigation possibilities of an app. Then, they will fill each display with simplified content to set the features and allow easy and practical iterations.

This first preview is an excellent way to validate your app idea and apply changes with basic cost and effort. Following iterations include mockups and prototypes of high and low-fidelity. In this case, fidelity means the level of advancement of details and functionalities: think about visuals, content, or interactivity.

Estimated cost: $800-12,000.

High-Fidelity Mockups

High-fidelity mockups are more advanced than low-fidelity ones. Sometimes they are even interactive, are much closer to the final product, and have most components. Most developers use this stage for tests with end-user participation. You can also present high-fidelity mockups to stakeholders if that’s the case.

Estimated cost: $400-6,000.

Prototypes

The well-designed interface should be consistent with fragments of the corporate identity and a stylebook (if you have one). UI designers have to choose the most appropriate graphic solutions at this stage, including colors, fonts, icons, and other symbols.

While you mainly use mockups to present the visual aspects of the UI, prototypes are simulations of interaction. They are so advanced that you have the impression that the application already works when you look at them. For instance, Apple presented the first iPhone with a high-fidelity prototype, a fact very few people knew on that day.

Estimated cost: $1,600-12,000.

Testing

You can use high-fidelity, low-fidelity mockups, and prototypes, both, or a combination of them for the testing process; it all depends on your needs, the complexity of your mobile app, and your budget.

However, it would be best to use only mockups and prototypes for testing on users and stakeholders. These versions are more advanced and closer to reality, making the feedback crucial in the app development and the user experience extraordinary.

Estimated cost: $800-6,000.

Overall, an app development cost can reach $4,000 to $42,000, depending on variables like the complexity of your application, the costs of the workforce in your country, the tech stack, etc.

Why Does Mobile App UI Design Matter So Much?

Every design solves specific problems. However, it doesn’t matter whether you create one for a new product or redesign an existing app because your ultimate goal is to solve a particular issue.

Furthermore, when launching a mobile app, the design is the first thing a user sees. An excellent UI design provides the following benefits:

It simplifies the interaction with the interface, making it user-friendly
It facilitates the development of the ideal product to meet the needs of the target audience.
It secures customers at a higher rate.
It enables users to attain their objectives faster and enhances the pace of their engagement and returns.

This criterion is vital from a business standpoint because product success is primarily dependent on it.

How to Optimize the Mobile App Development Cost

According to UX Planet, it’s ten times cheaper to solve a problem at the design stage than during any other development process. Moreover, solving an issue in the early stages can be 100 times more affordable than working on a released software.

To help you optimize the app development cost, we have prepared this short list of tips for you:

  • Plan carefully. A well-prepared and well-implemented approach is a proven way to cut unnecessary costs.
  • Don’t break the rules. There are golden rules and best practices in UI design, like in other aspects of developing a mobile app. Market research and user analysis are crucial. Without them, you will base your decisions on intuition and your subjective opinions, which is a grave mistake to make in business.
  • Focus on essential functions. The more parts you plan to implement, the more screens the designer will need to develop and draw. Therefore, it’s best to postpone secondary tasks to a later date.
  • Never skip tests. You may think your UI is the best thing that has ever happened in application development, but only tests will prove your point.
  • Choose an experienced team. Your development team has to comprise experts who have done stuff like this before. They will help you make better decisions and simply know how to do the job.
  • Use more cost-effective subcontractors and designers. For instance, many look for Eastern and Central European experts because they are well-educated and highly experienced specialists working for a reasonable price.
  • Choose an effective tech stack. While this aspect might seem unrelated to the UI design, you should know that every technology has limitations. The tech stack will lift the boundaries of your designers’ creativity. For example, with React Native, you get the possibility to reuse and share up to 70% of code for iOS and Android.

Choose Digital Dames’ App Development Specialists

Design quality can have a vital role in your product’s success, so it is imperative to invest in its development. Fortunately, the guidelines featured in this article can help you save money while still keeping the highest product quality. So, if you want to get the most of your UI design while cutting unnecessary expenses, consider hiring specialists for specific tasks. Our expert network executes your ideas with outstanding talent while matching your industry, technology, and company culture. Feel free to contact us to get a quote on design and development.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post

If you’d like our team at Digital Dames to help you massively improve website traffic and conversions, just book a call.

Post Contributors

Jaclyn Hawtin

Jaclyn Hawtin

Senior Data Architect

Over a decade of experience in product management, devops, startups, and agile methodologies. Track record of simplifying complex technical processes for cross-functional teams. Proficient in user centered design, UX, IX, UI, IA, user research and data analytics for responsive web, mobile and tablet applications. Incredibly adaptable, fluent with both people and machines.

Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Conversion optimization manager

Mani is a senior marketing manager with roots in storytelling. She nerds out on everything data, technology, human behavior and design. Chat with her about UX/UI, marketing funnels, conversion and goal tracking, marketing experimentation and astrology (she’s a Virgo Sun, Aries Rising).

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