In the digital era, every company or business endeavor focuses on engaging and retaining users for the long term. This is exactly what an engaging and beautiful app interface promises. The fluid and user-focused app UI/UX design can instantly make users feel comfortable and entertained, increasing engagement and business conversion.

Now, the look and feel of a mobile app largely depend on the UI design excellence, and here comes the role of expert and experienced UI designers. On the other hand, the User Experience (UX) depends on the app design excellence and the app features and performance. Don’t fall prey to the app development myth of equating UI and UX design.

Understandably, app UI/UX design plays a great role in shaping an app project’s success, and it is the first and foremost thing that any app project should focus upon. In any app project, the design cost takes a significant part of the app budget, and assessing this cost and corresponding factors well in advance is necessary.

Read this guide on how to design an app if you seek to know app design steps easier than ever, what are the key contributors to the app design cost, and what are the responsible factors for determining the app design cost? and what factors to watch out for? We are going to explain them here in this blog. But before that, let’s take a quick and sweeping look at the most important reasons to consider app design crucial.

Why is Mobile App Design Important?

Mobile app design precisely refers to an app’s User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. The first is about shaping the look and feel of the app with visual layout, color palettes, shapes, grids, buttons, fonts, and interactive visual attributes like animation. The second is about ensuring ease of use, meeting user expectations, and engaging users with the right user flow, effortless interactions, and ready to interact features.

Below, we will mention some of the key reasons why UI/UX design is absolutely important for any app project.

  • The design elements ultimately establish the app’s branding potential, at least visually.
  • App design is what engages users and boosts user interactions.
  • Sophisticated UX design ensures an effortless user experience leading to increased business conversion.
  • The design elements ultimately help app users develop a stable relationship with the business.

What are the Key Factors Responsible for App Design Costs?

As we have already mentioned, the design cost ultimately contributes immensely to the app development cost. Now, this app design cost also depends upon several crucial factors ranging from the size and complexity of the app, the niche or category, target platforms, graphic and animation elements, the design theme or the development technology or the engine you use, etc. let’s have a closer look at some of these factors.

App Niche or Category

The app niche and type play a crucial role in deciding the overall app design cost. For example, a web or hybrid app can be simpler, involving fewer design challenges than a native app designed and developed separately for iOS and Android.

Now coming to the niche or categories, gaming apps are always expensive for their complex design requirements and high reliability on graphics. Some visually demanding app niches, such as travel apps, entertainment apps, and social media apps, may involve higher design costs than others.

Design Costs Across Different Countries

Some countries are well known for their exceptional traditions and developed industry powered by digital design specialists and experts. Countries with leading game development labs are likely to be more sought after for UI/UX design services. So, as per the availability of design experts and the software development industry of the respective country, the cost may vary.

The weaker currencies in Asian countries like the Philippines, India, China, Pakistan, Malaysia, and several others will give you a distinct cost advantage. The cost will be manifold in developed economies and leading software development countries such as the US. Compared to developed countries with emerging software economies such as the UK and Western Europe, the cost will be equally higher. You can get a better bargain in Eastern European countries because of their emerging software and IT industry.

Cost of Design Based Upon Complexity

The app complexity and size equally play an important role when it comes to the design cost. For small and simple apps with less visual load or little graphics, the cost can be significantly lower, and in the case of large and complex app projects with a rich feature set and loads of visuals and animations, the cost can be higher.

The design cost largely depends upon the hours designers need to put in for every app project. In the case of a simple app with a straightforward design, the designers mostly need 100 hours or less. In the case of app projects with average complexity and visual load, the required time can be 200 to 250 hours. Lastly, the complex, large, and visually demanding app projects will likely require 400 hours or more for the design.

The Chosen OS Platform

Now, deciding the platform for the app can influence the cost. For example, in the case of designing the app for the Android platform, the respective project needs to address the design requirements of several Android devices and OS versions, and naturally, the cost will be higher.

But in the case of iOS app design, the target OS versions and devices can be limited so that the cost can be much lower. But because of Apple’s strict quality focus and design recommendations, the design may need to go through several rounds of course corrections involving higher costs.

Design Tools

Finally, the design tools and approaches you adhere to can significantly impact the design cost. For example, instead of relying on Wireframing tools, you can make pencil drawings of the app screens that can work as fully fledged wireframes.

There are also cheaper tools for mock-ups and prototyping with different feature sets and capabilities. You need to pick tools based not only on requirements and cost but also on keeping future requirements in mind.

Wrapping Up

All the factors we mentioned above for impacting the design outcomes of mobile apps have remained constant across the vast majority of apps. Instead of lowering the cost, it is always important to focus on what you need so that you do not need to compromise on design quality.