How much does 
it cost to design 
an app?

18 Jul

Any app idea goes through many stages from the moment it first appeared in the head to the moment when hundreds of thousands of people around the world use this mobile app every day. Many modern outstanding apps have followed such a path. And it is now so difficult to imagine an ordinary day without using them.

Let's imagine you have a great idea and potential investors have already been found. Now is the time to take action!

In this article, we want to tell you more about how apps are created and which mobile app design cost you should expect. We will also provide recommendations on how to choose development agencies or software companies and what to pay attention to when filling out a creative brief.

App design cost when hiring a freelancer

Mobile app design services are often provided by freelancers. This option has its pros and cons. Let's talk about it in more detail.

The main pros are definitely that in this case, the mobile app design price will usually be lower than if you hired an employee or a development agency. A freelancer most often works on a project in a part-time format. Also, in this case, you do not spend money on the hiring process.

App design cost when hiring a freelancer

On freelance platforms, you can find both a junior-level specialist and a person with very strong skills and many years of experience. The app design cost will also depend on the professional level of a freelancer.

But there are some important cons. First, the search for a top-notch specialist also takes a lot of time. It will be necessary to communicate with the freelancers a lot to make sure that you find the specialist your project needs.

The second disadvantage is that, unfortunately, not all freelancers provide quality services and adhere to deadlines. This can happen both due to the dishonesty of the employee and due to the lack of an established project management process. Therefore, you should pay attention to the reputation of the freelancer and his rating on the freelance platform.

Also, freelancers may need much more time to complete the work than a web and mobile development agency. If you have very strict deadlines, then this is not your option.

It is also important to understand that sometimes a freelancer performs only the tasks set before him. At the same time, the development agency has a comprehensive approach. Not just developing mobile app design, but also doing research, etc. This increases the quality of the deliverables.

How to find a great freelancer?

Pay attention to the experience of the freelancers. If we are talking about mobile app design, then check out their portfolio with similar projects. Check the reviews of cooperation to make sure that they provided original work.

The soft skills of freelancers are also important. You can learn more about them during the interview. Make sure that they are friendly and engaged in your project. Pay attention to what questions the freelancer asks. Good specialists, as a rule, ask a lot of questions, which are necessary for quality work.

In-house team vs Web and Mobile Development Agency

So you've decided to create a complex app or medium complexity app. You can hire a team of professionals or turn to a development agency. Let's consider the pros and cons of these options.

‍In-house team vs Web and Mobile Development Agency

At first glance, it seems that the employees of the In-house team know the project better and will make decisions faster. But first of all, you will spend a lot of time searching for qualified and motivated employees. Hiring sometimes lasts for months and costs a lot.

At the same time, Development Agency is always motivated to achieve the best results, and therefore always sets up a connection with the Client and pays attention to getting to know the project in all details. As a rule, the project manager of the agency is always in touch with the client and quickly solves all issues.

Another advantage of choosing an agency is their experience. The agency has many cases in the portfolio and is well knows everything about the typical problems encountered when developing a certain type of mobile apps. It also significantly speeds up the mobile app design process.

Advantages of choosing a Development Agency

If you decide to hire a development agency, a whole team of specialists will immediately work on your project. Here are some important advantages that you will get from such an option.

The professionalism of the team

The agency's team has not only a high level of skills but also experience with other projects. Also, team members communicate with each other and constantly learn from the experience of their colleagues.

Advantages of choosing a Development Agency

High level of project management

Usually, agencies develop their own specific style of project management that allows them to achieve the best deliverables within deadlines. Therefore, they adjust the process of making changes from the Client and constantly work on improving the client experience.

The structure of the development process

The agency's design and development team has its own design process. Each of its stages is important for achieving results that will exceed customer expectations. It is a transparent and convenient process.


The development agency forms for clients a clear roadmap of work on the project and they can at any moment understand at what stage they are, solve certain issues, and improve some features.

A comprehensive approach

Usually, a development agency can make a ready MVP from scratch. They help with UX research, the generation of ideas, design, development, and support after the launch of the project.


Usually, managers and heads of teams in the development agency already have a lot of experience working with projects in a certain niche. This experience allows them to offer better solutions and advice. For example, which technologies and why should be used, which features should be added, which design solutions will work better, etc.

By choosing software development companies you can only come up with an idea and get an outstanding app in a few months. The process of working on it will be maximally adapted to the specifics of your project.

The agency not only creates beautiful mobile apps but focuses on solving business needs and finding the best solutions for users. This is an approach that allows the creation of an app that can succeed in the future.

A comprehensive approach for mobile development agency

Agencies can help close different types of tasks for different types of businesses. For example:

Startups — to create MVP and further product development. In this case, the client most often comes either with only an idea or with minimal sketches.

Entrepreneurs — to create platforms with custom design and applications to expand their business. For example, creating a mobile app that will improve the customer experience of using an offline store.

Large businesses — for redesigning existing app or developing additional software. Even the most successful products need updating over time. In this case, they can contact the agency to redesign and make the interface more modern and trendy.

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Start with an MVP

why start with MVP is better for startup

Big projects very often were started as an MVP. A minimum viable product is launched with only essential features in order to test the product in the market.

First, it allows you to check your idea in general and understand the product's prospects of becoming successful on the market. Secondly, at this stage, you can find ideas for improving the product, understand what else should be added, and get the first feedback from real users.

If the MVP and its business model showed themselves well during the testing period, then you can either continue cooperation with the development agency or look for your own team, because at this stage you can better predict the development of the product.

What team is needed to create an app from scratch?

Many different specialists work on creating a new outstanding app. Here are some of them.

Project manager. He manages all processes, checks deadlines, communicates with clients, controls compliance with all stages of development, and has many other important tasks.

UX researcher — is a team member responsible for UX research. His main tasks are to find out users' needs, create a portrait of the client, and give to the team a deep understanding of users' behaviors and motivations.

One of the first stages of the design process is UX research. It is the foundation of all next tasks. The future success of the app depends on this stage because a really great app should solve users' problems and make their life better. UX researcher conducts user interviews, makes market research, and uses other research methods in order to find necessary insights.

What team is needed to create an app from scratch?

UX/UI designer. Often, several designers work on the same project in order to speed up the development process. Their task is not only to create the design of all application screens but also, for example, to create wireframes, moodboards, etc.

Front-end developers are responsible for the operation of the interface in the web application. They develop features that the user directly interacts with.

Mobile developers. Their skills will be needed when developing a mobile application.

Backend developers deal with the logic of the app and ensure the correct execution of features that store and process information;

QA specialist checks the operation of all functions of the app and the presence of bugs. It focuses on the quality of the product and finding the best methods to test it. He passes on all found vulnerabilities and errors to other specialists so that they can fix them.

Teamwork ensures quality results. Each specialist in his area of ​​responsibility uses his skills to best perform his scope of tasks. Team members constantly share ideas to improve the product, so the deliverables exceed expectations.

Depending on the complexity of the project and the size of the team working on it, development may also involve the heads of teams.

Steps of a mobile app development process

The development of any app is carried out according to the design process. Adherence to a clear structure allows for achieving better results within short deadlines.

Steps of a mobile app development process

The first stage is getting to know the Client and his vision of the future product. A scoping session is held, and the Client must fill out a brief, where he tells everything about his product and business needs. The better the team understands the value of the product and its uniqueness in the market, the better the results will be.

Then agency team conducts market research and customer interviews to get more information about user behavior, create user journey maps and wireframes, design interfaces, and start development.

It is also necessary to test the created app and make sure that all the features work correctly. And also to talk about whether all the options are as useful as possible for users and is it enough convenient to reach goals in the app.

How long does it take to create an app?

How long does it take to create an app?

For small projects, the ANODA team develops an MVP in 3 months. But it is important to understand that each project is individual, so these are very approximate estimates.

It all depends on the total amount of work. Some projects need to be done from scratch. So the development agency starts with UX research, user journey maps, and wireframes. And some projects already have made great UX research and even have certain sketches. So the app design process will be very different.

Talking just about the development of, for example, mobile applications, then a period of development of at least 2-3 months should be set. It all depends on the logic of the app, the number of features, the complexity of data processing, etc. QA specialists should also have enough time to work on the application.

Web development services price

So let's imagine that you have chosen the option of hiring an agency. You need to calculate the budget, for example, to discuss it with potential investors.

First of all, unfortunately, it is impossible to calculate the end budget at this stage. The cost of app development depends on:

  • features it offers users and what tasks it solves in general;
  • Operating System (ios and android apps or only web apps);
  • the total amount of work (whether the project needs to be developed from scratch, or only some features, does it need push notifications, etc.);
  • deadlines and much more.
Web development services price

Thus, it is necessary to understand that in the process of working on the project, a large number of details appear that should be taken into account. To make a user interface perfect it is all about testing something and looking for a better solution.

For example, a client planned one list of features, but after creating a user journey map, a client realized that some important options are missing. How do calculate costs in such a situation?

Different companies offer different approaches to payment structure. For example, Pay per Milestone. In this case, the client is charged the cost for each stage of work, after the general scope of tasks is well understood.

Web and Mobile app design cost

Based on our many years of experience, we can say that the average cost of small design projects is $5000 to $7000. This is an approximate amount for small redesigns and projects with a minimum number of features. But for large projects (for example, banking app) the cost increases significantly. They have many screens and most often launch on several platforms at once. In this case, it usually costs about $20,000.

Web and Mobile app development cost

Web and Mobile app design cost

Again, we can only share our experiences. If we talk about development, then the cost of creating a small MVP starts from $35,000. The more complex features in the future application, the higher its cost.

The total cost of large projects with a full-cycle development and design is usually over $200,000.

Each project is special, so there is no fixed price. It is necessary to take into account the volume of work, the complexity of tasks, deadlines, etc. And this, as a rule, cannot be calculated until the moment of detailed acquaintance with the project.

How to choose a mobile app development company?


Of course, each project is unique, but the general experience of the agency is also important. For example, you want to create a banking app. If the agency works a lot with fintech startups, they will offer many interesting ideas and can give useful advice in development.

First meeting

First of all, pay attention to the first steps that the development agency offers before starting work. How detailed the brief is? Do they offer a scoping session? Do they take a break so that the team gets to know the project in detail after the first meeting? All these moments demonstrate how team members will work on your project. And also how good the result will be and how it will be achieved — quickly and with a minimum number of edits, or with a violation of deadlines and lack of communication.

Design process

One of the most important things in working on a project is a well-established process. This allows the client to track the stages of work on his project, receive intermediate deliverables, make timely changes, and understand deadlines.

How to choose a mobile app development company?


The reputation of any development agency consists of many elements. This is not only the quality of technically performed work but also general motivation and communication with the client. There are many platforms where you can read agency reviews and learn more about their project management style.


Product development sometimes takes months. Therefore, it is important to understand that you like communicating with the agency's team. After all, there are many design changes, team meetings, and Slack correspondence ahead.


During the first communication with representatives of the development agency, you can get more information about their company values. This is important because it gives an understanding of what they emphasize in their work.

Services / Technologies Stack

Check if the development agency can completely cover all the tasks you need. Do they work with the technologies you need for specific reasons?

Key Takeaways

If you are looking for an app design contractor for your new project, you have many options. You can hire an employee for your in-house team, find a freelancer, or ask a development agency for help.

By hiring a development agency, you get guarantees of meeting deadlines, high-quality deliverables, and a well-established project management process.

The cost of project development depends on many factors: scope of work, number of features, platforms, project niche, deadlines, etc.

Each project is worked on by a large team consisting of specialists such as a Project manager, UX researcher, UX/UI designer, Front-end /Backend /Mobile developers, QA specialist, and many others.

To achieve the best deliverables, we work according to the steps of the design process. It also allows the Client to control the development process and track the implementation of all changes.

To hire a great development agency for your project, pay attention to their portfolio and experience, discuss all the details of the project and their project management style, learn more about all the stages of the design process and read reviews about cooperation with them.

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