At present, people worldwide are largely dependent on mobile applications to do any task, be it booking a taxi, ordering food, shopping for clothes, groceries, & accessories, finding suitable partners for them, and many more. With the increasing numbers of mobile apps in the market, the mobile app development market is also expanding, and businesses are showing their keen interest in capitalizing in this sector.  

Though it is good, but the growing number of mobile apps has left people confused about what should they choose? There are more than a hundred apps for a single purpose, hence people tend to choose the app that has an easy-to-use interface along with interactive, appealing, and responsive visuals. Here businesses need to focus on hiring a mobile app designing company that can provide them with a well-designed user-friendly mobile app that will be able to steal the audiences’ attention instantly.

Technology stack, ideation, and functions are crucial components, but an influential design binds users to the application. Mobile app designing is the crucial aspect behind the success of any app. Designing an app is not just about the arrangement of the app components in a specific manner, but the layout development with smooth functioning. Without any doubt, we can say that a better user experience and interactive UI build a strong foundation for every app development process and its branding.

Here we have provided an ultimate guide to help you know about mobile app designing, types of app design, the process to create an interactive app design, and the mobile app design cost. Let’s dive into details:  

Introduction to Mobile App Designing

The app design represents the look of a mobile application comprising all the visual aspects and appealing elements that have a huge impact on how an app functions. An appropriate mobile app design includes two main concepts that are UI and UX. The user interface (UI) incorporates the look and feel of the application along with the font style, color, and other app design choices. And the UX (user experience) design focuses on the functions of the app and how to use them. Here is more to know-  

  • A layman has very little to do with the internal operation of the app. The low functionality can be compromised for once but if the design is annoying to the eyes, it becomes hard to gain user attraction.
  • According to the reports by Statista, ¼ of the apps available in the stores are only used once and then either stays unused or deleted by the user. Low user retention is the primary concern of app developers and mobile app development companies who wish to earn through apps.

Around 70 percent of online businesses don’t succeed due to the same concern. For avoiding such problems, it is advisable to stay upbeat with the latest mobile app design trends and make your app impressive.

Difference Between App Development & App Design 

Before diving into the details of mobile app designing it is better to understand the difference between App development and App design. Check out the following description:

  • App Design

Mobile app design is dedicated to giving the application a clear roadmap. The idea is to solve the problem. App design is the first phase of mobile app development. Before working on app development, the team works on mobile app design. The design emerges from a wire map, which is then transformed into the user interface. The worst case can be to copy the UI of any similar app without analyzing the problem.

  • App Development

App development is the next phase of app-building, where the blocks of an app are given the functionality. The back end is often part of the development phase, but in some applications, the front end also involves the development.

Different Types of App Design

In the mobile app design ecosystem, there are two types of mobile app designs, a Native app containing native platform UI elements and a custom app, which is built with uniquely designed components and other is custom design. Here it becomes necessary to understand the difference between both while determining how much does it cost to design an app? Have a look below:

1. Native App Design

A native app runs on a single platform. Every mobile platform defines some guidelines. These guidelines describe how the elements must look in an app, where the components must be located, and how they need to interact. A native app strictly follows those protocols, which is why an app looks more comfortable with the platform and feels like part of the OS. For such apps, it is easy to hire mobile app developers, whereas, for multiple platforms, cross-development is popular but scarce with resources.

Pros of Native Design

  • Compatible UI: For native mobile apps, there is no learning curve. The elements are familiar to the native platform and are entirely compatible.
  • Rapid Development: UI components need not be developed from scratch. A designer can use template-ready UI elements instead of designing the UI from scratch.
  • Reduced Cost:  There is no need to design from scratch, therefore the cost is too less.

2. Custom Mobile App

The custom design is developed from scratch. It follows a few native UI guidelines and may be developed entirely differently from the native one. Designers integrate unique style techniques, illustrations, and other interactive components for getting more user attraction. Custom UIs are the best for entertainment apps and branded apps.

Pros of Custom Design

  • Enhanced UX: Custom design involves all the trending app designs. The designer is able to create a unique experience for the users.
  • Differentiation: Unlike native, custom apps are designed differently and your app stands out in the pool of millions of apps.

Some General Terms to Know About App Designing 

At the time of having mobile app designing services, various aspects play a significant role in composing the overall app design cost. These are also known as general terms that can be often used in the whole mobile app designing process. Get to know about them in detail:

1. Footwork

Footwork represents proper research about the required information and collection of significant data that is beneficial to designing an app as a solution to a particular problem. This process comprises competitor analysis, market study, knowing about the liking and disliking of target audiences, strengths, and weaknesses of existing market players, and many more. You are required to gather all the information that will help you to design an intuitive and unique yet interesting mobile application to steal the attention of audiences.

2. Moodboard 

A mood board is an essential process to be completed before starting the UI design creation. Moodboard is advantageous to make the client understand how the app is going to perform and what aim the app designer is having throughout the process. Here app designing team works on gathering related pictures, patterns, sketches, and putting the vector.

Then, it needs to be approved by the client if he likes it or not. Moodboard will provide a great way to understand the requirements and communication between clients and designers. Alongside, it will be good to get a clear understanding of the client’s preferences including components such as fonts, colors, etc. but it doesn’t comprise the whole structure.

3. Prototyping or Wireframing

Whether it is about designing an app or estimating the mobile app designing cost, prototyping/wireframing are the preferrable project aspects. These graphic deliverables belong to varied segments and include UX design effects, UI creation, usability testing, and validation to make sure the app usability is at its peak and has better app flow. The biggest advantage of having this process is that it includes modern edge and advanced mobile app development tools such as Figma, Sketch, Adobe CC, InVision, etc. to make prototypes according to the current requirements leading to saving the maximum time for designers.

How to Design an App?

The cost of mobile app design largely depends upon the process applied for having app & web design services. Below are some of the steps required for mobile app designing process you must look at:

Step 1. Research & Planning

The initial stage is to assess the market and ideate a solution for the existing problem. Research demands a lot of time, where the target audience, competition, market trends user interests are analyzed from different angles. Here at this stage, business analysts investigate the niche and list out the strong and weak points, along with the ways to deal with them. Research stays a common part of both mobile app development and design.

A proper analysis helps app development companies that are providing proficient mobile app development solutions to integrate the latest design trends and helps the teams to adopt best practices in mobbing forward. The project mind map is created with the project backlog. Along with the market research and competitor analysis, there are included technology compliance, number of platforms, team structures, required skills & expertise, and so on.

Step 2. UX Design 

App design starts with prototyping. Depending on the complexity of the project, the design may include a simple sketch or the wireframe creation. The intricacy of the project decides the cost estimation.

  • Sketch: If the project involves a lot of features, it can be started with sketching to show the major complex tools. The overall concept of the project is either defined by hand or using tools such as Figma, UXPin, Sketch, etc. Remember, Sketching takes around 16-24 hours and increases the cost of design.
  • UX wireframes: Wireframes are the skeleton of the app and are designed using dedicated mobile app tools for giving a proper layout of the structure. It ensures usability and the navigation of the app. The motive of the wireframe is to ensure the visual concept which gives a better understanding of the product mechanism. The development hours increase with the number of screens. For each screen, 1-2 hours are given. Advanced tools such as Figma help in transforming the sketch design into the UX wireframe which decreases the time.
  • UX wireframe with native UI: The designing tools apply a more detailed design structure and add up the native UI element in the structure such as buttons, control styles, and fonts. The design needs to correspond with the basic UI elements and can be used for MVP. This reduces the total cost of the project, therefore more favored by professional mobile app development services. When the project design is given on the platform it takes around half the time for each screen on a different platform.

If in case, the designer needs to design his UI elements it becomes a lengthy task and takes too much time, so increases the cost.

Step 3. Visual Design

Visual designs are created based on the UX wireframes. UI is responsible for the branding, interior layers, colour schemes, and overall layers of the app. Designers sometimes also create a few mock-ups before giving the final UI to let the client choose between different style demonstrations. It depends on the creativity of the designer.

Here are the detailed hours of work:

  • Mood board creation takes between 6-8 hours.
  • UI mock-up creation: 15-20 hours for 2-3 different styles.
  • Final UI: 2 hours for each app screen and maybe more for each sophisticated app page.

The cost of UI design can vary and is influenced by various factors such as app style, complexity, and icon design. Here icon design takes between 4-6 hours.

Step 4. Branding & Logo Creation

Branding plays a significant role when it comes to both the design process and determining the app design cost. This stage comprises logo creation, suitable fonts, and brand illustrations. Making the Mood board is the first step of branding and further, it directs to designing the brand logo. It includes three steps, they are:

  • It takes lots of research for designers while create mood boards as per the niche and market requirements. Then, they draw sketches, customize the logo with fonts, etc.
  • After that, the designing team creates samples with diverse styles to different approaches, visualization, and ideas. These all are designed uniquely and aligned with the needs. They just need the approval of the client.
  • In this stage, the client will approve one of the logos by considering the samples and discussing it with the team. If they want, some of the logos can be mixed up into a single logo and can customize with color, font, or other elements. It hardly takes around 1 day and when the question arises about the cost to design an app, logo creation is an important thing to consider.

Step 5. Illustrations and Animations

Adobe Illustrator CC is always beneficial for illustrations and to communicate the thought of a basic mobile app concept and must-have features. While creating illustrations, there are different styles to apply, and they must align with the complete app design concept. The time included in the illustration development process depends on factors such as complexity, features, style notions, etc. When there is included diverse characters & humans, the creation of illustrations takes more time than usual. On average, illustrations can be generated between 16 to 32 hours approx.

On the other hand, animations are not easy to design as it involves dynamic objects and images created via Adobe After effects. There are defined two kinds of animations available in the domain of app design. They are as below:

  • Custom Transitions: These types of animations have their own different style and ways of designing the app. These illustrate animated placeholders, screen refresh, one screen to another transition, animated buttons, status animation, etc.
  • Illustrated Animations: These types of animations can be known as moving pictures mainly worked for tutorials, onboarding, welcome screen, and more.

How to Choose a Reliable Mobile App Designing Company? 

Choosing a top-notch mobile and web app design company can reduce half of your burden while designing an app. But before selecting one, you need to consider some of the essential points that will end up having a suitable app designing firm. Let’s get details:

1. Check the Portfolio and Reviews

Before hiring a web and mobile app designing company, don’t forget to check out their portfolio and in which domain they have expertise. Also, get to know about their rating and reviews through different sources so that you can know about their reputation in the market. Keep in mind that they must have something amazing in their portfolio and it should be detailed, transparent, verified, and accurate.

2. Schedule an Interview

If you have selected more than one mobile app designing company, you can interview all of them to choose the best one. Try to find out their skills and working procedure by asking difficult and relevant questions regarding their previous projects, future goals, applied cost to design a mobile app, etc. Finding some common elements will help you to have a successful collaboration with the company.

3. Look at the Testimonials

Getting feedback from previous clients is much important when getting mobile app designing services from a company. For this, businesses can check the different social media profiles of the firm on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, etc. It will help them to know about the strengths and expertise of the firm and businesses can match them with their requirements.

How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

This section aims to let you know the mobile app designing cost. Just like mobile app development cost, some factors affect the mobile app design cost too. For determining the cost of designing a mobile app, it is important to know the aspects which constitute the app design cost. The cost of designing an app depends upon the following factors:

1. App Platform

Designing native UI highly depends on the platform. Android UI needs to be matched with different resolutions whereas iOS has its different dependencies.

  • Android UI

Google has come up with stringent guidelines for app design. Android devices are constantly changing and therefore Android app designers have to adapt to the new framework requirements. Android app design cost is less than the iOS app design.

  • iOS

In the iPhone 6 and later version, the UI elements design adds 25% of the cost, because these devices come with a retina display. The approximate cost of design comes between $3000 and $5000.

2. App Complexity

Here are the different types of app designs based on the complexity:

  • Simple Apps

These are the applications with very few requirements. These apps generally comprise 3 screens, a little part of the animation, and less interactive design elements. These apps are usually made for single platforms and don’t need much time to be developed. Many mobile app development services can provide you with the clone apps which come in no time. Also, you can go for no-code apps, which are best suitable for simple apps.

  • Intermediate Level of Complexity

These apps are usually more interactive and contain animation over several screens. These apps are designed separately for all concerned platforms and contain heavy interaction with the users. The quality of these apps is the main concern for the platforms and therefore the designer has to comply with the Google material design principles and other guidelines. More often than not, iOS app development services fall into this category due to the more focus on quality and because Android is the preferred choice for simple apps. A few examples are on-demand food delivery apps and social media chat apps.

  • Highly Complex Apps

These apps are highly dependent on designs for serving the purpose. A lot of transitions and deep animation is necessary to move from on-screen to others. These apps are made with a huge number of screens and demand native UI elements.

3. Location and Experience of the Hired Designing Team

Before hiring a mobile app designing company, consider their experience and knowledge in the specific domain. The cost can go higher based on their years of experience and skills. Alongside, the same level of work with the same number of features differs in cost due to the location of the designer.

  • If you hire a mobile app developer from the USA, it costs you around $50-$150 per hour on average.
  • But, if you look for Europe, the developer charges $50-$100 per hour.
  • The mobile app development market is cheaper in Asia, the average hourly cost of a developer goes $20-$50 per hour.

4. Technology Stack

The technology stack chosen to design the application is also accountable to differ the overall mobile app designing cost. Using the advanced technologies and frameworks can set your overall budget high but if you have decided to integrate a basic tech stack, then it wouldn’t cost you much. Hence, make sure to conduct whole research on the technical aspects of the app design.

5. Consumed Development Time

The longer time the designing process will take, the more mobile app designing cost will increase. The mobile designing app company must prepare a step-by-step plan according to the project requirements so that the development process won’t take longer time than expected.

Considering all these aspects, we can say that the cost to design a mobile app would be between $5,000 to $20,000. Depending on the mentioned aspects; there is a huge possibility that this estimation can vary.

Final Verdict 

Designing an app demands proper research, creativity, and compliance with the updated guidelines. The mobile app platforms are constantly evolving, and so are their requirements. A trending design perfectly complies with the guidelines whereas if you need simple apps, designing does not take much effort. For reducing the budget, you must work with the essential features and produce an MVP first.

Once we get positive feedback from the client, we can move to other platforms. Instead of designing the full-fledged application, starting with the must-have features is good to go. Alongside, templates can be a great deal if you don’t want to spend more bucks. Mobile app design is the first face of your application, and it requires enough attention, as it can make or break the deal. Therefore, it is necessary to hire a top-notch web & mobile app designing company that can help you throughout. In this manner, SemiDot Infotech is a perfect fit when it comes to having a responsive and striking mobile app design. If you are looking for one, feel free to Contact us!

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