Over 1.84 million apps are available on the App Store and 2.57 million more on Google Play. Let’s face it: a good user interface is a bare minimum needed to survive. It’s the first thing users pay attention to after app download.
First impressions are design-related. Meaning that design is what determines if users leave or stay. As it’s vital to have a good user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), you should remember about design expenses when estimating mobile app development costs.
In this post, I’ll try to answer all cost-related questions about UI/UX design.
What’s the design process made up of?
It depends on a performer. Design agencies and freelancers may use completely different approaches to creating a design. So, let’s focus on how it’s done in companies.
The design process typically has three and more stages that cover both UI and UX aspects.
Research always comes first. Before a designer gets to work, they should be aware of the following product details:
- Who is the end-user?
- What are their problems?
- What are the product’s business goals?
- What is the competition and how do they attract users?
Mobile app design agencies pay a lot of attention to this stage. In-depth analysis is the key to creating a user-friendly and profitable product. So with these aspects in mind, the design team can move on to the next stage.
Wireframes are a monochrome, schematic placement of design elements on each screen of the application. What’s more, the design team connects screes so that you could see the flow. For example, what happens after tapping on the “Order” button or once you tap on a Cart in the top right corner.
An important thing to mention here is that the team should have the full list of app’s functionality to craft wireframes. Otherwise, it’s impossible to create an accurate skeleton of your application.
Many designers create wireframes using InVision. This tool allows for collaboration so you can easily look through the wireframe and suggest changes.
It’s a mandatory step in most teams before they proceed with the next stage.
Prototypes are created based on wireframes. But they are colored, have fonts, and every other design element. Developers will use them to create a working application.
Design teams create prototypes for each screen of the app and link them together just like with wireframes. This should help you see the full picture and suggest changes if you wish so.
UI/UX designers build prototypes for each platform (Android, iOS) and several devices if it’s requested (smartphone, tablet, smartwatch).
What are the costs of UI/UX design for your app?
So how much does it cost to create a design for your mobile app? The only sure way to tell this is to take a look at the list of project requirements and features.
As there is no way to check requirements, it’s only possible to talk about abstract numbers. Here’s how to calculate the price of service:
- Hourly rate * hours needed to create a design = UI/UX design price.
You can see that there are two variables — rates and hours.
Rates may differ depending on a region where you hire an agency. Here is a short guide to hourly rates by region:
- US and Canada: $50-$150 per hour.
- Australia: $50-$100 per hour.
- Eastern Europe: $25-$50 per hour.
- Western Europe: $50-$100 per hour.
The next variable is project requirements. Let’s assume you want to get a UI/UX design for a basic Uber-like app. You need both iOS and Android versions. It’ll take around 245 hours to finish this task.
This means that prices by regions are as follows:
- US and Canada: $12,250-$36,750
- Australia: $12,250-$24,500
- Eastern Europe: $6,125-$12,250
- Western Europe: $12,250-$24,500
Price to create UI/UX design for apps like Uber and Instagram
Let’s dig into possible UI/UX design prices. The best way to do this is to consider a couple of extremely popular apps — full-featured Uber app and Instagram.
As you know, Uber is actually several apps: Uber and Uber Driver. They are both different and have distinct end users. This means that if you want to build an app exactly like Uber, you have to invest in UI design for two apps at once.
The approximate time to create a design for every app (iOS + Android) is the following:
- App for passengers — 214 hours
- App for drivers — 204 hours
- Total — 418 hours
A social network with a focus on visualization simply can’t look bad. Taking into account Instagram’s complexity and overall number of screens, we’ll get the following timeframes:
- iOS app — 215 hours
- Android app — 150 hours
- Total — 365 hours
To get an approximate price in dollars, multiply these numbers by rates I’ve mentioned earlier.