Design for mobile applications
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Design for mobile applications

The cost of a mobile application design depends on what is meant by the term “application design”. Application design includes a wide range of tasks: studying user behavior, analyzing competition, designing user interaction and UX, designing the interface of a mobile application, graphics, icons and logo – and this is not a complete list.

We have already written about how much it costs to develop an application. Now let’s discuss the average cost of app design – how it will look and be perceived by the user. But first, let’s figure out how we moved from one word “design” to a whole set of phrases describing the design of mobile applications.

What’s included in the design cost

Any good design is directly related to problem solving. Whether you are creating a new product or improving an existing application, making a design means solving a problem.

Some studio clients look at what their competitors are doing and try to replicate it. They do not think that all the features that they are trying to copy may not be effective at all in their case.

Even big players can make bad decisions. Do not think that a loud brand automatically means high quality, especially when you want to apply similar solutions in your projects.

The best approach to solving this problem is preliminary exploration, which brings us to the first step of the workflow.

Analysis of competition and user behavior

If an established business knows its audience and market position, then it is not always possible to say this about startups. They are helped by a product analyst, who is also a business analyst.

It collects publicly available data on market trends and competitors. Financial reports, reviews, sites and applications of analogues, expert opinions, groups on social networks, interviews, etc. – all this helps the product designer with the organization of the product model and the development of hypotheses and is called secondary information. The contribution of the product analyst helps the startup to develop more stable in the future.

When we worked on the first version of app, we studied apps from both direct competitors and other non-cosmetics eCommerce networks. This allowed us to collect many user interface patterns, improve and reuse some of them, and come up with our own.

The mobile design of our apps should appeal to the audience, so we study their behavior, needs and motivation.

Estimated time to analyze competitors and target audience: 20-100 hours
Results: use cases, realistic scenarios of user behavior, user wishes.
Tools Used: User Characters, A / B Test Results, Case Study Users, Common Sense.


The next step in the workflow is prototyping and user experience development. During this stage, we structure our ideas so that the users of the product are comfortable working with it. Navigation within the application should be smooth and logical, and the transition from one step to another should be imperceptible.

The prototyping process can involve multiple iterations. Hone application prototyping from iteration to iteration to create the best UX can take longer than you think. But a careful approach to prototyping saves your budget. The reason is that having prototypes in hand by the time the project enters the development stage, the team will have a holistic structure necessary to work on specific functions.

One of the biggest risk factors throughout the life of a project is the variability of user requirements. Absolutely everyone – business analysts, iOS and Android developers, designers, project managers, and the customer – are working on creating a prototype together, and it should suit everyone. So we recognize and extinguish in advance the controversial moments that may arise during the development of the application – which means that we are less likely to run out of budget.

Estimated prototyping time: 40 to 170 hours.
Results: application screen layouts, custom application use cases, interactive prototypes.
Tools used: Sketch, Marvel, Principle, Overflow.

Visual design

If app design is about solving problems, then visual design is about communication. Visual design, often referred to as user interface (UI) design, gradually tells the user about a product as they navigate from one screen to the next.

Design is about creating the look of a product and how it feels; it is both the correct selection of colors and shapes, and communication through typography. The text in the application should be easy to read and the application itself should look nice. Finding the best way to display many different types of content at the same time takes creativity. Designers who do it usually have at least several years of experience behind them.

Mobile application design development

Our UI team works both with the appearance of the user interface and with what functions it will perform in response to the user’s touch, so we create not only static objects, but also animation and movement.

Mobile app designers decide how the menu should go, where to swipe to activate a particular function, and how to return to the profile page. The Yodel app helps managers find performers for their tasks. Creating a task includes many parameters, and in order not to overload one screen, we split this process into several. The transition to each next screen is accompanied by the “Next” button. Then, in 2016, it was most often located in the upper right corner of the screen and it was constantly necessary to reach for it. We thought of placing it right above the keyboard, which increased the usability. Now it is already a popular pattern, but at that time almost no one used it.

Creation of mobile application design

It is important to understand that visual design and brand are related to each other. Visual design is a holistic style of an application that includes both the logo and the icon and all screens of the application.

App design reflects brand personality. Asking the question “How much does an app logo design cost?” not entirely true, since the logo is only a small element of the brand, and therefore a small component of the design in general. We include the cost of logo and icon design in the total app design price.

Estimated time for visual design of the application: approximately 60-220 hours.
Results: Final product design, including app logo, icons and screenshots for app stores.
Tools used: Sketch, Adobe, Principle.

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