How Much Does It Cost to Design a Mobile App: Instagram and Uber Examples

Updated 16 Dec 2022

10 Min



The point is this: similar-looking apps flood the application marketplaces. For example, there are more than 1,8 million apps in the App Store, and Google Play offers about 2,47 million apps. So, if you want to get a top-class interface, you should invest money in your mobile app design price. Why is it so important?

People might be attracted by application functionality, but the design is the very thing that makes them hold attention to your app for a long time. Working through the app user interface/user experience (UI/UX) features, you can understand the customers’ problems and solve them to build a best-selling software. On top of that, you can leave your business competitors far behind with the help of exceptional design.

But how much time will UI/UX creation require? How does the design creating process go? And the essential thing, how much does it cost to design a mobile app? In the article, we’ll answer these questions and present the estimated app design wages of such well-known apps as Instagram and Uber.

The Stages of UI/UX Design Process

To define the development stages and the app design cost, you should choose a mobile application type:

Native Mobile Apps

Such applications are built up for Android and iOS specifically. That’s why they can function quickly and flawlessly on a picked platform only. Though native mobile app development requires much time, money, and people resources creating several versions for different operating systems. Note that cost to build an app like Instagramwill be less if you'll turn to a cross-platform solution.

Web Applications

If you want to obtain a lower mobile app design cost with qualitative results like for native applications, you may choose web apps. They can look like native ones but function with the mobile browser's help without installing on the user's gadget. Thus, they can be combined with several platforms and updated immediately.

Cross-platform solutions

They can mix the features of native apps and web ones. That’s why cross-platform apps are quick and easy to maintain. So, their application design cost is also lower than for native mobile apps.

Now, after an app type has been chosen, let’s concentrate on the workflow. App design is commonly represented by a user interface and user experience. But every software development team or company works on its creation differently. We’ll illustrate below how the software companies create design through the Cleveroad workflow example.

Stage #1. Immersive Research

At the beginning of the UI/UX development process, our design specialists analyze the competition, business objectives, and target audience of the upcoming product. This way, the team identifies the users’ needs to create the future design adapted to them. After an information gathering, the UI/UX specialists start developing an app design.

Stage #2. Building up Wireframes

It should be noted first that every software development company should have a specification or set of requirements for wireframes building. A wireframe is represented as a conceptual scheme of all the elements placed on the app’s screen. It helps users realize the future look of the app and offer their amendments.

Cleveroad team builds several design models per request using the InVision design platform, Figma, and Zeplin. The customers also can follow it and comment on the process or choose the most attractive design sample according to the situation. So, the wireframes can serve as a fast instrument for creating a solution visualization. Moreover, they are efficient and easily changeable.

Design app wireframe

Wireframing process at Cleveroad

Stage #3. Prototyping

Prototypes are the model sets of the app’s final look, which serve as the basis for the whole UI development. Each application screen is prototyped separately.

Let’s view the UI/UX creation peculiarities according to mobile operating systems and gadgets where the app will be used. The experts usually start preparing the UI design version for iOS and Android for the project intended both for two platforms. UI/UX versions for tablets, phones, and other devices are created together with the main design but estimated individually.

At this stage, the customers can also offer their amendments, give feedback in InVision or Figma, and choose which prototype is the most appropriate for their application. Cleveroad, as most companies, can provide clickable or static prototypes upon your request.

The other stages consist of building up graphic elements such as icons and illustrations or preparing complex animations and individual evaluation of mobile UI design costs.

Mobile app UI design

App user interface design process at Cleveroad

App Design Costs By Region

How much is it to design an app in different countries? Each IT company evaluates the processes differently, but most companies follow this evaluation sample:

hourly rate х number of hours spent = application design charge.

Imagine that you develop an Uber-similar solution, outsourcing the design features to Estonia. Some approximate estimates: 246h (max time for design) x $50 (Estonian hourly mean wage) = $12,300 (for Android and iOS solutions)

Though, you will obtain an Uber app design cost in detail a little later. Now it is time to clarify some important questions. What if the price for building an app interface seems heavy? Qualified UI/UX specialists’ work has to be well-paid because every software expert’s service has a high price tag.

For instance, the cost of top design services may include hourly amounts to $150 in the USA or Canada. That will be up to $36,900 for the Uber-like iOS and Android UI/UX design. Here’s the thing: if you don’t have well-skilled design specialists around (or the app designers cost too high), you can use the services of software development companies abroad. There are a lot of outsourcing companies all over the world that offer high-quality service for affordable price. Central Europe become more and more popular outsourcing destination due to extended talent pool, low taxes, and government support of the IT sphere.

How much does an app designer cost? It depends on the company residence place. So, to assist you in the outsourcing destination choice, we have made up a list of the design wages from different countries on such platforms as GoodFirms or Clutch.

The average design rates by countries:

  • United States, Canada charge $100 - $150/h;
  • Australia gets $100 - $149/h;
  • Western Europe & UK asks for $50 - $99/h;
  • Central Europe delivers great design at $25 - $49/h;
  • India works at $25 - 49/hr

But the best cost should satisfy the best quality. So look for it, investigate the marketplace for a better quality-to-price ratio, and carefully read all the company information. After that, the question of how much does app design cost will not be so sharp, and you'll be able to avoid unexpected moments.

Picking a trustworthy service provider, do the following steps:

  • Examine the portfolio of the chosen firm as well as app design company cost
  • Observe company reviews published on GoodFirms, Clutch or IT Firms
  • Discuss the cooperation experience with the company’s prior clients
  • Check confidentiality matters (signing NDA, etc.)

Work with a foreign partner? Have a look at our comprehensive guide to choose software development company!

Uber and Instagram: Design Cost Evaluation

Among the most influential apps of the decade, Instagram and Uber take pride of place in their innovative UI/UX design. For this reason, we will look in detail at these solutions. Furthermore, you’ll figure out their app design pricing for every screen.


Founded in 2011, Uber changed from a locally known San Francisco taxi service to a global transportation system. During the fourth quarter of 2020, Uber had made over 1.44 billion trips.

What is the reason for such popularity? Thanks to their intelligent and straightforward app interface, taxi calling activity turns into a video game, and the users love it very much.

Moreover, by creating an easy-to-use interface, Uber has cared about both the passengers and drivers. Though, all the complexity is hidden inside the app.

Our business analysts gave time estimations for creating a UI/UX design of both Uber apps – for riders and drivers.

Uber UI/UX design evaluation:

PlatformPassenger appDriver app







The data indicated above shows approximately the design building time for Android and iOS operating systems. There is no admin panel info because it is usually represented just by a web version.

The designers usually create the entire UI/UX interface for one operating system (generally, iOS) and then adapt it for the second (Android). According to such information, the Android interface takes 60-70% less time than iOS.

Here is the total detailed estimation of Uber’s UI from the business analysts of our company. Check it out!

It is also a rough calculation because the precise wages are influenced by UI/UX interface complexity. At the same time, the MVP version design will be cheaper.

Now, let’s check how much Uber’s iOS and Android app design cost in different regions:

  • US/Canada. $20,900 - $62,700
  • Australia. $20,900 - $62,700
  • Western Europe. $20,900 - $41,800
  • Central Europe. $10,450 - $20,900
  • India $8,360 - $20, 482


If the application is oriented to graphic content, its UI/UX interface can’t be poorly created. So, the Instagram designers acted responsibly, investigating users’ psychology, art, and science. And the result is that the app has an average of 4.5/5 stars due to its well-worked design. Moreover, the users love it despite bugs, improvements, and crashes.

The time estimation of Instagram UI/UX interface development:






Here is the average app design cost for Instagram-like solution estimated for specific countries:

  • US/Canada. $18,250 - $54,750
  • Australia. $18,250 - $54,750
  • Western Europe. $18,250 - $36,500
  • Central Europe. $9,125 - $18,250
  • India $5,300 - $17,885

Look through the detailed evaluation of an Instagram UI from our business analysts.

Our Expertise

Cleveroad is a professional software development company located in Central Europe - one of the most famous outsourcing destinations due to its reasonable software creation rates. For over 10+ years of experience, we have been helping businesses of various industries deliver custom UX/UI design services.

Our design specialists start working from the very beginning of the application building to launching the final product. Our team conducts Research, Wireframing, Visual style, Design, and Delivery ensuring top quality through all the steps.

Our UI/UX design service includes the following:

  • Eye-catching mobile design for all screen sizes and platforms.
  • Client-centered web design for various devices in FullHD quality to ensure page load optimization and site responsiveness.
  • App wireframing and prototyping, mockup creation, sketching, and other design services applying latest UI/UX practices.
  • Wireframing and prototyping, mockup creation, sketching, and other design services. The latest UI/UX practices to deliver a product that helps reach business goals and satisfy user needs.
  • UI/UX consulting from professionals with an in-depth understanding of business needs.

To demonstrate our design specialists' work results, we want to share one of our recent work - peer-to-peer ridesharing app. The platform link riders and drivers throughout the region and helping establish transportation for disabled or injured people.

Working at such an Uber-like solution, our designers strived to make its interface user-friendly, convenient to use, and easy to navigate. The system can display all available automobiles for consumers on a map in a set distance surrounding their present location in real-time mode. After arranging a trip with a particular driver, the passenger may use the map to follow the driver's car's progress. Furthermore, consumers are informed of the situation via timely notifications.

RetailOps screens

See more MoveUP screens

Thanks to the given example, you can see that the exceptional design and the correct approach may help you gain success and constant popularity for your product.

Want to see more of our works? Take a look at our portfolio! Or check Dribble and Behance accounts to see our brand-new shots and works.

Frequently Asked Questions

It relates to the complexity of the upcoming project. For example, such apps as Uber or Instagram can take up to 400+ hours to build a high-quality design.

Though, the initial MVP interface will be ready in a few working days.

Use this formula for the cost calculation: hourly rate х number of hours spent = app design cost.

For instance, if you need UI/UX app design close to Uber's and your designer charges $50 per hour x 246h (max design time) = $12,300 (UI/UX design of iOS and Android apps).

Hourly rates often depend on the designers' location. For example, in the United States and Canada, UI/UX designers charge $100 - $150 per hour. European designers work for $50 - $99/hr while in India UI/UX design services cost $25 - 49/hr. So, the question of an app designer cost for an hour is clarified.

We follow these steps:

  • Step #1: Research
  • Step #2: Creating wireframes
  • Step #3: Building a prototype
  • Step #4: Handing the project over to developers
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About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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Amelia Richardson
04.08.2021 at 09:13

Thanks for sharing this informative post!!And I am clear with “How much does it cost to design a mobile app” great job!!

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