• info@redbytes.co.uk
  • +44 7799722298

App Development Cost- Design, Development, Deployment

Monday January 28, 2019

blog image

2019 started with Apple’s iTunes store totalling an app count of approximately 2.2 million. The Android play store accounted for around 2.8 million apps on its platform. Both Apple and Android are expected to double, if not quadruple their app counts in the next two years.

 

app development cost

 

With one quick glance that the current statistics of these two app stores one identifies that together, both platforms are holding on to apps with a combined valuation in millions of dollars.

 

This indicates the pace at which the mobile app economy is growing and expanding.

 

With the demand quotient at an all time high for mobile apps, app developers are now more open to trying out new concepts in mobile apps, with innovative features which will eventually offer the brand tangible value, make it popular and help in generating revenue.

 

This brings us directly to the question of how the demand for mobile apps is impacting its cost of design, development and deployment.

 

Factors Impacting the Cost of App Development

 

Although there is no standardized formula that is able to accurately estimate the generic cost of app development, one rule that most app developing organisations tend to follow is:

 

(App Feature X Time) X Hourly Rate = App Development Cost

 

An approximate estimate of the number of hours that may be required to build an app:

 

 

Apart from the number of hours, the location of where the app is being designed and developed also plays a critical role in determining its cost.

 

Let’s take a look at a country-wise average cost of developing a mobile app:

 

 

The next factor that can also influence the cost of the mobile app is – ‘the who’ – which basically is dependent of the size of the firm that is developing the app.

 

 

Thus, the factors that influence the pricing of developing the app can be categorized under:

 

Discovery or Pre-Planning
  • App Purpose
  • App Platform

 

Design
  • Visual Complexity

 

Development
  • Hardware Features
  • Technical Complexity
  • Data Storage on the App
  • Points of Integration
  • App Security

 

Testing and Deployment
  • App Testing
  • App Deployment
  • Legalities and Licensing
  • Support and Maintenance

 

Discovery or Pre-Planning

 

Before your app development team embarks on the Visual Design stage, the initial foundation that lays the ground work is basing the app having thoroughly researched the marked with multiple brainstorming sessions.

 

Typical questions that need to be answered at this juncture are:

  • The aim and objective of developing the app
  • Target audience
  • Platforms where you wish to stage the app
  • If the app is going to be available free or cost or paid

 

At the Pre-Planning or Discovery Stage, the cost is estimated to be approximately in the range of:

 

Cost range less than $5,000 $5k – $10k $10k-15k $15k-25k $25k+
Percentage 51% 22% 7% 7% 13%

 

Visual Idea to Development Handoff

 

As the teams developing the app move towards the Visual Design stage, only 32% tend to spend less than $5000. However, around 9% may venture to assign a budget of over $50,000 on the app’s visual design. The majority at 60% vacillate between $5000 and $50,000 budget.

 

The estimated cost of the design phase may be:

 

Cost range less than $5,000 $5k – $10k $10k-15k $15k-25k $25-50k $50k+
Percentage      32% 17% 14% 13% 16% 8%

 

The Visual design of the App is divided in two key phases: User-Experience Design and User-Interface Design.

 

User-Experience design simply put is the mobile user experience (UX) design that provides a series of designs aimed to generate positive experiences during the usage of mobile devices. Critical elements form a part of the overall UX, including:

  • Information Architecture is a process that assists in the decision to select the type of data and functionality that will be represented and organised within the mobile application – in layman’s terms – a list of features that the app needs to perform along with what will be visually displayed on the screen. This is the foundation of the app upon which the wireframes will be based upon.
  • Wireframes is typically designing the screens along with the assigning of functionality and data.
  • Workflows are about designing the routes through which the users are able to navigate on the app.

 

User-Interface design or UI involves the graphical and touch sensitive display on a mobile device.

 

It allows the user to understand the features, content and functionality of the app through a series of interactions. The key elements of UI design include:

  • Style Guides that are the building blocks of the overall app design, impacting its usability.
  • Rendered designs is basically the process of adapting the wireframes and substituting the greyscale components with the chosen components of the style guide.

 

Post the design phase, most apps at this stage will undergo some form of testing before being handed off to the development team for further enhancements and realising the overall vision of the app.

 

App Development

 

The app will go through a number of phases as your development team proceeds towards building the backend of the prototype. Let’s take a look at the key phases:

  • Alpha phase is the stage where the core functionality of the app is present; but it is yet to undergo testing. Generally, the app at this phase has multiple bugs and the non-core functionalities of the app are absent.
  • Beta phase is the stage where the majority of proposed functionalities and features have been integrated into the app. Some light testing and bug fixing are usually performed. However, issues may still exist. The app, at this phase may be released to a select group of external uses for more intensive testing.
  • Post Beta phase is the stage where although the bugs have been fixed, the app is ready to be shifted to the release candidate stage.

 

The team, in order to release the app should have set up developer accounts on app stores where the app in intended for publication.

 

It is important that you take into consideration several key factors including multi-tasking, form factor, device and OS fragmentation. Incorporating functionalities and features is going to be pointless unless you ascertain that the app is indeed compatible with the majority of smart phones.

 

Since the development stage is a critical aspect of the entire app development procedure, it is important to know what you may encounter in terms of cost at this phase.

 

Cost
  Range
less than $5,000 $5k – $10k $10k-20k $20k-30k $30k+
Percentage            9% 33% 25% 17% 15%

 

Launching the App

 

Before launching the app, there are two stages – testing followed by deployment.

  • App Testing often is a good idea while going through multiple processes of developing the mobile app. Adhering to this form of checking aims to keep the cost under control as bug fixing can be an expensive affair as your app goes deeper into the app development cycle. Always refer to the original design and development plan whilst structuring the test cases. Re-test even cleared features and functionalities prior to the launch.

Testing phase should typically include the following:

  • Usability testing
  • Compatibility testing
  • Interface testing
  • Services testing
  • Low level resource testing
  • Performance testing
  • Operational testing
  • Security testing

 

Deployment of the app may be done by selecting a day to formally launch the app by publishing it on the various app stores.

 

Do bear in mind that the app stores will abide by their individual policies for launching the app. By publishing the app does in no way signify that the journey of app development has ended.

 

In fact, this is the start of the post launch phase where the app will require continuous support and maintenance once it is in the hands of the end users.

 

With feedback pouring in, you may require new features and functionalities to be developed, bug fixing on a regular basis, etc.

 

To ensure that the future versions of your app is catering to the demands of your target audience, have adequate resources ready to maintain the product.

 

The estimated cost for testing and deployment may be approximately:

 

Cost range less than $5,000 $5k – $10k $10k-15k $15k-25k $25k+
Percentage 32% 31% 14% 12% 11%

 

The most important thing to remember when building the mobile app that whilst you may have invested funds in a digital product, the commitment towards it has to be long-term.


 

Got a new mobile app idea?

Mail

Call Us

WhatsApp

Portfolio