I have been designing mobile apps for close to 4 years now and I am often asked why is the pricing so expensive. There are a lot of factors that come into play when I am given an estimate for someone's app which will eventually drive the price up.
The mobile app has been evolving in a rapid manner over the last few years. The process of designing and developing these apps has become more complicated as well which is why it can be difficult for small businesses to afford the high costs associated with this process.
The following are 8 reasons why mobile app design is so expensive:
1) Mobile App Design Requires Expertise
It takes time and experience to learn how to design an effective mobile application that will appeal to users on different platforms, including iOS and Android.
2) Complex Programming Requirements
Developing a successful app requires highly skilled programmers who know how to write code that meets the needs of each platform's unique specifications.
3) Time-Consuming Testing Process
Since apps are so versatile, they need to be tested on a variety of mobile devices and operating systems. This process can stretch out months or even years depending on the speed at which technology changes and new platforms emerge.
4) Ongoing Maintenance Costs
Once an app is published, it requires ongoing maintenance as bugs may arise or updates to existing platforms might require small design tweaks that must be implemented by designers and programmers.
5) Multimedia Elements
Applications often include more than just text when they are designed for a specific function or idea. For example, if you want your app to help users play chess then it will also have to include images of chess pieces in order to look attractive.
6) Distribution Costs (App Stores)
Even once an app is complete and ready to be distributed, there are additional costs associated with getting it into the hands of actual users. Apple recently changed its policies regarding app developers who want their work in the App Store which means that designers must now pay a fee to have each new version approved (this can cost up to $600). Distribution costs can also vary based on whether or not an app has in-app purchases.
7) Marketing Costs
Once an app is available for download, another set of expenses come into play as well – marketing. Mobile apps need to be marketed just like traditional products if they're going to attract attention from potential customers and fulfill the purpose that made them so expensive in the first place.
8) Highly Competitive Market
Even though the mobile app market is still growing, competition for new apps and innovative takes on existing ones is extremely intense and you can find that out by doing competitive analysis. Investing in a design that does not attract users will result in an app that's quickly deleted from smartphones and tablets so even if you choose to invest relatively little in your initial design, it could be quickly overshadowed by companies who are willing to spend more money on their product.
This makes mobile app development an expensive process but also one of the most important. Even though there may be other options available, such as creating custom apps through web platforms or having someone else develop the application, they often do not provide all of the functionality needed which can make them less useful than originally intended.
Small businesses might not be able to afford the high costs of mobile app design, but they do have other options. For example, a company can use web platforms or hire someone else to develop their own application if they're willing to give up some functionality in return for saving money.