How to estimate a mobile app development project?

published in Business, Tutorials
by Natalia Arciszewska

Do you want to develop your own mobile app, but not know how to estimate a mobile app development project? It all depends on the features, complexity and the selected platform. The price of a small application with basic functionality ranges from €8,931 to €44,653. Read on to find out more about estimating a mobile app.

Step 1: is this project new or a continuation?

mobile app development

The software development company needs to know whether the mobile project has already been started and to what stage. Introduce as much precise information as possible to the development team. Formulate the mission and purpose of the application and define the target group. In addition, remember to create:

  • lists of necessary tasks and functions of the mobile application at hand,
  • application maps (this is the planned cycle for application development presented in a timeline). The application map will enable the development company to define the time and resources necessary for carrying out the project,
  • mockups (these are outlined application interfaces that allow the apps functionality to be defined),
  • prototypes (these are interactive application interfaces).

Step 2: make important decisions

how to estimate a mobile app development project?

The choice of a mobile application is bound to determining the appropriate platform for it (iOS, Android). The cost of developing applications for iOS or Android is similar. Decide whether the application should be developed simultaneously for both platforms, which will save time that the developers would otherwise have to allocate to the two separate application versions. An alternative to creating both applications at the same time is to use Ionic, which will allow you to develop the same code base for both platforms. In addition, don’t forget about the server infrastructure that will support your application. A back-end is necessary if the application will save user information. This is a more expensive and time-consuming solution.


software development company

Next, it is time to select the best technology for the application’s development. This is an important planning step, because application performance depends on the chosen technology. Choose a technology that will give you many options. Kotlin has recently been gaining popularity, while Swift is the most preferred language for creating iOS applications.

Do not forget about design. Users are more likely to use applications that are intuitive and easy to use. The appearance of the application itself is also important, but users will pay more attention to the size and intuitive layout of the icons. If you already have a planned design, give the software development company a mock-up with a list of functionalities, and if you are still planning out the look of the application, think about a simple design or dedicated UX / UI application (graphics work costs an average of €40 – €60  / hour).

Step 3: choose additional functions

estimating a mobile app

Specify what the mobile application should be integrated with. For example, you can enable users to:

  • log in via email and/or social networks,
  • make in-app purchases (additional products, services, subscriptions, premium features),
  • make in-app payments for purchased goods and services,
  • synchronize accounts between devices and platforms,
  • chat or send direct messages to the company through the application.

estimating mobile app

The choice of connections depends on the functions that your application should fulfil. Some functions are more time-consuming and expensive. It is important not to introduce superfluous functions beyond the necessary functionality of the application. It is best to start with a minimum of functions (in accordance with the MVP approach), which will form the foundation of the application. Additional functions can be added later.

Step 4: define a budget

Estimate app cost

Launching an application requires raising capital. You can raise funds from external investors or through crowdfunding (e.g. Kickstarter). Plan a budget so that the software developer can determine whether the desired functionalities of your application will be adequately funded. Developers will provide you with detailed information regarding opportunities within a given budget and additional project costs. The development budget of the mobile application should include, among other things, costs that will be incurred for functionality, design and infrastructure. The costs incurred for application functionality can consume a significant portion of the budget.

How to estimate a mobile app development project?

If you want to know the answer to this most irksome question: how to estimate a mobile app development project, you should go through all four steps to estimate the project of the mobile application. Remember that an accurate presentation of the project will allow the software developer to make a more accurate estimate, while an attractive application prototype will attract investors. If in doubt, do not be afraid to ask questions and contact programmers who will dispel your doubts.

Natalia Arciszewska

Natalia is our marketing manager, who takes care of Zaven's blog and social media. She is taking her first steps as a blogger now! In private: she loves good movies and traveling.

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