The question we receive the most within Commercial is: how much does it cost to create an application? It might sound a little frustrating, but the best answer we have to this question is something like this:
It depends! An app can cost from R$50,000 to R$500,000. Which makes the question meaningless, don’t you agree? Although the same happens when it comes to building a house, buying a car and other things whose price variation can be pretty significant.
So, to answer this question with the least assertiveness, we have to cascade other questions to the leads, all seeking a greater understanding of the application requirements validation stage within the organization.
Considering this relationship between the cost of building an app and the app’s characteristics, in this post, to help you measure this value, we will understand how to arrive at the decisions you need to make this calculation.
Complexity Level: Primary, Medium Or High?
We often hear things like: “we just want a little app” or “how much does an app like food or Uber cost?”.
So when we ask if the app is essential, medium or complex, we want to understand the project’s level of complexity. But this question, as you will see, will depend on several factors, which we will see below:
Features And Functionalities
Will there be a user login and user profile? Will the app archive documents? Will there be an area for exchanging messages, such as a chat or bot? Is it a shopping app and needs payment platform integrations? Will it send push notifications to users? Will it have animations, audio and videos? Will it make geolocations, or will it have integration with Google Maps? Will it work offline or only online?
All these are features available in apps that we know and love to use and that make them more straightforward or complex, whether in terms of development time or the solutions required to implement them.
Each feature has a development time and a production cost. So, knowing the elements your app will have will help you define how much it costs to create the app.
Interface And Design
How many different screens will your app have? And the layout? And what will the user experience be like during use? And the icons, brand, wireframes and logo?
We’re talking about UI design and how the app will be customized to have its own identity. The entire user flow within the app and branding goes from screen to screen, back and accessing the menu, for example, is designed before development.
Of course, more rigid designs, without so many variations, for example, can cost less but be less attractive to users. The number of screens will also cause the price to vary.
So, will the app be Android, iOS or hybrid? And if it’s both, which platform will you start with? And more: will the application have a web version?
The development cost varies according to the platforms, requiring other programming languages and tools, which usually implies different teams.
Backend And Admin Infrastructure
We have already talked about the importance of data analysis for decision-making. What parameters will you want to analyze to track user activity within the app? The custom creation of a dashboard or dashboard that brings together all this data for app administrators, in addition to being functional, can also impact the final value of the app.
Maintenance And Updates
Unfortunately, the costs of an app don’t end once it’s been delivered and released. According to Think Mobiles, the cost of maintaining an app is about 20% of the development cost per year.
If you’ve released an MVP, additional features and upgrades are on your near horizon and will have to be included in your budget, so you don’t have any surprises.