How to Calculate a Product Design Cost 3 How to Calculate a Product Design Cost
Review: 5- 5 5 How to Calculate a Product Design Cost

How to Calculate a Product Design Cost

22 December
11 min read
How to Calculate a Product Design Cost 4

Each time you have an inspired idea for a new product, you need to come up with a plan and foresee all the problems it should solve and design features it’s going to get, etc. What also should cross your mind is your product design cost estimate, and how much it will cost in the end. So, our next point for discussion is how to deal with it. Experience allows people at professional studios to understand how much time it will take for a particular project and the possibility of some difficulties, or risks, which means understanding how much this work may actually cost in the end.

How to Calculate a Product Design Cost 5
Created by Fireart Studio

4 Important Things Included in Product Design Cost

More often, designers, studios or agencies revise their prices for services, depending on macro factors like the economic situation in the state, in the world, etc. The price may depend on several micro factors that affect directly or indirectly like you only need a design from scratch or redesign, branding or rebranding, who is the customer, who is the designer, the urgency of the project, the amount of work, the time needed and so on. The product design cost will not be the same for the amount of work, different in complexity, deadlines or other. However, averagely, product design cost includes four important things. Here they are:

1.     Product Discovery

Product Discovery is a qualitative and quantitative product research, a deep research funnel. Discovery is an activity that helps determine if a product is needed in the market and why. Through continuous research, you observe an endless cycle of product development: you analyse data, find a problem, test ideas, get a result and learn a lesson. Since designers spend time for the process, it should also be estimated.

2.     UX Design

UX / UI design is the design of convenient, understandable and aesthetic user interfaces. UX design particularly is responsible for the user experience of working with the application or website interface. UX design is not only about the beauty. It is all about an easy and intuitive user journey and high functionality.

3.     UI Design

When we pass over to the UI, UI design will rather be the design of buttons, application forms or input fields, which are all points of user interaction with the product you build. If UX is mainly the process, then UI is a tool and it deserves a good investment.

4.     Usability Testing

Of course, there’s no good product design without test. Usability testing should also be included into your estimation because a testing method establishes the degree of learnability, usability, comprehensibility, and attractiveness of the product for users in the context of given terms for the developed product.

How much does Product Design Cost?

So, the product design cost estimate price may vary from company to company because of various factors, and product design will cost differently from market to market. Here are some examples:

Development companies

The rates for full-service design plus engineering companies are similar to design studios. Still, they will range from $100 USD up to $450 USD per hour, which also depends on who you hire, where they will be located, what market sectors they serve, and their track record and the network they may leverage on your behalf.

Design studios

More prominent design companies and studious charge significantly more than freelancers. You’ll pay anywhere from $3,000 to $50,000+ to have a design company or agency design your logo or branding, create illustrations or anything. Or create a product design, app or web UX/UI.


Freelance designers, design firms, and agencies may charge anywhere from $5 to $100,000+ to create a high quality product design.  For example, individual freelance designers may charge anywhere from $5 to $10,000+ to design a company logo, but it will be fully customized individual order, exclusively made as per the most sophisticated demands.

Here’s also some gradation by region retrieved from Northell:

Eastern Europe

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How to Calculate a Product Design Cost 7

Latin America

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Product Design Average Timeline

The clients can understand that the quality of the design depends on the time spent on it. And if the horizon of their expectations for the quality of design is comparable to expensive, famous studios, then you need to allocate twice, five times more time for the work of a designer. The design of any new product is quite a time-consuming process, especially if you want to have a great design. So, the average working timeline will also vary:

Small Project

For example, it will take up to 6 months to create an actual new product or a start-up, yet in a category where the company already has some considerable experience. There may be tasks, when the performer does not have a clear idea or sample for work; they are evaluated individually by both the designer and the customer. This may be a new mobile device by an established smartphone company or similar. A totally new product released by a developing or start-up company will be designed in 9 – 12 months. Product discovery: 30-60 hours, UX design: 60-90 hours, UI design: 50-100 hours, Usability Testing: 40 hours.

Middle-Sized Project

Mid-sized companies normally already have a clearly formulated product idea and a list of basic requirements. Product discovery: 60-120 hours, UX design: 120-200 hours, UI design: 110-220 hours, Usability Testing: 40-80 hours.

Averagely, most full service design projects will take at least 6 months to complete all the phases, and often times longer depending on the project’s scale. If we take some middle sized project timeline, it may be as long as a year and a half including testing, fixing bugs and maintenance. It’s important to factor this into your desired completion date.

Enterprise size Project

Consequently, the design team that works with an enterprise-level project will take a lot more of time to explore a niche, search the market, conduct business analysis, create wireframes,  then conduct testing, etc. In addition, the final product has an inalienable copyright, which also distinguishes it from serial, similar orders. It is for these reasons that, in addition to the complexity of the product and the competitiveness of the market, the author’s arbitrariness intervenes in the cost calculations. Product discovery: 120-240 hours, UX design: 200-500 hours, UI design: 400-600 hours, Usability Testing: 80 hours.

How Much Time & Money Does It Take To Develop A New Product?

So, to develop a new product from scratch, you will spend for the product development alone usually from $10,000 to over $10 million, but that figure may fluctuate quite a bit depending on the scale of the project and other factors. But for most cases, the range for launching a new product is somewhere between $20,000 and $500,000 averagely. However, the cost varies significantly depending on the industry, type of product, competition, and the goals you’re hoping to achieve, which are those other factors that should be estimated to prevent surprise expenses. By breaking down your expenses by each investment stage, you’ll be better prepared to fund your project without any significant loss.

Key Factors That Affect the Final Price

Major factors affecting price determination of product will be the following: 1. Project size, 2. Project complexity, 3, Tech stack, 4. Team level, and 5. Cooperation model.

Project size

Project size plays a vital role because it actually defines the final product cost and is the key for effective determining the product design price.

Project complexity

Project complexity unusually refers to the level of the product logic. Also, the complexity can be the design itself when a product needs to have some custom fonts, icons, images, or other sophisticated elements, etc. Since UX / UI linearly affect the usability of your product, don’t neglect the complexity issues while calculating the cost.

Tech stack

Businesses that want to add advanced technology opportunities to the product should know that they will need extra money for the chosen technology stack. Extra features require improving brand identity, client loyalty, or other aspects of the business. The design cost will be cheaper in case you desire a standard product with a minimal set of features. And quite on the opposite when you pick a complex scalable project.


Product design & development cost will also depend on the region where your contractor is located. Analysed by regions, countries in Eastern Europe are the most profitable option for hiring a design team. The IT community there speaks English, which fuels a thriving technology industry as there are no communication barriers, etc.

Team level

The more designers you hire have worked in their industry niche, the more they are valued, have needful experience and the higher the product design cost will be because if you need seniors then you pay up for their expertise. View the portfolio of recently completed projects, to find out how experienced the team is.

Cooperation model

Normally design companies offer either fixed price or time & material (T&M) cooperation model to contract the client. Also, find out more on Fireart pricing models and IT outsourcing costs.

For more project cost estimation details, read How to Estimate Software Development Cost.

Why do you need a Product Design Team?

The team that your chosen product design and development services may offer you will be your back up no matter what, especially if you are not keen on anything like design, technology or UX/UI, etc. in fact, an experienced team will help you with your project estimation too, they will provide both optimistic and pessimistic estimates and decide on the best way to deliver the project as per your requirements. To align the work utmost first:

  1. When ordering a design, try to determine how much time the designer needs for it.
  2. Calculate how much a chosen designer earns per month, per day.
  3. Multiply the number of days it takes to complete your order by the designer’s daily earnings.

This is how you may get a general order value for each design piece like illustration, motion design or a logo, etc. This is an elementary formula of cost calculation that will give you an idea of how the costs are formed and then it will be easier for you to make head or tail of bigger scope estimations.

Using a suitable form of payment, risks are minimized and good relations are built between the client and the designer. In the studio a fixed fee and a T&M models are used, but when hourly rate is appropriate, you may also count on that.
Do not forget to discover more about CTO as a service.


Business experience allows people at professional studios like Fireart to understand how much time it will take for a particular project and the possibility of some difficulties, or risks, which means understanding how much this work may actually cost in the end. Many different factors may affect the end cost of the project. The key things that will influence the costs of your design will be project size, complexity, tech stack, team experience and the model they use for cooperation. Each project is unique, and the best option is always a custom design and development estimation approach.


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