How to Make a Desktop Application

A Guide to Organizing a Development Project 

ScienceSoft has been developing desktop applications for multiple platforms since 1989.

How to Make a Desktop Application - ScienceSoft
How to Make a Desktop Application - ScienceSoft

Desktop Application Development: Key Points

  • Organization steps: Discovery, Project planning, Software design and planning, UX and UI design, Development and Testing, Launch and Evolution.
  • Talents needed: Business consultant, Project manager, Software architect, UX designer, UI designer, Software developer, DevOps engineer, QA specialist.
  • Sourcing models: All in-house, Team augmentation, Partial outsourcing, Full outsourcing.
  • Development frameworks ScienceSoft recommends: Qt, .NET Core.
  • Costs: From $40,000 to $400,000 (cost factors below).

ScienceSoft is ready to provide all the necessary talents, who cover all development steps, and helps to effectively optimize development costs.

Steps for Organizing Desktop Application Development

Having successfully managed and delivered over 3,000 software development projects, ScienceSoft outlines the following steps to organizing desktop app development:




Project planning


Software design and planning


UX and UI design


Development and testing


Launch and evolution

Consider ScienceSoft’s Professional Services for Desktop Application Development

With over 33 years of experience in building desktop software, ScienceSoft offers professional consulting on and development of desktop applications.

Consulting on desktop app development

  • Desktop app functional scope definition.
  • Project success metrics for stakeholders.
  • Long-term app evolution plan.
  • Risk management plan.
  • Assistance with tech stack definition and methodology choice.
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Desktop app development services

  • Eliciting business requirements and describing the app scope.
  • Formulating functional software requirements.
  • Desktop app architecture design.
  • UX and UI design.
  • Desktop app development and QA.
  • Support and evolution.
See our development services
  • Dedicated C++, .NET, and Python departments.
  • Over 700 talents on board with 7-20 years of experience on average.
  • In-house experts in UX/UI design, QA, DevOps, and other techs.
  • Nearly 400 successful desktop app development projects.
  • Quality-first approach based on a mature ISO 9001-certified quality management system.
  • ISO 27001-certified security management based on comprehensive policies and processes, advanced security technology, and skilled professionals.
  • Our clients are: IBM, Rakuten Viber, eBay, Walmart, NASA JPL, etc.

ScienceSoft has worked with us to develop a library application for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. They suggested and implemented a multi-platform framework that minimized development costs. We have continued iterating on that application and adding new features over several years, and ScienceSoft's developers have been great at implementing the designs that we give them, as well as suggesting ideas themselves. They produce good code, they are quick to respond, detail-oriented, and a very good value for our money.

Mike Todd, CTO, OneBookShelf

Typical Roles in ScienceSoft's Desktop App Development Projects

Business consultant

Analyzes business needs, describes the project scope, composes high-level desktop app requirements, takes part in creating a project management plan.

Project manager

Creates a project management plan, composes detailed documentation, keeps track of the development deliverables and deadlines, manages the project team.

Software/Systems architect

Contributes to composing detailed documentation, provides architectural and engineering oversight of a desktop app development project.

UX designer

Performs UX research, drafts UX wireframes, and adjusts them during UX testing.

UI designer

Transforms final UX wireframes into UI design mockups, fixes mockups until final approval.

Software developer

Delivers code for the desktop app, performs code review, fixes issues on QA’s notices.

DevOps engineer

Responsible for the automation of a desktop app development and delivery.

QA specialist

Conducts the necessary tests to ensure application consistency with the project quality standards and SRS, logs testing outcomes.

Sourcing Models of Desktop App Development

Cost reduction

ScienceSoft's developers help to achieve 50%+ project cost reduction by leveraging cross-platform tools, Agile approach, and development best practices.

High-end results

Our desktop apps are praised by BBC and Telegraph, used by billions of users worldwide, and streamline workflows of enterprises in 30+ industries. 

Full transparency

We agree on a custom set of KPIs for your project, deliver weekly demos, and provide Jira access to let you see how your project is progressing.

Development Frameworks ScienceSoft Recommends for Building Desktop Apps

For its desktop app development projects, ScienceSoft usually leverages these trusted and robust tools:


Best for: multi-platform development


  • Widget toolkit for developing cross-platform desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Over 1 million users worldwide in 70+ industries.
  • Used by BMW, LG, Panasonic, Microsoft, Walt Disney Animation Studios, etc.
  • Helped develop such desktop apps as Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, AMD Radeon Graphics.
  • C++ programming.



.NET (.NET Core)

Best for: Windows-only applications


  • Framework for building desktop (Windows, macOS, Linux), web, mobile, and IoT apps.
  • Open-source with 60,000 developers and 3,700 companies contributing to tool’s improvement.
  • Extensively used by Microsoft, General Electric Aviation, Siemens, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • C#, C++ and Python programming.



Other Technologies ScienceSoft Employs in Desktop App Development




15 years



We have delivered WPF-based solutions for a leading market research company and a global leader in image processing.

Programming languages



34 years



ScienceSoft's C++ developers created the desktop version of Viber and an award-winning imaging application for a global leader in image processing.

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10 years



We use Python for rapid development of cross-platform desktop apps.

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19 years





Our C# developers created the world’s largest PLM software. Their recent projects: development of SaaS for vCIO services management and underwriting software for a global aviation insurer.

Databases / data storages


Microsoft SQL Server

Our Microsoft SQL Server-based projects include a BI solution for 200 healthcare centers, the world’s largest PLM software, and an automated underwriting system for the global commercial insurance carrier.


We’ve implemented MySQL for Viber, an instant messenger with 1B+ users, and an award-winning remote patient monitoring software.

Azure SQL Database

Azure SQL Database is great for handling large volumes of data and varying database traffic: it easily scales up and down without any downtime or disruption to the applications. It also offers automatic backups and point-in-time recoveries to protect databases from accidental corruption or deletion.


ScienceSoft's team has implemented Oracle for software products used by GSK and AstraZeneca. We’ve also delivered Oracle-based SCM platform for Auchan, a retail chain with 1,700 stores.


ScienceSoft has used PostgreSQL in an IoT fleet management solution that supports 2,000+ customers with 26,500+ IoT devices. We’ve also helped a fintech startup promptly launch a top-flight BNPL product based on PostgreSQL.


Apache Cassandra

Our Apache Cassandra consultants helped a leading Internet of Vehicles company enhance their big data solution that analyzes IoT data from 600,000 vehicles.

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Apache Hive

ScienceSoft has helped one of the top market research companies migrate its big data solution for advertising channel analysis to Apache Hive. Together with other improvements, this led tо 100x faster data processing.

Apache HBase

We use HBase if your database should scale to billions of rows and millions of columns while maintaining constant write and read performance.

Apache NiFi

With ScienceSoft’s managed IT support for Apache NiFi, an American biotechnology corporation got 10x faster big data processing, and its software stability increased from 50% to 99%.


ScienceSoft used MongoDB-based warehouse for an IoT solution that processed 30K+ events/per second from 1M devices. We’ve also delivered MongoDB-based operations management software for a pharma manufacturer.

Desktop App Development: Success Stories by ScienceSoft

Rakuten Viber – VoIP Messenger with 1.17 Billion Users – for Desktop

Rakuten Viber – VoIP Messenger with 1.17 Billion Users – for Desktop

  • Evolution and testing of the Qt-based messenger app for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
  • Integration with the mobile app and a customer web billing portal.
Productivity App Acknowledged by The Daily Telegraph and BBC

Productivity App Acknowledged by The Daily Telegraph and BBC

  • Development of the Qt-based multiplatform app to block time-consuming websites.
  • Full-cycle app testing to ensure cross-browser compatibility.
Cross-platform Desktop App for a Leader in Image Processing

Cross-platform Desktop App for a Leader in Image Processing

  • Development costs reduced by 40% due to Qt-powered cross-platform development.
  • 7 projects featuring desktop app development from scratch.
Teleconferencing and Business Messaging App with Text-to-Speech

Teleconferencing and Business Messaging App with Text-to-Speech

  • Software modernization to comply with accessibility policies via VoiceOver and Narrator engines.
  • Use of Qt for cross-platform development and update facilitation.
Blockchain-Driven Web Browser with Over 10M Monthly Active Users

Blockchain-Driven Web Browser with Over 10M Monthly Active Users

  • Cross-platform development, music services integration, and continuous evolution.
  • Added features include auto-updating, cryptographic tools, and in-app torrent downloading.
Offline Translation Tool with a Database of Over 700 Languages

Offline Translation Tool with a Database of Over 700 Languages

  • Modernization of the Visual Basic-based app using C# and .NET 4.0.
  • App evolution – ScienceSoft’s team added predictive typing and support of Windows 8+ versions.

Costs of Desktop Application Development

Below are some of the major factors that define the final price of the project:

General cost drivers

  • Type of app development (native vs. cross-platform) and a number of targeted desktop platforms.
  • Number and complexity of application features.
  • Location and structure of the project team.
  • Vendor’s pricing model (in case of cooperation with a vendor).

Additional costs

  • Use of any paid development tools.
  • UX and UI design efforts.
  • Application deployment/distribution costs.
  • Application maintenance costs.

Here are sample costs for desktop application development:

ScienceSoft’s Head of Business Analysis Tanya Lebedzeva shares her experience:

"To avoid unnecessary expenses at the development stage, it's important to have a professional approach to discovery phase, which provides a foundation for budgetary and time estimations. Don't hold back in effort and time investments during this phase - and you'll prevent costly adjustments in the future."

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is an IT consultancy and software development company based in McKinney, Texas, US. We design and create desktop software for multiple platforms as well as advise our customers on the organization specifics for desktop app development projects. As the holder of ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications, we rely on mature quality management and guarantee the cooperation doesn't pose any risks to the customers' data security.