In our last blog, we talked about how you can take your app to the top of app stores by simply optimizing them for a few major ranking factors.
One of the major ranking factors we discussed was ‘visuals’ and we thought we needed to press the topic a little bit more because visuals indeed play a pivotal role in the overall performance of your app in the marketplace.
The quality of the visuals you have displayed on your app page is the sole reason users are happily downloading or outright rejecting your awesome mobile app.
Don’t believe us?
According to a Colorcom study, as much as 93% of users say visual elements impact their buying decisions the most when it comes to choosing various products. And more than half of the users find their desired app through the app store.
So, it makes sense to make each and every visual element of your app page remarkable and that includes carefully designing your app icon, app screenshots, and introductory videos.
Undoubtedly, the most impactful of all these visual elements mentioned above is your app icon and some serious thought must go into designing it to show the world that you are serious about what you do.
Your app icon represents your whole existence on the app store and your users see it first when they stumble on your app page.
Show sloppiness in it and you may not even score a single download for your app.
On the other hand, if you have a striking app icon, users tend to believe that the app is a quality app and encourages them to download it further. Piquing their interest is the key here.
Ideally, your app icon should be unique, easily recognizable, attractive, but should also communicate the core essence or functionality of your app. That’s the mantra we follow when we design app icons for all our mobile app development projects,
Here are a few other tips you can use to optimize the design of your app icon and foster downloads.
Make it stand out
Making your app stand out amongst millions of other apps in the App Store is no easy feat. You’ll have to choose a color scheme that sticks and design it in a way that makes it stand out but at the same time it should be recognizable as well, all the while fully expressing the concept of your app. Sounds hard, doesn’t it? It actually is.
Don’t go overboard with your custom touches though. Adding extra elements to your app icon can make it messy and cause some unnecessary friction with your users that may hurt conversions. Going full-bland may kill downloads as well, so it needs a balance.
When you’ll search for ‘calculator’ on the app store, you may get hundreds even thousands of different app icons showing you the same calculator. But, one app stood out from the rest and that was Calzy.
Calzy is the same calculator as every other calculator on the app store but what gives it an edge is its app icon.
The design is different, simple, recognizable and still manages to convey the idea of a calculator.
Go for a minimal design
As we said before, adding too many elements to your app icon doesn’t chime well with users. So, you’ll have to make each and every element count.
For maximum impact, it’s advisable to keep your app icon color palette filled with just 2 colors (3, if you really need to add that extra color)
App icons with an over-the-top design that doesn’t convey what the app does is a big no-no. Try designing an app icon that conveys your core concept to your users with the least amount of elements possible.
For example, this is the app icon of ‘Sweat’, a health & fitness app. We think this is a great app icon because a user can easily tell what the app is about by looking at its name and app icon.
Also, it uses a great color scheme that goes well with their brand. So, extra points to them!
Keep logo design consistent with branding
Talking about branding, evoking a sense of physical and emotional familiarity with users can really help you with satisfying a majority of your users and making them stay. Your app icon must do the same.
Your app icon must strictly go with your brand. If you haven't built a brand yet, keep the color scheme of your app same as your website to emotionally connect with your users. Once there’s a connection, the user will find it easier to choose you instead of your competitors every single time.
Have a look at the website of Stripe to better understand what we are trying to say. They have undergone a serious brand uplift recently, moving on from a singular purple color scheme to a more multi-colored one. Have a look at their revamped website first -
Here’s their new app icon -
Notice how familiar it feels to their official website where their users mostly hang out. The users would feel a lot safer opening its application to conduct financial transactions because they have already developed an emotional connection with them with their website and their application looks no different, that way the built connection stays intact. It’s an emotional thing.
Make sure it's scalable
Your app shows up on the app store at various places and at different sizes. So, a little thought should also be given to an app’s icon design in the sense that it looks great in all shapes and sizes.
Icons that are crammed up with too many elements usually fall prey to this issue, where users can’t really figure out what the app icon is about when its tiny.
We think an app icon’s scalability is the first thing you should think of when conceptualizing your app icon. Your app icon should look great everywhere. So, make sure you are trying designing app icons in other sizes rather than the normal 1024px.
Test with different backgrounds
No user likes to see an app on their grid that they can’t really see. It’s normal for users to change their phone wallpapers from time to time. So, you’ll have to choose a color scheme that goes well with a majority of colors… which is pretty hard.
But thinking about this aspect is important as well because we are trying to keep the friction levels for all your users at the bare minimum, remember?
Testing your final app design is vital in making sure that there are no leaks in your app’s UX and design.
There can be chances where the color scheme that you have chosen for your app icon may not go well with other colors and can’t change it because of some branding limitations. If that’s the case with you, you can do what Adobe has been doing with all their product’s app icons.
Since, Adobe’s branding is on the darker side of the color spectrum, they made sure they made all their apps visible everywhere by adding a catchy, colorful border to all their icons that is hard to miss.
You can take the same route as well to stand out. Try adding borders to your app icons.
So, there you go. Your app icon is a small 1024px representation of your entire business existence on the app store. Design with your users in mind and spend as much time as you can trying to make your app icons better. It’s that important for convincing users to try your app. Hopefully, the tips mentioned above will help you greatly with that!
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