Here’s the reality: your app is up against over 2 million apps on the App Store – this is excluding the millions of apps on Google Play. You also need to take into consideration that the average smartphone user has at least twenty apps, already downloaded on their phone, that they use on a regular basis. To ensure that your app is fully optimized for the App Store, you need to have a very impressive app icon.
An app icon to your app, is what a logo is to a business or brand – it’s the first thing a user is visually connected with. Having the wrong app icon will cost you dozens of users – and you can’t afford that.
That’s why we’ve noted these three key strategies you can implement into developing your app icon in order to have a greater chance of gaining significant conversions.
Strategy 1: Selecting an Icon Type
Before you start to design your app icon, you have to consider the elements that will influence your choice. These elements are found in your product and the themes that are associated with your product.
For example, if your app is a financial wallet targeted at major companies in Wall Street, you are not going to choose an icon that is complex in nature or multi-colored. Your icon choice has a large amount of psychology behind it, and it is important that you keep this in mind.
Your icon will be what users affiliate with your brand and product for as long as it is in existence; it needs to be memorable – in the right way. The most successful kind of app icon is the one that is vibrant and easy to remember. While this may sound simple, it actually isn’t. You aren’t just designing your app icon for the App Store; you are designing it for a user’s home screen as well. Your app icon needs to be able to stand out in both environments.
Note: The best icon type to go select is one based on shapes – simple shapes. Avoid going for text, pictures, or patterns as an app icon design. When you take a look at app icons considered as the best, you will understand why.
Strategy 2: Using Color
When it comes to design – color is everything. You need to make sure that the colors you choose for your icon are vibrant; vibrant, however, is not synonymous with blaring colors. Color selection for your app icon involves choosing the right shades – and color combinations – that will help your icon stand out.
In recent years, blue has become the go-to color for a lot of developers – with many top icons featuring one or two shades of blue. While one’s natural expectation would be to incorporate blue into their own app icon, this isn’t always advisable. If you choose to “go with the flow”, you are putting your app icon at risk of blending in with the rest of the other app icons.
The most effective step you can take to select the right colors for your app icon is to study the color spectrum and observe how top apps have chosen their own colors. This will serve as a guide on identifying the right color combinations for your app. With different categories, there are rules.
For example, if you are developing an app that promotes eco-friendliness, you’ll need to source colors that communicate “eco-friendly” vibes. Loud blaring colors such, fire engine red for example, will not go down well, whereas colors like green, sky blue, and yellow will work well. To pick the right colors for your app icon, you need to understand the psychology of color. This understanding will help you make better choices for your icon.
Note: You also need to make sure that you test your app icon against a wide variety of backgrounds, to make sure that it does not drown out or clash with any colors. This is to ensure that your app icon fairs well on any background, regardless of what a user’s home screen may have. If a user feels your app icon serves as an inconvenience on their screen, they will end up deleting it – and you do not want that.
Strategy 3: Icon Design
Simplicity is a major priority.
Every element in your icon matters – and needs to have purpose. If you fail to stick to this, users will struggle to visually connect with your icon.
The ideal method for designing app icons is to take simple, minimalistic approach; that way, it will be easier for users to remember what your app icon, and your app, is about.
Your icon also needs to have a single point of focus; it is often advised that you keep it in the center of the icon so that attention can be caught easily – and your app can be identified clearly. When there are multiple points of focus (shapes, images, or objects), it will cause confusion in your design and compromise its ability to capture a user’s eye.
When a user is presented with several minimalist, yet attractive, icons and then they come across your icon, which looks haphazard, they will scroll right past and opt for the options that are easier on your eyes. An icon’s design does not need to be complex in order for it to be recognizable; take a look at the Twitter icon, as an example.
It’s a bird-shaped vector, placed against a sky blue background. Two simple colors – blue and white – and that’s it. But anyone can spot the icon from afar and immediately connect it with Twitter. Most top brands have chosen to take a minimalistic approach with their designs – and it has always worked for them.
Designers tend to make the mistake of believing that minimalism means minimum creative effort – but that is not true. It takes more creative thought and input to devise a design with minimal elements. The results of a successful, minimalist design always go a long way.
- Keep the background simple
- The use of words should only be done when absolutely necessary
- Avoid screenshots or photos in the logo
- Keep the icon square-shaped
There are also several design tools and templates you can use to help you make the best app icon possible:
- ApplyPixels offers PSD templates that can help you get started immediately
- MakeAppIcon provides you with templates and tools to generate app icons for iOS (and Android)
- App Icon Maker – allows you to resize your app icon image files
- iOS Design Kit offers a library of app templates and UI elements
Sticking to these strategies will help you achieve your desired results for conversions. It’ll take a lot of studying, testing and executing, but in the end, it will be well worth it!
Have any questions about managing your app in development? Contact us today for more information!