How to Choose an App Icon

Chen Shifer

app store icons
Choosing an app icon is an important and significant part of creating the perfect app. It provides content and aesthetics and should communicate your app’s purpose within seconds. Your app icon is the most recognizable aspect of your app and is the face of your brand. It’s what users first see when they browse the app store and if downloaded, the first thing they see when they open their phones.  When designing your app icon, always remember that first impressions matter and take every detail into consideration.

As a picture is worth more than a thousand words, creating the quintessential app icon is a fundamental element of the App Store Optimization process. With this, the app icon is an essential part of your marketing plan. It’s the face of your app that will repeatedly appear in app stores, websites, blogs and press releases. Having a great app icon doesn’t promise organic downloads or conversion rates, but it prompts potential users to explore your app, bringing you one step closer to your goals.

Remember that the quality of your app icon suggests the quality of your app. This is why it’s important to spend time tactfully creating your app icon as you want to portray a promising message to potential users. Your app icon needs to provide tangible value that targets the right audience, which in hindsight, creates loyal brand ambassadors.

Tips for choosing an app icon:

Make sure your app icon draws attention to the right users and stands out in a crowd. Try to keep it simple but innovative to craft a memorable impact. It should vividly stand out amongst its competitors and be recognizable. Typically app designers will embrace simplicity but attention to detail is just as important. For example, in some instances, providing the app’s name in your app icon help enhance your apps performance, and sometimes it can hurt it. To see which app icon fits your target audience, always implement A/B testing for maximum optimization.

Visuals should make our lives easier. So if your app’s sole purpose is to deliver mail, it’s a good idea to have a picture of an envelope, or if you have a music app, perhaps a picture of headphones.  You have to choose the right colors and shapes that match the theme of the app perfectly. One of our favorite tips is creating a 3D effect, where you have a smaller picture surrounded by a frame, allowing your logo to “break” through the frame.

Furthermore, it’s important to choose the design that converts the best, not necessarily the app icon you think looks the best. That’s why A/B testing is so important. It yields data-driven statistics providing insight into user behavior and performance analysis. Experiment with different app icons to see which yields the most downloads. Compare a few different versions and perhaps generate direct traffic to both apps. You’ll learn that the smallest attention to detail actually makes a huge difference and that practice makes perfect.

Overall, take the app icon creative process seriously. First impressions go a long way and in today’s competitive marketplace, you have to stand out and to be honest, sometimes sweat the small stuff.

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