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Making the Perfect App Icon that Creates User Engagement

DZone's Guide to

Making the Perfect App Icon that Creates User Engagement

App icons go a long way in fostering user engagement. See why.

· Mobile Zone
Free Resource

Download this comprehensive Mobile Testing Reference Guide to help prioritize which mobile devices and OSs to test against, brought to you in partnership with Sauce Labs.

Some of us believe in luck. Some of us don't. For app developers, resting on luck, no matter how lucky you may be, isn’t the right choice. Even a good idea can become a flop with the lack of proper execution.

App development and app success are often related to small magical ingredients - like the shape of an icon. Why should the user choose your app over the other? Before the users read your app description, they see the app icon. Have something that interests them and they will proceed further. Have a mundane icon that nobody is just like the thousands out there, and he would think your app to be just 'one of those out there' too.


The right app icon can make a huge difference in how users perceive your app. These very small squares, edges and color can make a lasting impact on the number of downloads you actually have. Here are few tips to guide through building a great app icon.

1. Research Design Trends

Developers always worry when new updates of Apple’s OS are released. The updates are all about removal of bugs - like it happened when updating from iOS 6 to iOS 7. The whole trend was changed. The iOS 7 went flat on design. This brought about a huge change in the way users look at an app icon. Hence, designers must anticipate the way designs change. Before set out to make an app, you must know in which direction the winds of design is moving.

2. Know the Competition

While are searching for design, you must also look out for your competitions. Competitors are the best way to know which trend is hot. What kind of design your competitors use. While looking at your competition look for certain genres, mostly related to your own, and also knows how they are performing.

3. Give Icons Some Character

App icons are not only to click; they must represent your idea or creation. If you see the trend, users remember the icons of the successful apps. Character factor is even more important when designing apps for games. You can use your games character on the icon and make it more attractive. You can see icons like Mario, Sonic and, GTA V - all have their characters on the icon.

4. Keep it Simple

To make it stand out do not over do things, because users always like more simple things, which are easy to understand. As a developer, you can focus more on essential elements and polish it instead of going out to create something overloaded and cluttered. Single graphic creates a much better relationship with users, like brands do with their unique, simple logos or graphics.

5. Test and Test Again

Don't forget to do some good A/B testing to see which app icons offer the best engagement rates. The best way to know if your icons are working or not are to test by exposing it to a real environment. Give it to your friends, colleagues, competitors and selected group of exclusive users. Make changes and again test. The best idea would be to release alpha and beta version to know the reaction of the users.

The app icon will always play an important role in improving your download number. Keep it simple, real and attractive for users.

Analysts agree that a mix of emulators/simulators and real devices are necessary to optimize your mobile app testing - learn more in this white paper, brought to you in partnership with Sauce Labs.

Topics:
mobile apps ,mobile app marketing ,app icon

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