Technology February 24, 2016 Last updated September 18th, 2018 2,115 Reads share

5 Best Practices to Adopt When Designing a Killer App Icon

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Designing an effective app icon is among the most crucial parameters of app success. With so many apps already floating around on application stores and many more added on a daily basis, it is vitally important to stand out in terms of design because that is the first thing visible to user eyes before the actual features or functionalities.

Just think of your app exceptionally well on all fronts but with a poor app icon. When a user is surfing a hoard of apps on the application stores, will he/she be enticed to check your app out by looking at your bad app icon? The answer is simple “NO”. Your app simply is neglected in the scrolling process. The result is you have just lost one of your potential users.

Do you plan to avoid such a scenario? Carefully scan the do’s and don’ts we are going to discuss and let your app icon shine through the store with the help of just a logo or symbol.

#1. Avoid using text

A logo is all about pictorial representation of your app. There is a lot of text already present on application store waiting for the visitors to arrive and read things up. So incorporate abstract art, drawings, images, or letters rather than the entire text. Do not mix up two different representation tools within a single logo, as things will be cluttered and difficult to grasp. With single letter or couple of letter representations getting prominence with G+, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Tumblr, and so on, it is evident to see this trend going a log way if creatively presented.

#2. Standard glossing is a big “NO”

Apple provides an option of adding a standard glossy effect to the app icon for the apps submitted on App Store. This is because Apple wants a similar kind of visual uniformity be seen across all the App Store apps icons. Most developers fall into this trap and add this glossy look to their customized app icons. This enables Apple to control one aspect of your app, which is not a good thing, especially when everything else is being controlled independently by the developers.

#3. Simple looks not just clear but even better

Simplicity and a sophisticated appeal is what the majority of people want. If the app icon has that then the half battle is won. App icon real estate is very small and hence to accommodate the best typographical sections is a difficult choice to deal with. This requires figuring out the right fit. So, analyze and boil down to your choices. If even one good thing is shown about the app, your job is done.

Selecting a single object or multiple objects, different things work for different apps. If trying to club multiple objects, each one of them needs to be clearly defined and be visually seen separate from one another. You have 3249 pixels i.e. 57*57 resolution area at your disposal. Utilize the space to the best possible extent but do not make it crowded enough for a difficult viewing.

#4. Consistency of icon should remain intact

Pressing the icon and using the app are two separate events. However, both should give a same kind of feel when a user action is performed. Let your app icon clicking deliver similar smoothness as using the actual app, and vice versa. This will reinforce fidelity and trust among users.

#5. Look different from the crowd

Your app icon is without any doubt the first point of contact with the users. Whether to download your app or not, use it after installation or not, depends upon how well your app symbol stands out. If your app icon does not shine through across other thousands or possible millions of apps, then a user might not even reach your app and know how great your app is. Take time to have creativity and innovation amalgamate to differentiate your icon, keeping clear clarity intact.

A quick recap…

With too many apps to choose from, it is a tough time for users to shortlist the ones best for them while reject the majority, which they do not find it useful. Especially with limited memory space on smartphones (even with the maximum possible SD card storage space), it is impossible to accommodate all apps. That is the reason why most of them judge an app from the app icon itself without even going into details. A poorly designed logo will have users reject the good app right away without even thinking twice, while even the worst app will at least survive just by having a nice creative icon.

So again, “First impression is the last impression!” Have an everlasting impact of your brand on application stores, with a branded app icon, because it will ultimately result in tons of visitors leading to another ton downloads. An interesting logo will pull visitors to read the title, description, and even know more about the app at all places on the Internet. So let us quickly sum up the points discussed above

  • Never use text and it will make the icon too clumsy to handle.
  • Allowing standard gloss facility on the icon dismantles the natural personalized appeal.
  • Simplicity is the golden key to success as people love things to be relatively easy to understand.
  • The icon and app should relatively go in parallel and consistent with each other so that both deliver a similar kind of experience.
  • Innovate as much as you can to be different, look different, and more importantly have an everlasting impact on user minds.
  • This is our one last additional tip i.e. to use borders with your app icon. A border enables an app icon to look very great almost on any backgrounds. You need not to worry about what color backgrounds your app icon is seen. It will have equal appearance on all of them.

Just follow these tips and see the results by yourself. By creating a wonderful app icon, you are creating a brand identity of yourself. Disrupting it will disrupt your identity and ultimately let your app lost across other apps.

Images: ”woman touching tablet computer screen. Colorful application icons fly off the tablet computer/


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Daniel Carter

Daniel Carter

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