Designing an icon, a small bunch of pixels. At the first sight, what can be easier? But professional designers can argue. They say it’s really hard to create a perfect mobile app icon that will follow all the requirements. So how can icons for mobile applications be influential on the whole app marketing?
There are more than a million applications both in Google Play and Apple Store. Users can be a little confused by the variety and they won’t try all the applications of one kind. There is a nayword that “good clothes open all doors” and it’s really true for app icon designs. That’s why when people browse an app store, the first impression is essential for developers to make a user to download their product. In this way, icons for mobile apps play the part of a visual anchor so you should think of it as a little piece of your branding. For marketing optimization icon is one of the most efficient things so don’t underestimate it.
So how to design an app icon that will market your product effectively? Let’s have a look at the best practices of app icon designs.
Icons need to be scalable
It’s maybe one of the most evident aspects but newbie designers casually often avoid it. The thing is that your mobile app icon is going to be shown in a lot of places that require different sizes and scales. It’s crucial to make your icon look good not only in app store but on its’ desktop version, phone's home page, on your website and so on.
It’s also evident that icons for mobile applications have to look good on different backgrounds. In this way you should choose a proper colour for your icon. But choose wisely, color has to reflect the apps conception and the audience it’s created for. It’s almost all about beauty and the icons.
The most popular color among app designers is blue. Look at Facebook. LinkedIn, VK, Twitter, Skype. Psychologists say that blue is a colour of luck, geniality and sky. In the past few years, when a lot of social networks use blue as a dominant colour, it can be associated with communication and people interactions.
If your application is for young people, it’s a good idea to create a red mobile app logo. According to the colour theory, red is associated with energy, excitement and youth. It is usually used for apps that make people to do something, to be active. Actually red is the best colour for sport and fitness apps (look at Nike+, Google Fit), travel and event apps (AirBNB, YPlan).
Green is usually used in apps of two categories. The first is apps that provide financial operations because green is mainly associated with money (Wallet, Money Pro). And the second one is health care or diet apps (Diet Assistant, 7 Minute Workout).
Eye-catching and memorable
What makes an app so recognizable as icon design app uses. Your app icon should survive an attention competition with thousands of other ones. So let’s list some tips about how to design an icon in the way to make it more recognizable.
Avoid including words. When you create an 1024x1024 picture on a desktop, it looks great but recognize that it will be shown in 240x2410 and even 160x160. So words will be unreadable. Instead of it, you can draw a capital letter (like actually almost everyone does) or you can create app icon that would reflect your apps’ concept (like SoundCloud did with their sound wave going to a cloud).
Provide less details. Look at the most popular apps nowadays. Almost of them have one-two colours without any details. The exception is mobile game icon design. There are a lot of games that have main characters on their icon, it’s also a good idea for mobile game developers to draw the core concept (bearded warrior on Clash of Clans logo or a bolide on Asphalt).
Use symbols. The best mobile apps use unique symbols or shapes in order to be recognizable. It’s also a good idea to create a logo picture that will represent your apps’ content. For example if you create a music app, it’s a good idea to put a note icon or a musical instrument. But remember it has to be unique. Another good thing is to trace trends icon designers are following at the moment.
Keep options open
Try to create several icon samples. It’s important to analyze how your icon looks among other ones on an app store list. Try some resources that will examine your design like UsabilityHub Five Second Test or Pickfu.
And there is something a bit risky. You can just change an icon in your app store to trace whether your downloads will grow. Risky because it takes time for app stores to change it back.
To sum up, you should not think through the prism of stereotypes so involve your fantasy. Trust your app icon design to a good app development company and together, we can create a new top-notch app and an eye-catching icon.