Go back - Android and iOS - Submitting your app - Part 1
Your app icon
Designing an app icon is a very personal process and the value of a great icon can’t be overstated. The main reason that the casual masses will be attracted to your app is the icon.
The first rule of app icons is this: Never use words. You already have the name of your app clearly posted. It’s printed right beside it. Icon is short for iconographic - meaning a picture that contains a meaning. If you include words, not only do you confuse the icon, but the effort is completely redundant. Obviously, some
successful apps do include text in their icon, but it’s in spite of this, rather than because of this, that they have become successful. The image you should use in the icon should, ideally, be purely graphical, not typographical.
Keep your icon designs simple. If you try and pack in too much information, the design will become cluttered and upsetting. You only have a few pixels to convey the main purpose of your app. If you use this space to explain too much, you’ll end up explaining nothing. The best icons come from a process of determining what it is that your app does, the one thing that your app does, and reducing this to its clearest, most obvious, graphical sign.
Let’s take a look at one app icon.
What does this app do?
Take a wild guess? You got it, right?
It takes photos. It is, in fact, the icon for Instagram, the popular photo software for Android and iOS. How about this app icon?
Could you work it out? It’s some sort of a game, clearly, the frog looks bold and friendly, and most people would be curious to know more.
This is the icon for the popular game Cut The Rope. If you’ve played the game, you’ll know that it involves slicing ropes with your finger. You can see how this icon conveys a huge amount of detail about the action involved in the app. If you can, make your app icon describe an action.
As with so many elements of design, there is a wide scope for innovation and invention.
Take the ideas I’ve described here and don’t be afraid to break the rules once in a while.
Read Next - Android and iOS - Submitting your app - Part 3