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Designing Mobile App Icons for Mobile
When you download an App onto your smartphone, the first thing you see is the mobile app icon. Chances are you saw the icon, you liked the look of it and so you downloaded it.
There are loads of similar applications in the mobile marketplace. Loads of time and effort is spent in making good applications, but often it is simply the icon which is the largest influencing factor.
As such, a successful mobile app must have a great icon to go with it. It is something of an art form however and not easy to get right if you are uninitiated. The following advice is here to help you out.
Using Text in the Icon
Your target audience will determine whether you should use text in your icon or not. Applications for children should not have text, as they are attracted mainly to graphics and illustration. Kids’ apps with great designs and colors are always a winner.
For apps that are targeted towards older target audiences and academic audiences, text may either be appropriate, or a very good idea. Text often helps to make the app appear mature and professional. You should know how to make the text look good, and you should never make the text so small that it cannot be read easily.
Minimalist Works Best
Very simple graphics and words can easily represent your application, and it is often detrimental to make things complicated. Taking individual letters from company names can make sense, and it can be effective to come up with a simple shape with some sort of twist. Think clean, bold and concise, and never waste space with things that are pointless.
To help make you app icon look more uniform, the App Store provides the option to add a gloss effect. This may be a good idea to use or not. You should look at both versions carefully to see which one looks best, or discuss with your developer. Play around with the tones and the shades and see what you can do.
Think Outside the Box The most successful application icons are always the ones that look distinctive and stand out from the rest. The icon should have enough influence to attract new customers and stay memorable for existing users. Think about the identity of your application, and whether this is well represented by the icon.