The app icon is usually the first thing people see when they browse the store. With so many options showing up in search results, you have to stand out. Play with different colors, backgrounds, graphics, and compositions and test to find the front-runner. Make sure you test variations that are significantly different from each other. Small changes like a color shade or a different angle of the graphics are all bad candidates for a split test, usually showing little to no difference in conversion.
1. Keep it simple
You probably have more than a few ideas of what to put on the icon. Try a variation with the simplest concept you have and keep the number of elements on the graphics to a minimum. Even better, choose one. Test if less is really more (converting).
2. Try different colors
Your designer probably knows what color combinations look good. The tough part is to figure out what actually works. Test and see if a soft neutral or a bold contrast background will enhance your main element of the icon as well as the conversion rate.
3. Say it in graphics
For some reason, many app developers are tempted to put their app’s name or some text on the icon. Usually, this isn’t the best idea, as you have plenty of space in the app’s title and description. Test if the language of graphics will convert better than extra letters on the icon.
4. Logo/No logo?
If you use your company’s logo as the icon, play around and test if another concept will express the brand as well as the app’s value proposition to users.
5. Add borders
Try to add borders to your icon to make it look clear and attractive on all backgrounds. Sometimes, simply adding a border without changing anything else makes the icon appear more “complete” and eye-catching.
View in comparison
Pick out 10 best app icons in your category and think how to make yours stand out. Create a couple of alternatives based on your analysis and start testing.