How to Check if an App Store Icon is Any Good

I see on many times on Facebook groups people sending in App Icons for feedback from fellow app developers in a format that I consider suboptimal.


App Icon Evaluation - the wrong way

(Sorry to pick on you Steve Young 😉 )

So first off, its great to get feedback, so that’s fine.

The right way to check if the app icon “works” is to see the icon as it compares to its COMPETING apps in its natural setting, the App Store.

Personally, I get my designers to send in their App Icon previews on the Google Play Store search results for our target keyword.

For example:

Lets say we are creating a game where the target keyword is “Pharaoh Slots”.

So I will get the designer to send in a screenshot of the Google Play Search results for “Pharaoh Slots”, with their new icon placed on the search results.

They should NOT indicate which is their actual icon because I don’t want to be biased.

I want to look at the search results and the app icon which I think stands out the most SHOULD BE OURS.


Why Google Play?

Just because you can search it from the web so its easy and quick and in our specific case we publish games cross platform including Google Play so it makes sense to us.

You should do something similar for whatever your target outcome is.

In our case, we are looking for search rankings for specific keywords, so again the search results make sense for us.

If you are aiming for top charts in a specific category – then get your designers to put their preview on a screenshot of your specific top charts category from iTunes.

You get the idea.

The principle: 

Evaluate your app icon as it compares to your direct COMPETITORS.

The desired outcome:

Your icon should meet the following criteria:

  1. The most ATTRACTIVE on the page.
  2. STAND OUT the most on the page (in a good way!).
  3. The icon should match the theme of your app! (i.e. for a game about “Pharaoh” your icon should have related graphics).

There are some tools I’ll also add here in the postscript, which might help you (but again, for me it is best to take a manual snapshot of your competitors and evaluate against them directly):

App Icon Testing Tools

Author: David Janner

David Janner is a former M.D. and the Editor-in-Chief of MAKE APP Magazine. His passion is app development and app marketing. You should follow him on Twitter and Facebook and Google+ in order to get the most important industry related news, hot off the press. If you would like to arrange a 15 minute app marketing session to discuss your App Store Optimization strategy, contact him here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *