How to Design Captivating App Icons For Better User Experience?

How to Design Captivating App Icons For Better User Experience?

With an increase in the number of mobile apps, it is getting more strenuous for an app publisher to grab the user’s attention. Of course, you need an appealing app title to captivate the user. However, along with the title, designing an attractive app icon is also important.

Think of it like this, the app icon is the first thing a user notices about your app. An appealing icon will encourage the user to download the app while a boring icon will convince him to move to the next app in the list. Similarly, once the user has downloaded the app, the same icon will remind him about the app’s existence in his smartphone.

Therefore, it is imperative to design a captivating app icon so that not only the app’s download count increases but the user also returns to the app on a regular basis.

Mobile App Icon

Here are some of the app icon design practices which will help you design a visually appealing icon for your mobile app.

Design the Icon to Stand Out

Here’s the thing, you may not be the first app publisher in your niche. There’s a huge probability that the app store is stacked with a number of apps similar to yours. It means in order to grab the user’s attention, you need to design an icon which sets you apart from the crowd.

This doesn’t mean that you should go completely bizarre and craft an icon which has no similarity to the rest of the apps. Doing so will complicate things which might confuse the user. As of the recommended practices, you should analyze your competitors and look for common symbols they have used in their icons.

Mobile App Development

Now, all you have to do is infuse these symbols in your app while adding other captivating elements. This will help your app to stand out from your competitors and attract the customers at the same time.

Make Your Icons Memorable

The app icon should have the potential to stick in the user’s memory so that even if he has forgotten the app name, he must recognize it by looking at the icon itself. However, it’s not easy to tell whether an icon is memorable or not.

Therefore, we recommend designing at least 3-4 app icons and showing them to your friends. Now, all you have to do is ask your friends the next day to describe each icon. The icon that they could easily describe is going to be your winner.

Keep The Design Simple

While it’s always advised to utilize your creativity while designing the icons, it is important to keep the design as simple as possible. Making complex designs can overcomplicate things and it might get difficult for the user to get the basic idea about your app. Since your job is to help the user understand what your app is all about, you must keep the design simple.

While as surprising as it may sound, but simple app icons have more potential to encourage the user to download the app. However, that doesn’t mean that you should make the icon completely dull. Simplicity means crafting an icon which is easy to be understood by everyone, even a kid. However, it’s still important to make the icon highly attractive.

Captivating App Icons

Design Icon to Match App’s Overall Theme

As we mentioned earlier, your app icon should convey a basic idea about your mobile app. It should be extremely descriptive and therefore should match the overall theme of your app. Keeping the icon theme similar to that of your app helps the user to understand what to expect from the app.

For instance, if you own a food delivery app, you cannot add symbols of technical gadgets as they have no relation to your app whatsoever. Furthermore, it’s also important to keep the icon’s color theme the same as of your mobile app.

Make App Icon

Meet User’s Expectations

Every business organization has a specific group of the target audience, and each group is likely to have certain preferences. So, before everything, your app icon should meet your audience’s expectations.

Let’s take a shopping app as an example. The majority of online shoppers are either teenagers or young millennials. Therefore, your app icon should have several fashion symbols along with a funky color theme. This will encourage these young generation people to take a look at what your mobile app has to offer.

Similarly, if you own a gaming app, your target audience is likely to involve gaming enthusiasts and tech-geeks. In such cases, the app icon should look as thrilling as possible. To do so, you can add your gaming elements such as weapons, monsters, vehicles, etc. to the app icon.

In any case, it is imperative that your app icon matches the user intent.

Test Your App Icon

The above-mentioned practices will help you design the most suitable app icons for your mobile app. However, you cannot design the perfect icon in the first attempt. Therefore, it is important to design several prototypes and test each of them in different scenarios. Like your mobile app, testing the app icon will help you pick the best icon for your app.

However, there isn’t any recommended method to test the app icon. Simply gather different background schemes and test how your app icon appears on them. A user can set any wallpaper, with any color scheme, on his smartphone. So, by testing your app icon on different backgrounds, you can easily find out the best icon, despite the background.


The competition in the mobile app industry is getting extremely fierce. It is important to put in your time and efforts to make your mobile app stand out from your competitors. Of course, you need captivating features to increase your customer base.

However, designing a captivating app icon is as crucial as the features themselves. While designing the app icon for your mobile app, use the above-mentioned tactics to craft a visually appealing icon. You can also hire professional designers who know how to utilize the latest designing tools to design captivating icons.

Author Bio

Sunit Panwar is chief technology officer at RV technologies. He is very passionate about implementing new technologies in developing innovative mobile app development and website development. He constantly looks forward to various interesting ideas and ways to implement them with advanced functionalities. He keeps on inspiring the developers with new functionalities, ideas as well as tools.

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