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Want to drive more people to download your app? Get it the perfect icon.

Know the best tips to design the perfect mobile app icon that gets instantly recognized.


Small things make big differences! In mobile app designing, there are many small magical elements that help determine the success of your app. And mobile app icon is one such vital thing.

The icon can make a huge difference between your mobile app being blatantly overlooked or instantly recognized. In fact, app icons can go a long way in fostering user engagement.


Your mobile app icon is the first thing that your users interact with, not the content or its features. To have more people download your app, it is important to make sure that they do not skim over your app. An eye-catchy and interactive app icon design can do the magic to attract user attention and inspire them to download your app. It should not be merely aesthetically appealing, but should also trigger attention and have your users relate with the app. To put it simple, your mobile app icon should immediately convey to its users what the application is all about.
Here are some valuable tips to design an app icon that stands out:

1. Use a Shape or Symbol that Defines the App Instantly


An icon should be such that the users can instantly guess what the app is all about by merely looking at its logo. Only then they will be encouraged to open and download it. The icon should be able to convey your app idea or concept most impressively, and one of the best ways to do that is by using unique shapes or symbols that define the app. Design an icon that is instantly recognizable on a user’s screen as well as on search listing pages, making it easier for people to find your app.

Here are some examples how apps have used a more recognizable shape or symbol as their icon to define what their app is all about:

2. Pick Vibrant Colors

While there are many who would debate on using bright and vibrant colors in app icon, it can help your mobile application stand out both against the user’s background image as well as against other applications he or she has installed. Moreover, icons with vibrant colors can also be easily recognized amidst the clutter of your user’s mobile device. However, make sure that you choose the icon color carefully, and test it so that it looks good on a wide variety of backgrounds. Blue is the most commonly used color in the world, and many companies have well capitalized on this, building apps in blue. But when you choose blue, you also run the risk of facing stiff competition as there are many apps in blue.

3. Keep Your App Icon Simple

One of the biggest mistakes that many app designers do is to add too many images or colors to make the icon look eye-catchy. Unfortunately, it works just the opposite way. When you use a lot of colors, images or graphics, the icon appears to be crammed up, which is certainly not appealing to the eyes. The best mobile app icons focus on only one concept or element rather than trying to show off too many things. When you seek instant recognition, you would not want people to squint to identify what your app is all about. Thus, the key strategy is to keep it as simple as possible.

4. Right Use of Words


If you have been fascinated to include words in your app icon, make sure you use them the right way. Using long words in app icon is a complete no-no because they are difficult to read in such a small space, and appear crammed up. Remember, it is the icon of your mobile app, not the name. Adjusting long words within the limited space available is also challenging for the designer. Instead, you can use only the first letter of the app name, company or brand, as done by some of these apps:

5. Be Unique and Creative


When you are trying to stand out from the crowd with your mobile app, the trick is to build simple concepts by being ultra creative and unique. Remember, often the most complex deliverables are built on simple and intuitive shape compositions. The following apps beautifully articulate what they are all about with these simple yet creative shape compositions:

6. Maintain Consistency

The app interface to icon consistency is crucial to strengthen the visual narrative. Therefore, it is vital to maintain a consistency between the experience of interacting with the app icon, and interacting with the app that it represents. Creating a unified, sleek app image in your user’s minds enhances satisfaction, virality, and retention. One great way to create consistency is to keep the color palette of your icon and interface in line, and using a consistent and similar design language.

7. Test Your App Icon on Different Backgrounds

A/B testing of your app icon is most crucial to ensure that it renders enhanced look and feel across all backgrounds. While the icon might appear stunning against the raindrops background, it is not necessary that it will look superb on all wallpapers. Therefore, it is important that you test the mobile app icon against as many types of wallpaper as possible, and try to group your design into folders to determine how it looks and feel.


The mobile app icon always plays an integral role in boosting visibility and increasing the number of downloads. So, keep it simple, attractive and relevant to your users.