Even though it is unwise to judge a book by its cover, all of us are actively doing it when it comes to applications. The app icon is the first thing to be noticed about the app, and it can often be that deciding factor between wanting to check it out and discarding it as just one of the many others. The app’s icon, in short, is the first real pitch to the customers. It is important therefore to not go wrong with the design of the icon. There are some mistakes that are often made and the ones that should be avoided at all costs.
Pixels are not been to be ignored at all, especially as the latest generation of smartphones have high resolution retina displays and pixel perfect imagery. Your app may look great at smaller sizes, but it could be possible that it will not look as good when viewed on a larger screen, or when it is zoomed in on.
Text on the icon
As tempting as it is to add the name of the app on the icon, it is also redundant as the name of the app is located beneath the icon anyway. Also, on smaller screens, most of the time the text is not even visible, and does nothing to catch the eye. Adding text on the icon becomes a waste of the limited space that you have to make an impact.
Having an app icon that looks similar to an already existing app is one of the biggest blunders that are often made in designing. This is a sure way for the app to be forgotten, and leave the customers confused. This is definitely not something that will make the app stand out.
Too many details
Because of its generally small size, if the icon is filled with too many details, it tends to look complicated. A clutter free and simple design will go a much longer way in conveying the purpose of the app.
A bad colour choice should not become the reason for decreasing the potential user base of an app. Icons should look appealing and the right colour combinations definitely help in attracting the viewer’s attention.
Not paying attention to who the target audience is
It matters whether the app is being created for a particular company, or if it targets kids. The designing of the icon would be starkly different for both the cases. But in either case, another important to remember is that although the app may be used by particular groups of the society, it is going to be viewed by people all over the world. You should be highly careful that the icon, in anyway does not hurt the sentiments of any cultural group. A symbol could mean different things in different societies or countries and this fact need to be taken into account.
Mistakes are made by nearly every designer, but consciously avoiding the most common ones can go a long way in designing a good app icon.