Your iPhone app icon is boring.


Take a look at your iPhone’s home screen. Specifically, take note of the size of each icon’s text label in relation to the icon sitting directly above it. Notice anything? Like how the icon is way larger? You know there’s a reason for this, right?

It takes time for the human brain to read and process text, so quite naturally the icon itself is how we locate things. I can’t tell you the names of the companies producing 90% of the apps on my phone, but if you show me the icon, I can probably tell you what it’s called. That is, if the icon is something more than a boring letter. With a single letter, you blend in with all of the other unmemorable, amateur icons.

To an end user, the app icon ultimately becomes, in a much more general sense, your logo. It doesn’t matter what your company name is, what your company’s logo is – the app icon itself represents you.

Does it not make sense, then, that you should actually invest some time in your app icon and not put any text on it? You have an opportunity to provide text below the icon, so why would you waste space putting either the same text–or the first letter of your app’s name–in the icon itself?

Your icon should be designed such that, if I were driving and saw it on a billboard, I would either (a) drool on myself, or (b) wreck because I was busy staring at it. But more importantly, I should © remember it.

Please, people: think about this for just a second. Contract a designer if you have to. But for the love of god, represent yourself better.


Joe commented on Tuesday 24 August 2010, 12:56pm CDT:

I love a good icon rant. I have stopped using apps before because I couldn't stand looking at their awful icon. More often though, I just never download it to start with...