How to design the perfect App Icon to get downloads


Your app icon is important. As game reviewers, the one thing we place seemingly way too much emphasis on when choosing what to (and not to) review is the app icon. So today, we are going to explain “realistically” what you need to create an app icon that can catch the eye of a game reviewer.

But before I start explaining anything, we need to get some things out of the way. I started my career in gaming as an indie game developer creating web-based games for iOS and Android so I personally read a whole lot of guides explaining how to create the ultimate app icon. Most of which said things a little like this…

Your app icon needs to communicate your game’s story to potential players.

By some blog I once read

My thoughts at the time (and even now) when I read this were, what the heck is that even supposed to mean!? 😩

Writers love to use far too many words to say the simplest of things so I have condensed my experience analyzing app icons into 3 simple points.

Show action

Almost all of the successful games we reviewed in 2017, 2018 and 2019 show some form of motion within their app icon. This allows players to not only visualize what your game is all about but in some cases how your game is played and more!

The best examples for these types of icons at the time of writing are probably Ketchapp and Voodoo. Both excellent publishers who almost always show some form of motion within their app icons.

Click-bait is annoying… But effective

If you’ve ever been tempted to click on a video by Logan Paul you know exactly what I mean.

Adding an element of surprise into your app icon is a simple way of getting more eyes on your game which will obviously drive you more downloads.

There really isn’t a lot more to say here. 😅

Follow the trends

Just like anything else on the internet, designs trend.

So long as your app icon is rocking the latest trends in design, your game will not only look fresh and new, it will look legit.

No matter how perfectly your game is coded, if it looks old you’re going to have a hard time convincing now’s players to check it out. Picture this, a brand new game (that looks old) with less than 50 downloads? That sounds fishy…

Staying on top of the latest design trends is likely the best way to create a compelling app icon.

What did I miss?

Probably a lot. It isn’t easy to condense something this complicated into 3 steps.

Feel free to share your best design tips with us on Twitter @edamame_reviews where we’re always open to feedback.