App Icons in ASO: Yes, your Icon Sucks – deal with it

Icons are like dogs. You love your dog. You think your dog is the best dog in the world. In fact you think your dog is lovely dog, a

Do you have an ugly dog? What about an ugly Icon

pretty dog, a cute dog. Get my point?
Like with kids… if you have kids, you never wake up thinking:
Dam, I have ugly kids.
You love your kids and If you ask me, I think my 2 boys are the most beautiful boys in the world.
You see.
My boys, my dog… are like the icon of your apps.
I think they are the best, because I’m an emotional person….you see, us, app fanatics, we develop apps usually with our heart and not with our brain… and that’s why … your dog may  not be so cute and you may have ugly kids and your icon, oh yes.. your icon may also SUCKS BIG TIME.
A bit hash… ? Well…

Icons in Apps reminds me DATING
Remember when you used to date?
You book the restaurant, you buy the cinema tickets, you plan the disco… you clean your car… you have a shower, you shave…  but then when you are ready to pick up your date , you decide to save money and time and go out in your ugly pajamas.
Hey! why not? Your pajamas are always comfortable and by wearing it you can go out faster and cheaper, right?
But guess what?
You will never get lucky by taking your date out in your pajamas…
Sorry! It doesn’t work that way.
So you get the point now?
You invest all this time on your lovely app, so much time debugging, tuning up, speeding it up and then you decide to launch PAINT and design your own ugly icon, because you can do it FASTER and CHEAPER, right?
Wake up
Making your own icon = going out in your pajama.
So what’s the solution???
The solution to go on the perfect date ever is to do market research.
Get a group of ladies to tell you what to wear.
In fact… let them dress you up, let them take you for shopping, let them tell you what to buy and obey! They know what looks good (or not so bad) on you…
So do your market research and follow what they tell you to do.
Just do it, be a good boy.. follow their orders.
The same applies with Icons: Do market research.
Get a few few icons designs, contact a small group of people YOU DON’T know (don’t ask your mom or your best mate – please stop doing that) and ask them to judge your icons VERSUS the competition.
Did I mention the compeition?
YES!!!!! Time to wake up, you want to compete yes? So you need to start competing from day one.
Find the top Apps in your market, steal their icons and put them side by side vs your app icon.
Go out… go to your closest coffee shop and ASK.
Approach to people with iPads having their Latte while buying apps and with a nice (not freaky smile) ask…
“Excuse me… if you were looking for an App about “how to kill koalas in Africa” and you see the following 6 icons for 6 different apps, can you tell me what app will you choose and why – I’m a developer and my new App “how to kill koalas in Africa” is being launched soon… so i will love your feedback.
It can change your way of looking at things.
Because the truth hurts and when people tell you your app icon sucks and when people choose your competitors icon every single time vs your home-made icon… then  you are going to realized that in this game what matters is what the MARKET wants.
So let’s recap.

  • Get 4-5 graphic designers to make you some cheap icons.
  • Make each icon compete vs 5 other REAL icons of successful apps in your market.
  • Add your app to the collection and ask people to give you their top 6.
  • Until your icon is not in top 1… don’t launch or choose your icon.
  • Rinse and repeat until you loose your mind.
  • Tips: Don’t be emotional. Be cold. Find what the market wants and do it.
  • Final point: Once you find the right icon, come back, post a comment and share this post in Facebook, twitter, Google Plus and smile 😉

And yes… I know…. I know… there are no Koalas in Africa. Right?