From Here To There: Chapter 8 Roadmap

by Michael Miller

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Designing iPhone and iPad Apps.

  • The importance of your icon
  • Draft your elevator pitch
  • Choose a tagline
  • Generate a web presence
Look at me! Look at Me! The importance of your icon 

Consumers are visual beings and rely on cues like color, packaging, logos etc. to identify brands. Your icon makes your application’s first impression and sets the tone for what is to come. It should be easy to recognize and communicate what your product is all about.  

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  • The importance of your icon
  • Draft your elevator pitch
  • Choose a tagline
  • Generate a web presence
Look at me! Look at Me! The importance of your icon 

Consumers are visual beings and rely on cues like color, packaging, logos etc. to identify brands. Your icon makes your application’s first impression and sets the tone for what is to come. It should be easy to recognize and communicate what your product is all about.  

Application buyers do discriminate. Because they have so many apps to choose from, their first line of defense is to disregard an app that lacks aesthetic appeal. Your icon should jump off the screen with its design. Here are some examples:

 

        Classics                 Cellar                 Awesome Note          Voices                    Yelp

      

      Groceries                 Netflix                      Mail                       Maps               iHandy Level

An underwhelming icon will lead prospective users to hurry past your otherwise well-built app.  Even once apps are downloaded, the ones with more eye catching designs and brighter color are the ones that are more likely to get used. Take the Netflix icon, for example. It’s just a red square with text. That’s it, but it jumps out at you.

Icons should be simple. Because your icon is limited to 57x57 pixels on the iPhone, and 72x72 on the iPad, it should be graphic-focused. Limit text, or better yet, avoid it all together. When you browse your installed applications in iTunes using Cover Flow, the icons are displayed up to 512×512 pixels. Make sure you have an icon sized for normal display and cover flow. When creating the two images, don’t just blow up or scale down the icon; it must be manually resized or the image will be distorted.

Drafting your elevator pitch

All good products start with an elevator pitch—a few sentences that explain your product and why someone would want to use it. In the App store, this brief message with stand alongside your icon.  

Bear in mind that the elevator pitch is more than just your mission statement. It’s your most powerful form of marketing—albeit in a very succinct form. As you ideate and design your app or product, you should refer back to your product purpose and think about why someone would take the time to use your product. What’s going on in their heads? How do they use your product? Why couldn’t they live without it? This becomes your elevator pitch.

Choose a tagline 

We live in a sound bite culture. Long story short, words matter. Nike told us to “Just Do It,” Apple told us to “Think Different,” and Sprite said “Obey Your Thirst.” And guess what? We did. Words are powerful. And it only takes a couple to send a bold message.

Generate a Web Presence

Now that you’ve got an award-worthy app, you have to make your presence known! The easiest, and probably most effective way to get your name out there is to market your product on a dedicated website.  

In order to set up a website, you have to choose, purchase, and register a domain name.  Your domain name should be simple, one that the customer can easily find and remember: thenameofyourcompany.com or thenameofyourapp.com. Domain names can be purchased fairly cheaply from web hosting sites like www.godaddy.com or www.domain.com.

Your website should showcase your app and feature key branding elements like your icon and tagline. You should also feature application screen shots and clearly outline the purpose of your app as well as how it works. If you have reviews from tech magazines or bloggers, be sure that those are prominently displayed on the site. (If you don’t, send a handful of tech reviewers your app so they can try it out and give it a stellar review!).

Here are some of our favorite iOS application websites:

Barista - http://www.glasshouseapps.com/barista/

     

Tipulator - http://sophiestication.com/tipulator/



Airphones - http://airphonesapp.com/



Postman - http://tapbots.com/software/convertbot/

Sketches - http://latenitesoft.com/sketches/index.html



Extra, extra, blog all about it:  If you don’t have the time and resources to set up a website, you can promote your app via a blog site like Blogger, Blogspot, LiveJournal, Tumblr, or WordPress. These sites are all free but do have options for pay customizations and features.  

 
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