June 29, 2010

The Art of the Springboard

The experience of launching My Little Suitcase has been a fun case study in app creation and development. What's crazy is how much of it, marketing-wise, boils down to having a bold and bright springboard icon to catch the buyer's attention.

When we launched My Little Suitcase last year, we had a brown suitcase with a red background. Trying to spice up the background, we added a window for some depth.

While working on our latest release, version 1.4, we knew we could improve it. We spent time pouring over apps on the app store, and looking at highly ranked kids apps, like Itsy Bitsy Spider, Save the Day, AniMatch, Sneezies, (and most recently) Pocket Zoo. There were a few qualities that stood out:

1. Bold, bright colors
2. Clean lines without too much clutter or detail (too much detail tends to get lost)
3. Contrasting colors
4. Eyes - have you noticed how many cool kids apps have big fun eyes staring out at you?

While we couldn't put eyes on a suitcase (well, hold that thought) we COULD play with the background colors, add some depth, and contrast. After a long week working through drafts, we finally came up with this:

And we like it. And we hope you do too!

If you are wondering where many of the apps on my phone come from, check out Moms With Apps - a developer group we started last year that has over 80 parent developers, with pages full of family-friendly apps.


RJ said...

Love the new icon...it looks amazing. Who designed it?

Lorraine Akemann said...

I had her name in the post and she made me take it out - can you believe it? My friend of over 20 years, Bay Area resident and Mom of an adorable little girl. She's loving getting to know the app business, and has background in painting and design.

Jen said...

Looks fantastic! I wish I had a phone with a data plan! :-)

Lynette said...

Thanks for the informative post. I esp. like the examples of the "reach-out-and grab-ya" icons with big eyes. I'll definitely keep those in mind when designing icons for coming apps.
The new "My Little Suitcase" icon is great. Makes me want to open it up and check what's inside!