Tag Archives: onboarding

5 Rules for Creating App Screenshots

Screenshots are one of the crucial ingredients contributing to the success of your app.
Great apps have great screenshots and Store assets. The purpose of the screenshots is to communicate the strong points of your app. Imagine having a pitch your idea in person to someone in person. The sentences you use to describe your app should be the inspiration for your screenshots.

1. Screenshots should surface your content using a compelling narrative

The screenshots should be accompanied by short 3 to 5 words sentences. These sentences should either summarise the focus of the screenshots or tell part of the app story.
Remember: users are motivated by stories and convinced by compelling graphics.

2. Use your best screenshot first

First impressions matter so make good use of the first screenshot slot. Ask yourself If the user only looks at one screenshot, what screenshot should that be? Assume you have only one chance to convince the user and focus on capturing the essence of the app in the first screenshot.

3. Avoid using screenshots of the user interface

Screenshots of settings, options, about us or similar supporting views should not be captured in screenshots. If possible you can even remove elements of the user interface from the screenshots to avoid distracting the user attention. (E.g. remove a distracting back button if it sits on top of aesthetically pleasing content before taking the screenshot). Feel free to break this rule if the user interface is award winning or designed by a renowned artist.

4. Use all available screenshots slots in the Store

If the app does not offer a lot of content use the screenshots for telling a story instead.

E.g.

  • A weather app that only has only a view that displays the weather in your current location, and does not allow seeing the forecast or the weather in other locations: take screenshots during different time of the day and in differ physical locations. Use 3 to 5 screenshots to show the main view with different content while explaining to the user the ideal use case for the app.

  • A note taking app with only one view should focus on how the app can be used instead of enumerating features. The main features of the app should be obvious from the usage scenario.

5. The last screenshot should either be memorable or contain a call to action

Use one of the most attractive screenshots as the last screenshot along with your tag line. Alternatively, use a call to action to instruct the user what to do next.

Rules can only get you so far. To really stand out, feel free to take creative liberties. After all, if your are doing what everyone else is doing, you won’t be any better than the rest.

Follow these rules to improve your Store conversion rate and to make users understand your app faster.

I have used these rules successfully on several of my games that I published in the Microsoft Store and in the App Store. You can find links to all the games that I built on my website: frenzygames.net