7-tips-for-designing-app-store-screenshots-that-get-more-usersGetting app users begins with your app store listing.

Well, that’s not necessarily true. Getting app users might begin with the thousands of dollars of ad spend you’ve budgeted to drive visitors to your app store listing. Or it might begin with the invitation one of your existing users sent to his entire contacts list.

Now imagine spending those thousands of dollars, or convincing your app user to invite his entire social circle, only for new visitors to wind up on an app store listing that’s just kind of… meh.

You don’t want to be meh. You want to stand out from other apps and make it crystal clear why your visitor can’t leave your listing without downloading your app first.

One of the first things visitors will notice is the Details section of your app store listing, to which you can upload five images. Let’s talk about how to make those images irresistible.

1. Use the right image dimensions

Let’s get this technical bit out of the way, shall we? Upload images that are the correct size for the devices your app is compatible with. The iOS Developer Library has a fantastic guide to these image sizes. Bookmark this page as your reference for future device releases. Always upload high-quality JPG or PNG image files and stick to the sizing guide — this will ensure that your images are crisp and unpixelated on those fancy retina screens.


2. Upload five images, not just one

All apps must have a minimum of one image, with the option to upload four extra images. Not uploading those four extra images is like painting a landscape and leaving four-fifths of the canvas blank. Why would you do that?


This is your space to convince visitors to download your app. It could be the difference between gaining a loyal customer and, well, not. Paint your whole canvas, and upload five images.

3. Include screenshots of your app

Include real screenshots of your app in action. But don’t just choose screens at random — walk people through the core features of your app, or the most common user flow. Runkeeper does a great job of this. They include screenshots within an iPhone image over a vibrant blue background, with some text describing the features in the screenshot.


4. Caption your screenshots with enticing and concise copy

Use 1-2 lines of text at maximum to convey the key benefit of the screenshot you’re displaying. Again, Runkeeper is a great example here. Place the text above your screenshot so visitors can scan the text first, then see what you’re talking about in the image. Soundcloud is another shining example of combining clear screenshots with concise explanation copy. The text is large and easy to read, but also succinct and effective.


5. Show visitors what it will be like to use your app

Select screens users will frequently use in your app to show what the experience will really be like. iHeartRadio features an image of a song playing as their number one screenshot, which accurately represents what your screen would look like most of the time while using their app. They follow up with four images including a screenshot/caption combo to show off the top features that set them apart from their competition.


If you want to take this popular meta approach of showing your app ON an iPhone ON their iPhone, Apple has generously provided Photoshop files of their Apple product images. Download them here.

6. Show off your newest features

MyFitnessPal, one of the most popular iPhone apps, uses the first image to show off their newest feature. This assures prospective users that the app is regularly updated to make it as easy as possible to track their fitness and nutrition.


7. Provide a mini-tutorial

Use these images to provide a tutorial for key functionality that might not be so obvious. For example, Daily, an app for Craigslist shows off how you can literally circle ads:


Heads Up! explains how to play the game at a party with your friends.


Sleepcycle shows you where to place your phone in order to accurately collect your sleep data.


Facetune shows how to swipe at your selfie to make your teeth whiter. Win!


Which app screenshots have you found to be particularly impressive? Share your favorites in the comments — we’d love to hear from you!