11 App Store Screenshot Design Tips To Maximize User Downloads

3 seconds…

Yep! That’s all that you’ve got on hand to hijack that now-there-now-gone user attention.

By the way, isn’t that’s enough, huh? More than enough…as in those precious 3 seconds.

Because, as a leading mobile app development company, we believe that that if can’t manage to impress the visitors in those first 3 seconds, how are we gonna to do the same in the next 10 seconds. Anyway.

So no matter what ensure to embed only the most gorgeous screenshots possible, if you are really keen on getting valuable user attention and downloads. Apple today has over 1,500, 000 apps in stores today and we reckon that only remarkable screenshots will help your app to stand out in the sea of sameness.

For the starters, the first screenshot should be your trump card. In fact, it should resonate with the users like no other. The basic app idea, in short, should unfold in the first screenshot itself.

And then, go ahead and successfully follow it up with 4 other super good screenshots. Be assured, users will never go the competitors way, and will download your app in the first instance, if all the screenshots, that is five in toto, are up to scratch.

Even if the user doesn’t download it in the first instance, be sure that you’ve already created and cemented an image in his/her mind. So, be assured, your app is perhaps just waiting in line to get downloaded.

Getting your app name, app description right is all well and good. But, don’t forget, its app icon, reviews, and screenshots that users are interested. So, go ahead, and burn your boats until you get them right.

#1. Screenshot Dimensions And Other Technicalities

(Straight From Apple’s Developer Library)
 Hey, you know this right. Apple App Store being strict with its framework and all. So, pull out all stops to ensure that you stick by their guidelines. And this includes things like DPI, file formats, sizes, dimensions, and a total number of screenshots.

The to-list for all app screenshots irrespective of the retina display screen sizes:

  • Upload only high-quality JPG or PNG images to files. This ensures that your images appear crisp and unpixelated on the screens
  • Don’t include a status bar in your screenshots
  • One screenshot has to be uploaded. That’s a prerequisite.
  • Max four screenshots could be uploaded.
  • Screenshots could be rearranged as and when you create/edit the iTunes Connect record
  • 72 dpi, RGB, flattened, zero transparency

a] Screenshot Requirements for 3.5 — Inch Retina Display

Go ahead. Pick and choose any one of the following sizes. Or you can have all the four, plus the one mentioned in the to-list:

  • 640 x 920 pixels for hi-res portrait (without status bar) minimum
  • 640 x 960 pixels for hi-res portrait (full screen) maximum
  • 960 x 600 pixels for hi-res landscape (without status bar) minimum
  • 960 x 640 pixels for hi-res landscape (full screen) maximum

Yes, of course, you can rearrange the screenshots as and when you create or edit the iTunes Connect Record.

b] Screenshot Requirements for 4 — Inch Retina Display

Go ahead. Pick and choose any one of the following sizes. Or you can have all the four, plus the one mentioned in the to-list:

  • 640 x 1096 pixels for portrait (without status bar) minimum
  • 640 x 1136 pixels for portrait (full screen) maximum
  • 1136 x 600 pixels for landscape (without status bar) minimum
  • 1136 x 640 pixels for landscape (full screen) minimum

c] Screenshot Requirements for 4.7 — Inch Retina Display

If your app is optimized for iPhone 6, ensure to include one screenshot of 4.7 — inch size. Rest of the details remain the same.

  • 750 x 1334 pixels for hi-res portrait
  • 1334 x 750 pixels for hi-res landscape

d] Screenshot Requirements for 5.5 — Inch Retina Display

If your app is optimized for the iPhone 6 Plus, ensure that at least one screenshot is of 5.5-inch size.

  • 1242 x 2208 pixels for hi-res portrait
  • 2208 x 1242 pixels for hi-res landscape

e] iPad Screenshots ( only if your app runs on iPad)

If you app runs on iPad, the concerned developer has to upload at least one iPad screenshot.

Any of the following sizes could be included for the iPad:

  • 1024 x 748 pixels for landscape (without status bar) minimum
  • 1024 x 768 pixels for landscape (full screen) maximum
  • 2048 x 1496 pixels for hi-res (without status bar) minimum
  • 2048 x 1536 pixels for hi-res landscape (full screen) maximum
  • 768 x 1004 pixels for portrait (without status bar) minimum
  • 768 x 1024 pixels for portrait (full screen) maximum
  • 1536 x 2008 pixels for hi-res portrait (without status bar) minimum
  • 1536 x 2048 pixels for hi-res portrait (full screen) maximum

f] iPad Pro Screenshots

Here you could upload up to five optional screenshots.

  • 2732 x 2048 pixels for hi-res portrait
  • 2048 x 2732 pixels for hi-res landscape

g] Mac (OS X) screenshot requirements

Incorporate one OSX screenshot for Mac apps and they would appear in the order they are uploaded in iTunes Connect.

One of the following sizes should be part of the screenshot:

  • 1280 x 800 pixels
  • 1440 x 900 pixels
  • 2880 x 1800 pixels

h] tvOS Screenshots

If your app has a tvos platform, opt for at least one screenshot that gels with this platform. Again, you can upload four extra screenshots here.

Yep! So much for screenshot dimensions. Other crucial aspects that App Store enforces in terms of screenshots inlcude:

#2. The First Screenshot Should Be Your Trump card

The first/lead/main screenshot of your app is the piece-de-resistance among all the screenshots. So, ensure that it highlights the main purpose of your app. Nothing else. All the remaining info could be pushed to other screenshots. Browse the iTunes Connect Developer Guide to know how important the main screenshot is, given that it appears on the both the desktop App Store and the device App Store.

The other notable features could go in the remaining four.

The first screenshot of Apps such as Linkedin, Sunrise Calendar and You Need A Budget First indicates upfront what the app is all about.

#3. Load Pictures In All The Five Screenshots

Yep! So no matter what don’t even think of even missing one screenshot. Because these are the best mediums to convey all the notable features of your app and will help visitors decide whether it’s worth their effort and time. If you are not using all the screenshots, you are losing a golden opportunity to tempt your potential customers.

#4. Remaining Four Screenshot Messages Should Be In Perfect Flow

Yep! Incorporating random screenshots is nothing less than a hara-kiri. So ensure all your screenshots are perfectly chosen and in proper flow. Better still: Add some story or flow to it. USPs should be highlighted in the initial screens itself. If possible, arrange them in a hierarchical order. This indeed could turn out to be a differentiating factor for your app.

Pocket App that saves Articles and Videos to view later has got all its screenshots in flow

#5. Screenshots With App-in-action Images

Ensure to include app-in-action images. As in, capture those images that show your app in live action. It should be larger-than-life, like lifestyle images. They make a better impact. Don’t they?

Analog Camera with some of the best live-action images

#6. Screenshots With Devices In Them

Though Apple’s Marketing Guidelines speaks against using devices in the screenshots, but then it doesn’t enforce this guideline either. So, it’s a commonplace to find screenshots with devices in them in the app store.

My Pocket — Password Manager and Secure Wallet for Personal Documents has got screenshots with devices in them

#7. Customize Screenshots For Different Markets

The language factor should be taken care of first. Moving on, the devs need to factor in other aspects as well, such as comic and animated characters and more. Check out the Ticket Camp app for more.

Ticket Camp has featured animated style screenshots that appeal to the Japanese users (source: appannie)

#8. Optimize Screenshots for Games

Game screenshots that comprise gameplay and high-quality visual designs strike the right chord with potential gamers. Take for instance Sniper X with Jason Statham. It has got lively characters and gameplay mentioned at the bottom.

Sniper X With Jason Statham has got lively characters and gameplay on every screenshot

#9. Make Screenshot Texts Concise and Catchy

Don’t forget to place your headlines above the screenshot so that visitors know at one go, what the app is all about. Plus, ensure that your headline font size is of 100pts. And yes, the body copy should be of max 1–2 lines and of 65 pts. And, it should, in fact, highlight the key benefit of the screenshot that’s on display.

Clear — An app for Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists has got the right mix of headlines and body text that resonates well with the users

# 10. Flaunt Newest Features First

Blood & Glory by Glu Games Inc is one of the popular games in the Apple App store. You can see here that the app is making the most of its first screenshot by highlighting the newest feature it has introduced to the app. This, in a way, lets the gamers know that the game is being regularly updated and the devs are trying to make it more and more interesting.

Blood & Glory — Flaunts the newest feature first

Frontline Commando — Flaunts the newest feature first

#11. Incorporate A Mini-Tutorial

Incorporate images that are sort of tutorial showcasing some of the special features of the app. For example, Adobe Photoshop Fix has got some amazing tools that would help you gain the look that you are always after.

Adobe Photoshop Fix For That Elusive Look You Are Looking For

Over To You Now

Do you think I have missed our some points here? (Of course, I did)

Just go ahead and point out those missed points in the comment section below.

Certainly…I’ll be looking out for them.

And, don’t forget to consult us for all your mobile app design needs.


Originally published at www.openxcell.com on November 6, 2015.

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