With the latest version of Appsfire Deals, we introduced a major refresh to our app icon. Appsfire Deals has come a long way, and it was about time that our icon felt as current and as bold as the app itself.
What you see above are the outcome of many months of starts, stops, restarts, and throw-your-hands-in-the-air bouts of frustration. We drew on paper, on whiteboards, on our iPhones, in Omnigraffle and Photoshop. We went high-concept and low. We worked with designers and showed our ideas to colleagues and friends. And for months, the best place we ever got was, “not bad”.
But we wanted, “Wow.” We wanted something that made us want to put our finger on it and launch something awesome.
We’re not alone with this frustration. Developing a great icon is really, really hard. Apple gives you a mere 114×114 rounded rectangle to represent your app and your brand on Retina iPhones, which is the most common place your app icon will be seen.
In interviewing top-shelf designers, we heard a common refrain: “I worked on the icon for [INSERT NAME BRAND APP], but they went with something (or someone) else in the end”. Translation: There are lots of companies out there churning through iteration after iteration of app icon ideas.
Looking back at some of the icons we tried and failed with is like revisiting photos of yourself in your high school yearbook. You look at your haircut and outfit and think, “How did I ever think that dressing like this was a good idea?”. We look back at this icon concept, and this one and this one and this one and wonder, “What were we thinking?!”
In the spirit of nostalgia, we put together this little retrospective for your viewing pleasure. Perhaps there are a few other developers out there who once felt our pain. To those developers, we also hope you feel what we feel now that we’ve found an icon we love: pure joy.