App screenshots help users understand what your app is all about at a glance, inspiring them to try it out. So how can you create app screenshots that help you get more downloads? A quick check of the most popular apps in any of the app stores will confirm that the big app developers are investing more time in designing branded screenshots. And rightly so – it’s prime visual real estate.
Designing better screenshots, like the one above from Facebook Groups, can help you stand out from the competition in search results which in turn can help you get more downloads. You’ve invested time in creating your app, so why settle for blah-blah-bland screenshots, right?
So, how can you step up your screenshot game, you ask? Simple.
Focus on your strengths
What makes your app special? It’s hard to explain why your app rocks with a simple screenshot, so do like many leading brands and include a short blurb of text that captures what is important to your target user. Focus on the unique solutions or premium content users will get with your app, like the examples below from Asos, Soundcloud and Groupon. These simple, branded screenshots give app descriptions more context without being overwhelming.
Although Apple’s App Store Marketing Guide does state that you shouldn’t include an Apple device in the screenshot (like in the example from Asos), the vast number of apps that have gotten away with it suggests that your screenshot isn’t likely to be disapproved if you do opt to include it. If you do choose to use a device in your screenshots, Mockup is a great free tool you can use to get professional looking mockups for iOs and Android smartphones and tablets.
Illustrate the user journey
Even the simplest app will need some explanation, so use your screenshots to hone in on the key features or functions. When you upload your screenshots, order them to demonstrate how users can get the most out of your using your app. Uber does a great job at this by including additional images and close-ups of app content in a polished way. By explaining the app experience, you’ll pave the way for your new user to become a loyal super-user in no time.
Simplicity works, but don’t be afraid to add context to your screenshots with backgrounds, rotations or multiple shots. Twitter puts real life context into their screenshots by tying in the app content and a background image of a football game. You can also use the image to showcase multiple devices in different angles, like in the example from Kitchen Stories. Lastly, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Creative screenshots, like the one below from Drawnimal (an app that has children draw around the device) prove that screenshots can even be fun, as long as they show users what they can expect from downloading your app.
Ready to create your own stunning app screenshots?
If you’ve got your app on Apple’s App Store, you’ll want to review the iTunes Connect Developer Guide for full guidelines, but here are the key takeaways for screenshots:
- Required: 1 screenshot of the 3.5- inch display, 640 x 960px maximum
- Required: 1 screenshot of the 4-inch display, 640 x 1136px maximum
- If you’re app is compatible with the iPhone 6, at least 1 screenshot is required of the 4.7- inch display, 750 x 1334px
- If you’re app is compatible with the iPhone 6 Plus, at least 1 screenshot is required of the 5.5-inch display, 1242 x 2208px
- Up to four additional screenshots can be uploaded for each size.
- All saved images must be 72 dpi, RGB, flattened and with no transparency to be accepted by the App Store.
Google Play, on the other hand, has kept the Store Listing screenshot requirements pretty simple:
- To publish your Store Listing, you must provide a minimum of 2 screenshots.
- You can upload up to 8 screenshots for each supported device type: Phone, 7-inch tablet, 10-inch tablet, and Android TV.
- JPEG or 24-bit PNG (no alpha)
- Minimum dimension: 320px
- Maximum dimension: 3840px
- The maximum dimension of your screenshot cannot be more than twice as long as the minimum dimension.
Awesome screenshots aren’t just for big budget brands with pro creative teams – they’re for everyone. And now they’re even easier to create. Download our pre-sized app screenshots templates for iOS and Android and build screenshots that demand attention!
Have any tips for creating screenshots? Share them in the comments below!