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First impressions matter, period!
Why do you think the entrance to seven-star hotels are so grand? As an app designer, it is important that you think about the first impression you are making on someone who is using it for the first time.
This is where splash screen and its design can come to your aid.
In this post we are going to talk about splash screens for both Android and iOS, reasons why we need splash screens, app splash screen generators, how to create splash screen in Android and iOS, best practices for splash screen design.
So, let’s start with the basics, first.
A splash screen typically is a screen that is displayed on an app or a website that shows up for the viewers while the app or website is loading.
Typically, a splash screen shows a logo, brand properties, sometimes a loading indicator.
As per a recent study, 63% people confess to consistent, repetitive branding as a big influencer on their purchase decision.
Primarily splash screens have been associated with brand strengthening, but let’s delve deeper into the reasons why you may need an app splash screen.
There is a marked difference between Splash Screen and Splash Page. While we have talked at length about what a Splash Screen is, it is time to talk about Splash Page. A Splash Page is a great way to make announcements or promote stuff that the visitors can see before they reach the actual content. You can add a certain functionality to a splash page, not to a splash screen. This could be to allow the visitors to choose a language, go to a certain offer page, watch a little bit of a back story, before moving on to the real page.
There has been enough debate about using app splash screens in apps. While some people are of the opinion that it puts people off, there are others who insist that mobile app splash screens help in more ways than one.
Let’s take a look.
Patience is a precious commodity, and it is rare! No one today has the patience to wait long for an app or a website to load. In fact, according to a study by Kissmetrics, 40% people abandon a website after waiting for three seconds, if the website does not load! Three Seconds!
A splash screen gives the app users a reason to stick around.
The user experience begins the moment a user opens your app. You can use your app splash screen to set the tone of the entire experience that you have designed for them. Splash screens that are designed well, acknowledge the presence of the customer, making them feel appreciated and cared for. Isn’t that a great tone to set, right at the start?
This can backfire, if you didn’t pay enough attention to the design of your app and you create a negative experience for the app users. In fact, this is something you may never come back from!
User satisfaction is of prime importance when it comes to any mobile app. Splash screens can help you maximize it beautifully by managing their perception and expectations. Using a splash screen, you can ensure that their perception of your app is above their expectations from the app.
If you manage to do this, you can ensure user satisfaction.
Let’s face it, there are going to be delays in loading. The wait becomes a little more bearable when you have at least an idea about how long it is going to take. You may have the best app, your users may have the best device, still there may be times when a delay is unavoidable. This may be when the app is loading user data or authenticating with remote services. An app splash screen can help reduce user anxiety as they are waiting. This helps by making the wait time feel lesser and assuring them that the app is still loading.
App splash screens is a great space to establish brand loyalty. This is where you can showcase your brand property, particularly your logo or a tag line that you want the customers to associate with your app.
34% people accept that they spend more on a brand that is consistent with its messaging, while 39% say they would spend less on a brand that lacks this consistency.
However, overdoing this can backfire, because it can lead to an aversion, when you try too hard. Be careful with this one!
Splash screens need not be splashy or flashy. In fact, it is a good idea to stay away from the jazz. You don’t want to annoy your customers! Think about creating a splash screen that is different, memorable, but not disruptive.
I reiterate here, not many people have the patience to wait these days. For example, we know how popular videos are today, but if the loading time for video goes even 400-millisecond more than 2 seconds, people will abandon it and move on.
What I am trying to say here is that considering the attention span is getting shorter by the day and the general level of patience is pretty low, a longer splash screen is bound to drive people away from your app. you certainly don’t want that, do you?
Like I mentioned earlier in the blog, maintaining consistency in brand messaging is important. This not only assures the app users of your authenticity, but also helps you in solidifying your brand recognition.
Brand identity can be maintained by maintaining the brand colors, including the brand logos strategically in the visual, and being consistent with the general tone and brand messaging.
As a best practice, it is important that you design the splash screen in the correct format. The transparent PNG format suits the purpose best. Though other formats may do the job, but the PNG format makes the entire screen look more appealing and cleaner.
In-app advertising is a viable and popular method of app monetization. However, your splash screen is not a place to put up ads! This is going to do your app more harm than good. The splash screen is something that introduces your app and if ads are the first thing they see, can you imagine how they are going to react? They may even uninstall your app!
One of the worst points to ignore is the size and resolution of the splash screen. A splash screen that doesn’t fit the screen size hampers your entire brand image. It looks unprofessional and makes your products and services seem untrustworthy. This is tricky because there are multiple screen sizes, particularly in case of Android devices that have multiple options.
Splash screens must catch the eye and attention of the app users; hence they must be designed beautifully. Adding too many elements or text to this screen is not a great idea. If you are doing this right, your splash screen will only appear for a short while. There is no need to overload the screen. Some designers go for a color gradient, while others advocate for a combination of creative backgrounds, logo, and a bit of animation.
Splash screens do a pretty good job of keeping the users engaged. However, if your app is taking some time to load, it is a good idea to put in a loading indicator to let the app users know how long the wait will be. It could be a progress bar, or a short wheel animation assuring them that the app is loading.
A great visual that brings forth your brand identity sparks joy in the app user. Well begun is half done. If you can induce a positive feeling or happiness right at the start, the rest of the user experience on the app is bound to go great.
Step 1: Go to appypie.com/app-builder and click on “Create your free app”
Step 2: Enter your business name and click on Next
Step 3: Choose the category for your app
Step 4: Pick a color scheme for your app
Step 5: Select a test device
Step 6: Click on Save and Continue to check the preview of the app
Step 7: Signup to create an account with Appy Pie. If you already have an app account, you can click on login to continue. You can even login using your Google account
Step 8: This is Design Customization section. From here you can change the app color theme, fonts and colors, app layout, app elements, etc. Here we will add the app splash screen
Step 9: Scroll down to customize app elements area. Here you will see app splash screen option and default image. Click on the image to add a new splash screen
Step 10: A popup “Splash Screen” will open. Here you have three options. If you want, you can either add a free image from Appy Pie, or a paid Shutterstock image or upload your own image as a splash screen
Step 11: Once you are done, click on Ok to continue
Majority of quality apps today welcome app users with splash screens, but still the question is often asked by app developers, app users, and app owners alike.
The answer to this question depends on who you are asking. For a marketer, a splash screen is a crucial tool to strengthen their branding. For a developer, however, splash screen is an unnecessary element in most cases.
However, in case of apps that rely on heavy resources like Maps, games, or Google Earth, Splash Screens play an important role.
Some marketers have found splash screens great, not just for branding but also to keep the app visitors around for longer. UX designers have found the use of a progress bar quite efficient when it comes to getting people to stay till the app loads.