Having the most beautifully designed screenshots will probably not propel you to dominate the ranks of your app stores. On the other hand, having terrible screenshots will be a red flag to your potential users and you’ll lose them before they even have a chance to try the app. It’s kind of like a book cover. Your mom told you not to judge a book by it’s cover. Let’s be honest, your Amazon scroll speed is in race mode and you stop when a book cover is interesting enough. Same with Instagram. Same with the App Store. Screenshots are not a competitive advantage but you need good ones just to compete. Think of it as minimum requirements to play with the big boys.
Since no one on earth can predict what will people like the most, you need to constantly test screenshots until you find ones that convert well.
Unless you’re a rock star designer I don’t recommend you making your own screenshots. You have two options. Hire someone to do them for you. There are a ton of designer that can make beautiful screenshots for you for $5 – $20. I usually use Fiverr.com or UpWork.com to find freelance designers.
Second option is to take an existing template and modify it, if you have a basic knowledge of design programs like Photoshop or Sketch. (or you’re willing to spend a weekend learning the basics). I have created a basic screenshot template that converts well and I use for all new projects as a starting point. You can get it for free here, it’s in Sketch (design program). Simply download, change the text and images and boom, you’re good to go! You can also use a website like GraphicRiver to buy template from other people.
Most successful apps follow a simple screenshot format:
- Color background. Nothing too bright.
- Simply text on the top. Explain benefits or features in a phrase. Don’t write entire sentences or paragraphs. Nobody wants to read.
- Show key features. Give users a taste of what they’ll get in the app. Only show key features…nobody cares about the settings page.
- Screenshot of those features positioned inside the latest phone. If it’s iOS, use an iPhone. If it’s Android, use an Android phone.
Here’s an example of a business card scanner app. Following basic principles of color background, short text, showing an iPhone X
How many screenshots? Enough to communicate what your app is all about, but don’t try to put in filler information just to have 5 screenshots.
You’ll also need to create several different formats. For example You’ll need different screenshot dimensions for iPhone X and iPhone 7. The screenshot itself also needs to feature iPhone X, if it’s for the iPhone X version…makes sense, but people don’t realize it’s an actual requirement. The reviewer will not let you pass otherwise.
Resources and additional resources: