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February 13, 2013
Windows Phone Developer Blog

Make your app more attractive to customers in the Windows Phone Store

We’ve been talking a lot recently about what it will take to be one of the 64 winners of the Windows Phone Next App Star*contest to advance to the voting rounds, where the winning app will get the chance to be featured in a Windows Phone primetime TV ad. We’ve discussed App Quality and the importance of app Functionality, Utility, and Enjoyment, and now we’d like to cover another critical element.

Today’s customers are busy and flooded with information and options. You must quickly win their interest and trust if you want to successfully drive them to consider purchasing your app. While great apps come in many shapes and forms, the following practices will provide you with some of the most common ways to polish your app and ensure that customers are drawn to it.

App tile image
The appearance of your app icon or tile plays a significant role in how your app is perceived by customers. Building an attractive tile is one of the best ways to draw attention to your app and entice customers to explore your product. These steps may help your app stand out from the crowd:

  • Create unique and eye-catching imagery.
  • Keep it simple; avoid unnecessary clutter.
  • Make sure the image corresponds to your app.
  • Make the text easy to read.
  • Use Windows Phone design principles.
  • Although screenshots are helpful in a description, avoid using them in the tile
  • Incorporate elements of your brand that customers recognize.
clip_image002 Words By Post is an example of a simple, clean, and unique app tile image that clearly represents the app and what it has to offer.

App display name
The name of your app is another important factor in its appeal to customers. Your app name represents what your app is all about; it gives new customers a preview of the experience and provides a way for existing customers to recommend it to others. Here are some guidelines to help you name your app:

  • Make it resonate; it should be interesting and unique.
  • Avoid underscores and uncommon symbols.
  • Use spacing where appropriate.
clip_image004 TripAdvisor is an example of a catchy and unique app display name that clearly depicts the app’s functionality for potential customers.

App description
The description is your chance to sell your app by fulfilling the customer need. A customer found your app intriguing and decided to click—now it’s your opportunity to persuade them to install it. We recommend following these guidelines for writing quality app descriptions that will help you close the deal:

  • The first two or three sentences are critical. Busy consumers may not read more.
  • Use correct grammar and spelling.
  • Describe what your app does best.
  • Tell customers why they will enjoy your app, and why it stands out from the crowd.
  • Be truthful and accurate.
  • Include versioning history and change logs to showcase improvements.
  • Describe additional offerings that can be purchased after installation, such as new features or levels.
clip_image006 Phototastic is an example of an app with a detailed yet concise description that clearly tells customers what they will get and why they will love it.

A few more tips for building an attractive app
These tips will help add the finishing touches to your app and really make it shine:

  • Take the time to design a high-quality panorama. Panoramas are images displayed in the background of Windows Phone devices, and should resonate with the majority of users. You should design localization and background art applicable for all relevant countries or regions where your app is available. The image specifications for panoramas are 1000 x 800 px, .png file type, and 96 dpi.
  • Provide screenshots that show attractive app content.

As you finalize your app, remember to review your app tile image, display name, and description to ensure they will engage users. Compelling descriptions and visuals will help increase downloads and the potential for great user reviews. Good luck!


*Contest open only to students, hobbyists, or developers in the field of software technology 18+. Submission period ends 3/5/13 and public voting period ends 4/8/13. For details, see Official Rules.