vineri, 28 decembrie 2012

Handling Google Play Promotional Graphics

Promotional Graphics
Promotional Graphics are the big graphics shown on top of your app’s screenshots and description in the Android Market. If you want to get featured, this graphic is required. So although it’s optional in the developer console, you should always upload your promotional image. For an overview on how this graphic should look like, I recommend reading this post from the official Android Developers Blog.
The promotional graphic is 1024 * 500 pixels in size, so you have a lot of space you can fill. Still, your graphic should not be packed with huge text since it will be scaled down to different sizes. Let me demonstrate this by an example used on the Android Developers Blogpost mentioned above:
Big promotional graphic
Big promotional graphic
This is the size a promo graphic has on the Android Market website.
Scaled down promotional graphic
Scaled down promotional graphic
This is the same image scaled down to the size it would have on a small phone or in one of the smaller feature places in the Android Market app. When taking a look at the image, I think they could have used a different font type since the ‘U’ is not completely visible anymore when down-scaled.
This scaling is the reason why your promotional image should be used to place a high resolution graphic that fits to your app. A big writing of your slogan or app’s name is also appropriate.
It is recommended to use colors other than black or white as a background to differentiate between your image and the Android Market’s design. Personally, I like those graphics that fit into the Markets own color scheme and float over to the description and screenshots, so I think this should be treated in the way you like best. Nonetheless, your background and foreground colors should have a good contrast so that your graphic can be captured by the viewer easily.
What you never should do is reuse content that is provided by the Android Market anyway. So don’t use screenshots, icons or your app’s description in your promotional graphic.
Personally I think that for both the icons and any promotional graphics a custom font should be used. You can find some cool free fonts here
We have decided to use the font from the picture for all our promotional stuff including icons in order to create a brand identity. Honestly I believe that the current graphics are a little over filled with content. e Please us the comments to let us know what do you think of our current promotional graphics.
Screenshots should represent your app. When your app is not beautiful, then your screenshots aren't  This leads to the biggest problem most developers have: They are experts in programming, but not in design or usability and are not able to write beautiful apps. When this is the case, there are two ways you can go, ideally you combine them.
The first way is to hire a designer, tell him what you need and implement that design. The second way is to implement a design on your own and do some Bambi tests. Bambi tests are done in this way: You look for someone of your potential target group that never tried your app, the Bambi. You give them a device with which they can try out your app without any advice. Don’t say a word, just let them try. Be careful about the way they use your app, about what’s intuitive to them and what’s not. 
There are a lot of things you can study when it comes to app design and usability, but in the end your app has to be as useful and intuitive as possible to your users. Your screenshots should look exactly like your app does and represent the functionality your app provides. However you should avoid displaying ads in the screenshots.
You can check some of the screenshots we included for our Septica app:
or from the Macao app:

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