Why are so many app icons (both Android and iOS) blue? Is it because of functionality? Is it because of color psychology? Or is there any other reason? What is with this love for the blue tone?
If you’re using your phone, you’d notice that most of the apps in it have blue icons. The situation is so bad that sometimes you can open the wrong app because they all have blue in it, whether it is Skype or Shazam or Dropbox or more.
Understand the role that color players in a smartphone user’s experiences
Identifying the best color combination is definitely an important yet overlooked element of coming up with a high-quality mobile app. The choice of the color should be carefully decided, from the app icon to the logo to the buttons and the navigation elements that make the app’s interface.
In a study that was conducted by the University of Winnipeg, the researchers found that 62-90% of your snap judgment about products is based on color alone. As such, it is very important that the app designers understand how significant a role color plays in determining whether you decide to download that mobile app or not.
One of the first interactions that a consumer has with a brand is with the mobile app icon in the app store. In 2017, research was done to better understand app icon designs and how to design icons that’ll more likely convert into downloads.
One of the insights that were gained through this research was that blue is easily the most popular color for icons in the app store. Think about the most popular apps – Twitter, Facebook, Safari, Apple App Store, Shazam, LinkedIn. Is there something they all have in common? Yes, you guessed it right! All of them have blue app icons.
Whilst blue was popular in most of the categories, red was the most popular color amongst Food and Drinks apps. Even though most of these food apps have red-colored icons, the reason has little to do with science. Using red color to inspire hunger isn’t backed by science as many would think. In fact, in a study published by Appetite, it was concluded that red reduces and not increases the likelihood of eating.
Think about the message that you’re sending
Choosing the colors for the app icon will be one of the most important branding decisions any company has to make when developing and launching their new product. Each product is different and the icon will communicate individually so that it doesn’t get lost on the screen.
As such, it’ll be important to keep the audience. Think of the potential differences between different cultures if you’re going to release an international product and use “blue” to unify the audience, because who doesn’t love blue color?
Rebranding and changing your icon color isn’t something rare. There is nothing more annoying than seeing a weird color that doesn’t represent your brand when you could have made the app come across as more classy had you used a blue icon.
Does Blue give luminous logos?
There is a simple reason why corporate branding teams love having blue in their logos. Blue is one of the most popular and a favorite amongst different cultures, ages, genders, making it highly attractive for brands looking to appeal to a mass audience. Shades of blue often convey a sense of calm, openness, and trust while colors like yellow, orange, and purple are associated with things like youthful, weird, and unusual respectively.
Blue is the safer choice for designers as it is closer to neutral. Many newbie app developers also choose this color to smoothen their foray into the mobile ecosystem and foster a sense of trust among digital users.
Of course, not all successful apps have blue app icons. Dynamic media apps like YouTube, iHeartRadio, and Netflix, as well as healthcare apps like CVS and Walgreens, rely on red. The most popular with a yellow app icon is Snapchat, though its color matches its target user base – Millenials and youngsters. It conveys a sense of creativity, which is important to the app’s core values.
Blue is a tried and true choice
So why is it that so many apps like Pandora choose to camouflage themselves in blue? Beyond just using blue as the neutral color, some brands also use it for symbolizing different natural and man-made elements.
Tony Calzaretta, the VP of Design of Pandora stated in his blog post about how the logo change came about; “As Pandora continues to evolve the most personal music experience, our new look embraces the dynamic range of sound and color, visualizing the energy and emotion that artists pour into the creation of music, and that we feel as listeners.”
The intriguing nature of the blue color doesn’t just symbolize technology or neutrality but it also symbolizes life, movement, and expression. Different tones and shades of blue can connote numerous things for different people, which is perhaps the biggest reason why so many people consider blue hues as their favorite colors.