How to A/B Test Icon Your App: Mobile App A/B Testing Guide

Useful tips to A/B test icon your app to excellent performance. Engage in effective mobile app A/B testing and let your application icon contribute to boosting your revenue.
Did you know that your mobile app icon, along with other vital creatives, can noticeably boost your mobile app downloads? That’s a proven fact! The tiny thing takes up just a few hundred pixels but is powerful enough to make your potential app user decide whether they want to install (and invest in) your product or not.

Before you A/B test icon your application in accordance with our guide below, make sure you have up to 5 attention-grabbing app icon designs to choose from. In the long run, you’ll only have to stick with one. But if you make the right choice, it is sure to take your revenue to the next level.

Wondering how to choose the best app icon that will aid you in transforming viewers to paying users? Neither your colleagues nor family members will effectively help you get it right. That’s where laser-focused A/B testing (also referred to as split testing) comes into play.

In this post, we’ll cover the basics of mobile app A/B testing and provide detailed recommendations on the process. So, if you’re interested in learning how to effectively implement the best A/B testing app practices within your Android- or iOS-focused target audience, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading and let this guide lead your way to success.

A/B Test App Icon With Google Play’s New Tool

The dev team behind Android has made split testing easy. Just make the most of the new Experiment option in your console and run a variety of attributes through their paces, including your mobile app icon. Focus on doing a Global experiment. You can try more intricate (regionally adjusted) tests later, but at this point, prioritize rolling out your app with the best icon. 

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide for running split testing via Google Play’s tool:
1
Indicate the name of your experiment.
2
Choose your audience mix.
3
Select ’Hi-res icon’ in the corresponding ‘Attributes’ section.
4
Upload your icon versions, making sure they’re within the required sizes.
5
Ensure that all the uploaded icon versions are in perfect shape graphics-wise. That’s about it. You’re ready for the performance-test icon experiment.
Incorporate variants for each icon you created. People in various test groups will be shown different icons, but one single version is saved throughout the experiment period to prevent users from seeing the alternative versions in case of revisiting your product page. Once you collect enough information, the best-performing icon should surface.

Want to know how to split test your app icon for iOS? With a little ’elbow grease’ and think-out-of-the-box approach, you can easily cope with this task, too. We’ll let you in on the process in the next section, so keep reading.

iOS-Focused A/B Testing App Tips

If you’re looking to A/B test your app within iOS and other app stores, make use of paid split testing on Facebook. As a matter of fact, Facebook is very effective when it comes to testing app icons. With its extensive user catalog, advanced targeting possibilities, as well as reputation of the leading service on both web and mobile, Facebook is perfect for split testing.

Below, we’ve listed some useful tips on A/B testing your iOS app via Facebook.
  • Set the campaign to Cost Per Impression. That way, you will invest a certain amount of money in a fixed number of impressions. If you opt for Cost Per Click, this will show most-frequently-clicked ads to your potential users. 
  • Simplicity is key. When running a campaign, you should concentrate on test-driving a variety of app icon ideas with banner ads. Make your banner ads simple in terms of context while keeping your entire focus on the icon. Play with your icon designs in order to figure out which option is best during testing. Stay with the version that generates the most clicks with your target audience. Whether you’re deciding on the very first icon for your app or want to upgrade the old one, this strategy is very effective. 
  • Diversify your targeting approach. In order to do that, target several groups of users that may fancy your product. Use such parameters as age, gender, location, field of work, and the like in order to perform segmented targeting. As a result, you will pick the right icon for the right target consumer group.
  • Don’t forget to pause the campaign when you’re through. When it’s time to compare the number of impressions across each icon version you’ve test-driven, make sure you manually pause the campaign. Because if you don’t, it will run until your budget runs out, and the results will be far from trustworthy.

Some More App A/B Testing Hacks

Can’t get enough of our expert recommendations on potentially successful A/B testing of your application? Want more tips from professionals with years of experience in the field? We’ve got you covered. Here are some more handy hacks for you to make use of.
Be bold and precise when split testing your app icon
Need some forthright answers? Use icon concepts that are bravely versatile. Your new icon versions should differ from the original in a very significant way. After A/B-test-determining which icon version performs best, experiment with its subtle adjustments right until you pinpoint the absolute champion among them.

As a matter of fact, your upgraded (or brand new) icon design can easily attract potential users who used to disregard the older version. By updating the icon after effectively performing split testing, you can make your potential users think it’s a brand new product. With that said, the power of your app icon should never be underestimated.
Laser-like focus is key when it comes to A/B testing your app icon
What we mean here is that if you’re aiming for maximum efficiency and accuracy, you should concentrate on one element per one split testing campaign only. Don’t be tempted to change your other creatives or metadata items, too, for this is a counterproductive approach.
Think outside installs
Bear in mind that the ultimate goal of your app icon split testing endeavors should be attracting the right kind of audience. With that said, for instance, if you created your app to attract paying users and so far, it only brings downloads, your app icon targets the wrong audience. On that basis, refine your creatives with your ultimate goal in mind, don’t just aim at boosting downloads.

You should keep in mind that if you use Google Experiments for A/B testing of your app icon, the tool may not provide you with some profound tracking tools for achieving the best tracking results. Facebook-based split testing possibilities are, on the contrary, equipped with a truly in-depth level of tracking. Long story short, make sure you do your homework in regards to each of these two routes prior to sticking with one of them long-term.
App icon split testing works wonders
After performing A/B testing on our clients’ app icon variations, the best one generated nearly 20% more hits. Yes, that’s up to 20% more potential downloads (and possibly even paying clients). The results are truly impressive, wouldn’t you agree?

Based on these vital observations, you can draw one very important conclusion: adjusting your app icon design and performing split testing to identify the best-performing icon version is something that’s worth investing your resources in. In the long run, this smart approach will take your entire business to a whole new level.

Conclusion: A/B Test Your App Icon Like a Pro

Cutting to the chase, do not rely on your taste and instincts only when it comes to choosing the icon for your application. Make the most of split testing based on the afore-described methods, and you will stay with the icon your target audience adores.
So, what does it all come down to? Here’s a brief summary of this article’s key points:
a wisely chosen icon design can bolster your app downloads tremendously;
choosing the right icon based on zero reasoning (or a friend’s advice) is futile;
with a truly effective split testing strategy at your fingertips, you can succeed in determining the highest-performing icon;
be bold and flexible when A/B testing your app icon;
concentrate on split testing your icon only, the rest app page elements and creatives should be A/B tested separately;
the results of split testing should stimulate the right audience to take the right action towards your application, meaning, if you want your potential users to download it and become paying clients, your app icon optimization efforts should be expressly focused on that mission.
Don’t miss a single blog post from our experts — add us to your favorite bookmarks and get back for more updates on app optimization. Have anything to add or ask on the topic? Leave a comment below to get the discussion going. We value your feedback greatly. And don’t hesitate to give our ASO platform a go. Chances are it will help you skyrocket your app to stardom.

Web Designer
Lada Murzak