Standing out among competitors is not an easy undertaking, with thousands of new apps being added to the app stores each day. Even harder is to be one of the apps fortunate enough to be chosen as an Editor’s Choice app by the Google Play editorial team.
In today’s App Store Spotlight, we take a look at Sanvello, a Google Play Editor’s Choice app that aims to help users manage their anxiety, stress and depression. We’ll evaluate how it uses its creative sets - the image and video assets visible on its Product Page - to see what it does well and where it has room to grow.
Google Play App Icon
The app icon is simply the Sanvello branded logo and color, with no additional text or art elements. This style can be beneficial for well recognized brands, or if there are substantial marketing efforts driving in users to the Play Store where instant recognition of the same App Icon they saw on the previous page is important for cohesiveness all the way down the funnel.
However, this limits opportunities to expand conversion potential. While the brand may be recognizable to users with context coming in from external ads, users searching for core keywords like “anxiety”, “stress” and “therapy” may not make the ever-important instant connection between their search query and Sanvello’s app.
Common design elements among competitors for these types of search terms include:
- Graphics with serene connotations, such as lotus flowers, sunsets or cool color palettes
- Line drawings of calm, relaxed or happy faces
- Text relevant to the search term imposed below the main icon
- Testing these elements in a Play Store Experiment can give some insight into if it converts better than just the standard logo and leads to higher conversion.
Google Play Feature Graphic and Promo Video
Similar to the App Icon, the Feature Graphic is mainly a branded art asset with the Sanvello name, logo and a background pattern of a cresting ocean wave.
The wave leads into the first two screenshots, showing device frames over a now breaking wave on the sand. This composition is evocative of the core concept of the app and may resonate with the user- an oncoming torrent that finds its way to a gentle swash over the beach, with images of the app and its accolades superimposed over this phase as it occurs, representing its role in helping a user make this happen for themselves.
As a concept, all of this is great, but there is one issue preventing it from even showing up- Sanvello does not have a Promo video. In the Play Store, the Feature Graphic will not appear in the Gallery before the Screenshots unless a Promo video is enabled.
Once enabled, Sanvello may benefit from A/B testing this highly thematic concept against other popular concepts in the Google Play Store for a Feature Graphic: emphasizing accolades, strong calls to action, showing the App UI and highlighting other value propositions. While these should not all be tested at once, testing one at a time can show which features users respond best to.
Google Play Screenshots
Without a Promo video, the Google Play Screenshots are the only focus of the Gallery in the Play Store Product Page. Many of the aforementioned elements to test are used in Sanvello’s screenshots: the first image includes value propositions (“everything you need to feel better”), a list of features (“self care - coaching - therapy - community”), accolades (highlighting their Google Play Editor’s Choice award) and of course the App UI.
On the backdrop of the oceanside background composition, Sanvello’s first two screenshots start off with all value propositions in image #1, followed by a very simple, very direct view of the app’s UI - only asking the user, “how are you?”
This combination of multiple details and a simple question make for an excellent introduction to the app, with a plethora of features and credibility laid out in the user’s introduction, followed by a demonstration of the app’s simplicity and core use case.
The screenshots that follow remove the ocean background environment and opt for a simple black background with a steady sine wave, calling back to the photo-realistic ocean background in a more simplified and steady way. The foreground of these images include text at the top, with the app UI at the bottom taking up the majority of the screen.
While the functionality of the UI is not too difficult to decipher, the text at the top makes easier for users to understand. Core concepts, many of which include relevant search terms like “self care”, are bolded in the text for easy readability.
This combination of explanatory text with core concepts visually emphasized can allow a user to scan the screenshot set much quicker and get the information they need to understand the app. The simplified wave pattern can also visually lead the user to continue reading through the full set.
The screenshots wrap up with a background image of an indoor living space interior, still continuing the steady linear wave graphic across the center of each image. These last two screenshots show a text chat conversation with a coach, followed by one using FaceTime.
From start to finish, the screenshots carry a strong, evolving theme - both representationally and literally - as a user progresses from gauging Sanvello’s credibility, to learning about its UI and features, to finally being called to action to chat or talk to a live licensed therapist.
Even with such a strong, cohesive flow, there is always room to test and improve. Different features shown earlier in the screenshots may lead to higher conversion rates, for users that won’t scroll all the way to the end - even with a wave to lead them there. Elements like color schemes, device frames, photo-realistic backgrounds versus abstract lines can also be tested to see if users resonate better with a particular design style.
Achieving Editor’s Choice is no small feat. But even apps that are bestowed this honor, and have other strong branding and design foundations, always have room for improvement through testing. Sanvello’s app Icon can be adjusted to test competitor strategies common in the market, while maintaining its branding; its Feature Graphic’s conceptual introduction can shine through if a Promo Video is added; its screenshot set, despite its strong suits, should be used as a baseline to test against one element at a time.
Much like the ebbs and flows of managing mindfulness, user response to a creative set is not a straight, unchanging line. Even apps with the highest awards should evaluate their creative sets, launch tests and build upon the data collected for continued, healthy growth.
Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.