Electronic Commerce Research

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 83–102 | Cite as

Effects of the aesthetic design of icons on app downloads: evidence from an android market

  • Mengyue Wang
  • Xin Li


With the rapid development of the mobile app market, understanding the determinants of mobile app success has become vital to researchers and mobile app developers. Extant research on mobile applications primarily focused on the numerical and textual attributes of apps. Minimal attention has been provided to how the visual attributes of apps affect the download behavior of users. Among the features of app “appearance”, this study focuses on the effects of app icon on demand. With aesthetic product and interface design theories, we analyze icons from three aspects, namely, color, complexity, and symmetry, through image processing. Using a dataset collected from one of the largest Chinese Android websites, we find that icon appearance influences the download behavior of users. Particularly, apps with icons featuring higher colorfulness, proper complexity, and slight asymmetry lead to more downloads. These findings can help developers design their apps.


Mobile apps Demand Icon Aesthetics Image processing 



This work is partially supported by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Grant CityU 11503115) and City University of Hong Kong (Grant SRG 7004287).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information Systems, College of BusinessCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong

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