The Power of the Personalized Icon

by Hadley Larsen

Choosing an app icon is important business. According to Digital Trends latest research, people in the U.S check their social media accounts 17 times a day meaning they check their phones to open social media at a minimum of once every waking hour if not more. The smartphone currently in 2017 is prime real-estate.

Every time a client checks their social media platforms or makes a phone call they will end up looking straight at your hospital’s app icon.

This could end up being a helpful reminder to pick up pet food or heartworm prevention for their furry friend.

Here are some tips on how to design the best icon for your practice:

  1. The icon you choose needs to be branded to your practice. If your hospital has an awesome logo, you should use it. Try to keep within the same color scheme of your hospital colors.
  2. Your app icon doesn’t always have to go on a white background. It can go on other colors to make your logo really pop. Your icon will live on someones smart phone next to many other apps. We want your branded icon to be well represented and easily recognizable.
  3. The simpler the icon, the better. If you take a quick glance at your phone what apps do you see? I personally see Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Pandora just to name a few. One thing all of these largely successful apps have in common is that their logo is very simple and easy to recognize. Most have a white or colored large logo on a bright colored background. They stick to one large icon with one focal point and avoid small writing which distracts from the focal point. I think this is successful because it is very recognizable. As soon as I look down at my phone I am reminded to check my social media platforms simply from seeing their icon. When I get a push notification (which the icon is even smaller than the icon on the home screen) I can still easily see what app needs my attention. Your clients should not have to wonder what your app represents! The whole logo does not have to be filled with content to look appealing. Embrace simplicity here!
  4. Try to avoid small writing! Your clients don’t want to have to struggle to read which app they are opening. If you can’t easily read the writing on the icon, you don’t need it. If it is an abbreviation ex: RAH (for Riverview Animal Hospital) this can easily be read from the home screen. The app name will be written under the app and is not needed inside the icon. Unless the name has great contrast and is legible from a few feet away you don’t need it in the app icon space.
  5. When choosing an app logo size does matter! Remember your clients will be looking at your app from a small handheld device most of the time. They don’t want to have to strain their eye sight to find which app belongs to your clinic.
  6. Remember the icon is square! I can not emphasize this enough. If you send in a long rectangle icon it will not render well into the square template. All apps in the App Store and Google Play Store are square. It will help your app icon to look amazing if the logo you want to use is close to a square shape.


Here are a few tricks when choosing an app name:

  1. This app is for your hospital. Put your hospital name or hospital name abbreviation within the app name. No one will know it is for your specific hospital if it is called “my pet vet”, “pet points”, “loyalty pet perks”
  2. Remember that an app name can only have 30 characters within in it, this includes spaces. BUT only 11 to 13 characters will show up under your logo on the clients device. If you have a longer name choice ex: Durango Riverview Animal Hospital it will display as “Durango River…” on the app home screen. This could leave out some important information about your hospital.
  3. -If you type the prospective name choice into the iTunes app store and 100 apps come up under that name its probably not a good choice. We don’t want your clients to have to scroll through a million apps to find your practice. I would say a good rule of thumb would be if 4-5 apps come up when you search the prospective name you’d like to use.
  4. Make sure your name choices are unique! As technology and mobile application popularity grows more and more app names are being taken at rapid pace. No two apps can have the same name in the app store. Make sure your name is unique and no one else has something like it. If there is another vet app with close to the same name it could lead to some confusion on which app to download.



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