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App icon preferences : the influence of app icon design and involvement on quality and intention to download

Pol, M. (2015) App icon preferences : the influence of app icon design and involvement on quality and intention to download.

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Abstract:Research objective Nowadays, a life without communication through mobile devices is something that is hard to imagine for many people. Consumers intensively download and use apps on their smartphones and tablets. Consumers can choose among the more than one million apps to find the hidden gems they did not know about. The number of apps is growing every day and are therefore getting more and more competition, so they have to be distinctive to cut through the clutter. However, to date, no research has been carried out investigating the influence of branding in app icons or the influence of app icon design on the perceived app quality and the intention to download. This study has the goal to provide insight in the (possible) consumer preferences for specific app icon characteristics. Furthermore, the influence of brand presence, app icon design, and involvement with the app category on perceived app quality and intention to download the app for both entertainment and informative apps was investigated. Study In an online survey 279 participants evaluated their involvement with several app subcategories which were categorized into entertainment and informative apps. Then, the participants were asked to choose the app they preferred out of ten app icon variants. This procedure was repeated for each of the twelve different cases (six entertainment and six informative app cases). The app icons were manipulated on three aspects; design style (flat design versus skeuomorphic design), logo style (logo versus brand name), and brand presence (well-known brand versus non-existent brand versus no brand). Subsequently, questions were asked regarding the perceived app quality and download intention of the selected app icon per case. Afterwards, the brand awareness of the well-known brands and attitude toward the well-known brands were measured. Based on the selected app icons, preferences for specific app icon characteristics were found. The measures on brand awareness, attitude toward the brand, and involvement with the app category were used to investigate their influence on the perceived app quality and intention to download the apps. Results and conclusions The study demonstrated that consumers do have a strong preference for specific app icon characteristics. Design style is found to be an important factor in the app icon preference. Most differences in app icon preference between entertainment and informative apps are based on the factor design style. Respondents have a strong preference for skeuomorphic app icons when it comes to entertainment apps. However, when informative apps are involved, respondents have a strong preference for app icons that contain a flat design. Another important finding is that the brand appears to be an anchor in the choice of apps. Respondents have a strong preference for apps that contain a well-known brand over apps that do not contain a brand, or contain an unknown (i.e. non-existent) brand. Besides, respondents strongly prefer app icons that contain a brand logo over app icons with a brand name. App designers should take into account that the presence of a well-known brand in the app icon is found to have a positive effect on the perceived app quality of entertainment apps, while the preference for no brand within the app icon had a negative influence. Furthermore, as a brand, it is very important to create positive attitudes among the target group(s) of the brand because attitude toward the brand is found to have a positive influence on the perceived app quality and intention to download for both entertainment and informative apps. Furthermore, for both entertainment apps and informative apps, involvement with the app category is found to have a positive effect on the intention to download an app within this category.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/67044
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