App buttons are the new corporate signage

App buttons are the new corporate signage. In many cases consumers see them far more often than physical ones. Many companies who have thought about designing app buttons always want a fun, unique icon that mimics the excitement of a game app. Companies frequently forget to include their identity as part of the design.

Companies with multiple services have a real challenge. On the one hand the button needs to excite people to download the app. On the other the app button really should signpost the company brand. Companies have overlooked this, yet it's important to realise that acquiring real estate on their mobile devices is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship customers have with your brand. Each smartphone and tablet is a personal collection of the brands most relevant to the user. Corporate logos don't get much closer to customers then this. On the other hand, how do you help your consumer navigate between services? Brand architecture is a serious challenge in this context, where it's often essential to convey brand, function and likability in a single, easily readable button.

We equipped Telenor to meet this recurrent challenge with an extensive guideline, detailing a naming architecture convention and button design formats for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. Such guidance is vital because apps are almost always built by a third party developer. Without a robust guideline to keep things on track a growing portfolio of company apps can soon look confusingly random. A guideline empowers multiple stakeholders to develop exactly what they believe customers need and want without at the same time compromising the clarity of the overall brand offer. That's got to be a tool worth having.

  • App buttons are the new corporate signage