Messaging Techniques for App Store Screenshots

messaging technique

Designing your screenshots for the app store requires multiple steps. You’ll need to choose what you want to showcase and in what order, what types of images and copy to use, and then test to see what variations work or do not work with your audience.

As you’re planning out the steps above, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not just cramming a bunch of information on five screenshots. Instead, you should gather what you want to showcase in a way that clearly defines what your app is all about. In order to do so, you want to think about what type of messaging style you’ll implement in your screenshots. There are three types of messaging styles that apps use: stories, features and what we like to call ‘eye-catchers’.

Every business is different, so choosing the right style depends on how you want to get your app’s message across to your users. Let’s take a look at each one individually, and see how specific apps have implemented each one.

Messaging Techniques


The first type of messaging technique that many apps tend to follow is the story technique. The screenshots teach the user how to use the app by building up a story. It can be as simple as taking the user through the steps of the app from start to finish.
Tinder, a popular dating app, does a great job of showing the user how to find people nearby, like or pass on a person, and then chat with them and connect with others all around the world.
Another perfect example is Dine, a dating app that’s catered to singles who can be matched and then dine together at one of their favourite restaurants. The screenshots show the user a possible match nearby along with their favourite dining spot, send a request, chat and set up a time to meet!


The second type of messaging technique is displaying an app’s best features or benefits. Instead of going step-by-step through the app (like a story), the screenshots highlight five unique things about the app.

Mogram, an animations filter app for Instagram, does a fantastic job advertising its best features. From filters that move to holiday-themed borders, the screenshots show the best effects that can be added to your photos.
UberEats, an app where you can have your favourite foods from your favourite restaurants delivered to your door, is also a great example. The screenshots point out all the benefits of using the app, from finding hundreds of local restaurants to easy ordering and fast, trackable delivery.


The third type of messaging technique is the ‘eye-catcher’. These screenshots are designed to catch the user on the first two screenshots in a simple and elegant way. A common theme with the ‘eye-catcher’ is having a single image across two screenshots, followed by either a story or snapshots of the app’s best features.
Apartment list, an app that helps you find apartments for rent, is a great example of an app with eye-catching and simple screenshots. The first two screenshots have an image of a phone and the app itself, spread across both spaces, followed by the app’s benefits of finding the best apartment for you to visit and lease.
apartment list
Another fantastic example of ‘eye-catching’ screenshots is from Bkstg, an app that connects you to your favourite artists. The first two screenshots presents the main idea of what you can do (watch, listen and interact) with artists of your choice, with an emotional image that spreads across both pages. The next three screenshots show you it’s best features: connecting, messaging and accessing exclusive content.
Knowing the type of messaging technique for your app is important when you are designing your screenshots for the app store. Well thought out, creative and unique images with a clear understanding of the app’s purpose will also increase conversions.
Whether you’re designing new screenshots or simply want to test how successful your current messaging style for your screenshots are, we’d love to help! TestNest provides you with analytics that allow to test every single aspect of your screenshots and app store page in general.

Sign up now and start running your screenshots experiment for free!

Kristina AltmanKristina Altman is Head of Content at TestNest. She’s a marketing guru that thrives in a startup environment. After many years of working with smaller businesses, Kristina has learned to wear many hats—she’s a jack of all trades, a swiss army knife. She has a passion for blogging and loves any challenge. You can always connect with her on LinkedIn.