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I am currently developping an official iPhone app for a football club.

Well, the development is nearly finished and I now have to worry about details, like the splashscreen.

One solution would be to have a splashscreen showing the empty interface of the home page (waiting for data loading). Convenient but not very sexy isn't it ?

One other solution would be to create a full screen picture with the official background color of the club, with a big logo, etc... And this "etc..." is precisely my problem.

What else to add on this screen while keeping a balance between sobriety and vacuum ?

Thanks for any advice ;)

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How long will the splash screen need to be displayed? –  e100 Mar 16 '11 at 9:00
    
"a balance between sobriety and vacuum ?" I have never heard that phrase. What does it refer to? –  DA01 Mar 16 '11 at 14:32
    
Maybe 3 or 4 seconds. –  Pierre Espenan Mar 16 '11 at 17:04
    
English is not my mothertongue. I am french. So I may not use corrects english expressions. –  Pierre Espenan Mar 16 '11 at 17:05

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you can't think of any "etc..." then its possible you don't need any "etc..." in there.

We seem to have an in built reaction to fill our graphics so they don't look empty. It takes guts to push out a design that looks simple (even if its not).

Something i learnt at design school was to embrace negative-space/white-space/void and to resist the urge to fill every corner of the paper simply for the sake of filling. Every element or colour you choose should have a purpose, whether it help sets 'the feel' or communicates more direct information (e.g the logo). This is what minimalism was all about; asking yourself, "what is really communicating here, what is just filler, and how can it communicate clearer?"

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If you're looking for inspiration, we've collected over 30 examples of stand-out splash screens over at AppFlows and organized them by design trend. Here's the tagged link:

http://inspiration.appflo.ws/?tag=splash+screens

Personally I think the splash screen can be a great opportunity to brand the app and get the user excited. The empty interface of the home screen often feels like a missed opportunity to me.

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Does the club have an official flag? There are tons of tutorials on the web that show how to simulate a furled flag - since it's an app for the club having a nice dynamic still image like the club flag would probably work well.

A couple of examples to kick-start the brain:

Manchester United (note what they did with the lighting)

AC Milan (just like the layout a lot)

Neither of these are actually the rippled / furled look I suggested, but work well as dynamic images (eye movement diagonally across the screen, nice vivid colors, etc.).

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What kind of information would people be expecting to see from a splash-screen. Think of splash-screens like book covers - Authors name, an image and perhaps a tagline or brief summary.

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Apple's HIG make clear that they would prefer you simply show the default interface devoid of any content. But that really doesn't work well with applications with completely custom interfaces like games. Just about every application I have ever seen ignores this rule.

Things to keep in mind is that splashscreens are that they...

  • Cannot be modified
  • Cannot be animated (they are PNG files)
  • Are typically only seen for a very short period of time.

    Most splashscreens are just the main developer's logo and not a lot of text. I am getting ready to launch an iOS app pretty soon and that's all we did if only because the splash screen appears for a second, at most. It looks fine.

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2  
the reason apple recommends using a the default interface as splash is because it gives the illusion that the app has launched faster than it really has, i.e. "the app has loaded, now its loading the content". If the view your app opens to is consistent enough, then do this. –  JamesHenare Mar 16 '11 at 20:49
    
“they would prefer you simply show the default interface devoid of any content” — That's definitely the way to go, if you can swing it. Mobile hardware is really quick these days, so anything too different to the app itself will often be jarring. –  Marc Edwards Oct 10 '12 at 10:47

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