Choose any—or, preferably, none:
- Make custom buttons, but don’t hire a professional designer to design them. Draw your UI in your pirated copy of Photoshop and make the best buttons you, fellow non-graphically-superpowered programmer, can manage, which look like you downloaded them from GeoCities in 1995 or got them out of a “1001 Buttons!” book from the same year.
- Make custom UI controls (especially buttons) simply because you can.
- Fill your App Store page’s “screenshots” section with images that are not purely screenshots. Showing an iPhone 4 with your app on it is a minus. Showing an older iPhone is another minus. Putting in your own
inane blathermarketing copy with your paint program’s text tool is a minus. Putting the iPhone and/or text on any kind of background is a minus. Any image that does not show the app at all is 500 minuses.
- Show screenshots, but only of some of the app. Leave me wondering whether your app has the feature or UI pattern I’m looking for. (If your app is free, I’ll try it and find out. If it’s not, I won’t.)
- Custom backgrounds without (good) custom UI. Extra debit if your background is plain white.
- Abbr btn nms.
How to keep me actually interested and maybe even get me to buy your app:
- If you make custom UI, make it awesome. Make a truly original UI that would belong on the cover of Macworld. Make it a custom UI with a purpose that guides and justifies the customizations. (Beware the difference between “purpose” and “theme”.) Otherwise, stick to plain Cocoa Touch controls wherever possible. Functional beats ugly.
- If you go functional, follow the HIG. Either way, keep things clean and well-organized. Don’t force too much into a single screen. If you “have to” pack multiple things on a line, that’s too much. If you “have to” abbreviate words, that’s too much. Consider cutting features; simplicity is a virtue. If you need to break things out into other views, do it.
- The screenshots section is for screenshots only. If you need to indicate a gesture, composite in a finger and an arrow, and don’t do that in more than one screenshot. No added text. Ever.
Don’t miss the comments. I’m sure some of you have some other don’ts to suggest that I forgot.