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30 inspiring splash screen designs

December 23, 2019
best practices for designing splash screens for mobile apps

Splash screens give UI designers the chance to make a bold first impression and reinforce brand identity.

Splash screens may be an innocuous part of the user experience. It’s just a launch screen, there’s not much to it. But first impressions count and the devil is in the details. With the right prototyping tool, you can even make your own in a matter of minutes.

Start designing new products today. Enjoy unlimited projects.

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Before you do, let’s take a closer look at splash screens, and 30 inspiring examples to get you started.

What is a splash screen?

A splash screen is a screen that appears when you open an app on your mobile device. Sometimes it’s referred to as a launch screen or startup screen and shows up when your app is loading after you’ve just opened it. When the loading is finished, you’ll be taken to a more functional screen where you can complete actions.

Splash screens appear on your screen for a fleeting moment – look away and you might miss them. Traditionally, you’ll see a logo and company name and, if you’re lucky, the company motto.

You might think of them as a waste of time, an afterthought or something not to bother thinking about. But they’re good for strengthening brand identity and perception. Google’s Material Design highlights that they’re the user’s first experience of your application. And first impressions count, right?

Take Skype’s splash screen. It shows their logo in pride of place, with a soft gradient. Then when the loading is ready, the icon will animate and bounce around. A nice bit of UX whimsy. Whereas there are other splash screens, like Medium and Etsy, which incorporate fun, relevant and bespoke illustrations that fit in perfectly with the brand and reinforce their identity.

Sometimes an app doesn’t take very long to load. In this instance, you may come across a placeholder UI instead of a branded launch. Maybe your app doesn’t need to reinforce its brand identity in which case you’ll see core structure elements on your app upon open which don’t display any content like so:

splash-screen-launch-screen-prototyping-a-splash-screen-ux-design

Splash screen best practices

Splash screens are simple. They’re used to enhance a brand and give users something nice to look at as they wait. In this regard, here are some best practices for when you design your own splash screen:

  • Keep it free from unnecessary distraction
  • Don’t use multiple colors or logos
  • Use animation sparingly
  • Include it in the design early on, on the low-fidelity wireframe.

If you can, allocate some time and space in your paper prototype for your splash screens. The earlier you consider them, the more aligned they will be with the rest of the product design.

Check out our full guide to designing your ownwireframe and see how to build your designs from the ground up.

Prototyping a splash screen in Justinmind

Creating a splash screen in Justinmind is super simple. When you download Justinmind and start a new prototype, you have at your disposal a treasure trove of awesome pre-built UI widgets.

Using a default mobile screen, you can just drag an image widget and a text widget onto your canvas in the desired position. Add your own images and color preferences and voila. Combined with interactions, your screen will change after your desired time (it’s a splash screen, so don’t leave your users hanging!).

Go here for more on prototyping mobile UI animations with free downloadable examples.

30 inspiring splash screen designs

You can find more design examples in our list of awesome wireframe examples.

Amazon & Etsy

We have two very different approaches to splash screen design here. On the one hand, Amazon keeps it simple and focuses on branding. On the other hand, Etsy communicates creativity and transmits the brand identity in a completely different way!

ecommerce splash screen design by etsy and amazon

Booking.com & Airbnb

While it may immediately appear so, this is another example of different takes on splash screen design. Booking.com makes an impact with its background color, while Airbnb keeps things light with nothing but its logo on the screen.

travel industry splash screen design by booking.com and airbnb

Uber & Cabify

This splash screen for Uber is actually a Dribbble concept from Bryant Jow, but we love it so much we included it here. Like Cabify, this aims to make a visual impact.

ride sharing splash screens design by uber and cabify

Disney+ & Netflix

Both Netflix and Disney+ make the most of their background, creating a sharp contrast between the background and the logos. It’s dramatic in the best way!

splash screen designs by streaming services disney+ and netflix

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8Fit & VG-FIT

Another good example of different takes. 8Fit keeps things light and clean, including only their logo. VG-FIT goes in the opposite direction with a dramatic background and their name as well as their logo.

splash screens by fitness apps - 8fit and vg-fit

Facebook & Twitter

Both social media networks go for a dramatic background that reflects their brand. It’s what is expected, sure. However, it still delivers a great impact and makes for a visually pleasing experience.

Twitter and Facebook - 20 inspiring splash screens

Spotify & Soundcloud

Spotify and Soundcloud spoify-soundcloud-splash-screens-examples-justinmind.png

Ryanair & Vueling

The Vueling splash screen was created by Victor López Gonzàlez, resulting in a screen that points to the brand identity and culture of origin. Ryanair goes for something simpler, aiming to create a nice contrast between logo and background.

splash screens by airlines ryanair and vueling

Pokémon & King

The splash screen design that King offers users relies on a big visual impact of the background, creating a contrast with the logo. The Pokémon splash screen goes for a white background, allocating more space to their logo – establishing a visual experience that relies on the graphic design and not the palette.

King and Niantic - 20 inspiring splash screens

Start designing new products today. Enjoy unlimited projects.

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Discord & Skype

Skype uses its splash screen in order to reinforce its brand identity, relying on its classic blue and adding a gradient for extra flare. Discord, on the other hand, does something interesting: the splash screen colors will reflect the setting of the palette that users have on their device. It’s a smart way to customize every aspect of the experience!

splash screen design by skype and discord

Dropbox & Google Drive

Dropbox went for a bright splash screen that draws the eye, establishing a strong visual cue. Google Drive took a different approach, offering a soft white background that lets the logo shine bright.

splash screen designs by cloud storage services like google drive

Youtube & Twitch

Once again, we have contrasting choices of splash screen design. Twitch offers a bright purple background that reflects its brand color, with a white logo. Youtube maintains a fully white background, making its red logo stand out visually.

splash screen design examples from youtube and twitch

Bitly & Owly

The Bitly splash screen, we confess, was uploaded by Matt Delac and not by the company. But we couldn’t leave it out of this list! It reinforces the brand identity and biggest selling point, making for a very smart use of the space. Owly relies on a solid black background that makes its logo stand out.

link shortner services splash screens

Start designing new products today. Enjoy unlimited projects.

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Bear & Evernote

Bear offers a bright red background that contrasts sharply with the white logo, and strikes an interesting disparity with Evernote. Although it used to have a splash screen that offered an illustrated green background, Evernote switched it up for a classic white background with a simple green logo.

splash screen design by evernote and bear

Linkedin & Tik Tok

Linkedin took a page from other social media networks’ books, creating a background that is of solid color. Tik Tok took a slightly different approach, using color but also creating a certain gradient style to the background.

example of splash screen design by social networks tik tok and linkedin

Conclusion

Splash screens can be a way to bring a little delight to your users or an opportunity to reinforce your brand identity. Whatever reason you design your splash screen for, make sure that it doesn’t cause the loading time to go on any longer than it should.

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Rebeka Costa
In-house SEO manager, usability enthusiast and patron of all sleep-deprived designers