Creating a great app listing
Make your app stand out in the Windows Store by creating a great app listing. Designing your listing ahead of time can help you get your app submitted as efficiently as possible.
You can get a lot of info ready for your app listing before you submit your app to the Windows Store. In fact, getting your app listing ready early is a good idea, especially if you want to get your app rated through one of the ratings boards that the Windows Store supports. To get an idea of how an app listing appears to customers, check out How your app appears in the Windows Store.
Your app's name is the first thing your customers see when they find your app in the Windows Store. When you're planning and designing your app, pick a name that will capture your customers' eye and draw them in to read more about your app.
The space to display your app's name is limited in most cases, so think of as short a name as you can. In most places where the name appear, the end of a long name won't be visible to customers. If you add differentiating info to the end of the name, your customers might miss it; all variations of your app could appear to have the same name. If this is unavoidable, consider using different artwork for your App images to make it easier to differentiate one variation or version of your app from another. Review Where your app's name appears for more info about how app names are displayed to customers.
Be creative and think of a few different names and variations, so you're ready if someone else is already using one of the names you picked.
After you reserve a name, you'll have 12 months to submit the app. After 12 months, the reservation expires and another developer can use that name for an app.
Why you might not be able to reserve the name that you want
You might find that you can't reserve a name for a new app, even though you don't see any apps listed by that name in the Windows Store. If that happens, the most likely explanation is that another developer has reserved the name but has not yet submitted the corresponding app. Names can be reserved for up to 12 months before they appear in the Windows Store.
Don't use names trademarked by others
Make sure to select a name for your app that belongs to you. If you use a name that doesn't belong to you, the owner of that name could have your app removed from the Store. If that happens, you would need to change the name of your app and all instances of the name throughout your app and its content before you can submit your app for certification again.
If you see another app in the Windows Store that uses a name for which you hold the trademark or other legal right, contact Microsoft.
A good description makes your app stand out and helps potential customers decide to buy it quickly. Here are some ideas to help you write a description that will catch a shopper's eye. For more help, take a look at What to include in your app's description.
Review the listing page of a similar app that's already in the store
Take a look at how other developers describe their apps to see how you might improve on their work. Consider the rest of the items in this list with the listing page in mind. You may want to print an app upload checklist to use for notes. For info about how the metadata listed in the app upload checklist corresponds to the app listing page elements, see how customers see your app.
Give your app a catchy name
You may already have named your app, but it's never too late to change it if you think of a better name. For more info, see Naming your app.
The name is the first text your potential customer sees, so these are the most valuable characters in the description. Treat them accordingly.
Tip There is a limit to the number of names you can reserve for an app, so browse the Windows Store catalog for names that you are considering before reserving names for your app. (Some names might be reserved for apps that are not in the catalog yet.) Don't pick a name that might be mistaken for a competing app. You don't want to send your customers to a competitor by mistake!
Grab attention in the first sentences
The first words in your description are the most important words on the entire page (after the app name, of course). If those words don't grab and hold a shopper's attention, the rest of the words on the page don't matter because your potential customer will never get to them.
Remember, to shoppers, another app is just one click away!
Use a length that is just right
A good description reads quickly, but also includes enough info to get the reader interested. So it's neither too long nor too short; it is just right. "Just right" depends on the app, but is generally more than 200 words and less than 3000. For example, if your app has a lot of features or is complex, you need more words to describe it. If it's a simple game, you may need only a few.
Include a short list of your app's best features or characteristics
Your potential customers will scan the description, looking for features or characteristics of your app that they find interesting or useful. Help them out by providing your app's top 3-7 selling points in a list. Emphasize the features and traits that make your app stand out from the others.
If your offer a free trial of your app, describe how it works
Offering your app with a free trial period is a great way to let customers try out your app before they buy it. If you offer a free trial of your app, be sure to explain how that trial will appear to your customers so they aren't surprised by your app's behavior.
For more info about offering a free trial of your app, see How to create a trial version of your app.
Don't forget to check the spelling and grammar
Ask a copy editor (or simply a friend who can write well) to review your description. Nothing says "this app is unfinished or unpolished" like a description that lacks proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar. You want the text itself to reflect the quality of your app!
Use exciting and snappy language
At the very least, avoid dry language. Sell your app with lively, exciting language. Use adjectives and address the customer directly.
Include clear and compelling screen shots of your app and its most important features
Show your app doing what it does best, and in situations that reflect the way people use it. Don't use confusing images, or screen shots taken under less-than-ideal circumstances. (No one wants to see your progress bar, or your save screen.) Use images to communicate the flow of your app's UI and the main screens or elements that the user will see.
For games, this is especially important. Get screen shots that are exciting without being too noisy, and that hint at the story or mechanics in a way that builds interest. Show off your great art assets and special effects, but not at the expense of communicating the feel of the game. (That screen-filling explosion may show some fine programming, but it doesn't make a compelling screen shot.)
The Windows Store editorial team often features apps in promotional areas of the Windows Store. Make it easier for them to promote your app by including promotional images that show off your app.
To publish an app in the Windows Store, you must give it an appropriate age rating. Some countries and regions require that you also rate your app through a specific rating board.
Here are the age ratings used in the Windows Store and a general description of the content that such an app could have.
|3+ (Suitable for young children)||These apps are appropriate for young children, and intended for their use. There may be minimal comic violence in non-realistic, cartoon form. Characters should not resemble or be associated with real life characters. There should be no content that could be frightening, and there should be no nudity or references to sexual or criminal activity. Apps with this age rating also cannot enable features that could access content or functionality unsuitable for young children, such as uncontrolled online sharing of information (such as that described under the 12+ ratings category).|
|7+ (Suitable for ages 7 and older)||Apps with this age rating have the same criteria as the 3+ applications, except these apps can include content that might frighten a younger audience and can contain partial nudity, as long as the nudity doesn't refer to sexual activity. This rating should only be used for apps intended to be used by children.|
|12+ (Suitable for ages 12 and older)||Choose this rating if you are not sure which age rating to select for your app. Apps with this age rating can contain increased nudity of a non-sexual nature, slightly graphic violence towards non-realistic characters, or non-graphic violence towards realistic human or animal characters. This age rating might also include profanity, but not of a sexual nature. Also, apps with this age rating or higher may allow for uncontrolled: (i) access to online social networks, or (ii) sharing of personal info with third parties, including other gamers or online acquaintances. (For such activity to be considered controlled, your app must include parental control features that require parental permission to use such sharing features, and you must identify those and explain their functionality in the Notes to testers.)|
|16+ (Suitable for ages 16 and older)||Apps with this age rating can depict realistic violence with minimal blood, and they can depict sexual activity. They can also contain drug or tobacco use and criminal activities, and more profanity than would be allowed in a 12+ app, within the limits laid out in section 5 of the certification requirements.|
|18+ (Suitable for adults)||Apps with this age rating may contain intense, gross or specific violence, blood or gore which is only appropriate for an adult audience, in addition to content that is appropriate for a 16+ app.|
|Adult content||Content that is intended for adults-only audiences, and apps that have received an adults-only rating by a ratings board, cannot be listed or sold in the Windows Store unless the app is a game, is rated by a third party ratings board, and otherwise complies with the certification requirements.|
When thinking about age ratings, make sure to consider the following:
- The content that your app provides. Remember, this content could be both stored locally with your app, or accessed from external sources, such as through an Internet connection.
- The images that might appear when a user opens your app.
- Any services or features that your app connects to that may have additional age requirements, such as an age minimum.
If you can't decide between two age ratings, or if your app has content that is suitable for different age groups, choose the strictest age requirement. For example, if you have an app with content that is appropriate for audiences who are 12 years old or older, but it uses an account on a service that requires members be 16 years old or older, your Windows Store age rating would be 16+.
If you obtain an age rating for your app from a rating board, you must select the Windows Store age rating that corresponds to that rating.
Give your app a category to help customers find it in the Windows Store. See List of categories and subcategories to find out all the categories that the Windows Store supports.
The Category determines where your app is listed in the Windows Store.
The Subcategory determines how your app is listed with other apps in the same category.
Build date: 3/19/2013