Surely you have seen those in almost all applications. It’s the first thing an end user sees of an application. So, to give a very good first impression and make it look more professional, you must create a splash screen that has a big visual impact.
You should also remember that the splash screen appears every time the user starts the application; it gives them something to look at while it loads. The application can do a lot of things at this point such as verifying the license, loading preferences, connecting to the database and/or the network, and so forth. If the application takes several seconds to accomplish such tasks, you can show them a splash screen with a progress bar, status messages, or an animation so they know that the program is working.
A typical splash screen displays basic information like the application’s name, version and copyright. Of course, you can provide more information like serial number, license type, company name, contact information, etc.
I recommend building the splash screen as soon as development starts. It shows your customers that you pay attention to details.
For your splash screens, you should consider adding some transparency, rounded corners, vivid colors, and of course, a relevant image that represent your application appropriately. The main idea it’s that you let your imagination fly.
Some people ask me which design programs I suggest. Well, my suggestion it’s to use whatever program you feel comfortable with. There’re lots of applications, like: Photoshop, Gimp, Paint .NET, etc. Just test them and stick with the one that fits your needs.
Finally, there’s a great article called: Splash Screen with Semitransparent Borders by Vladimir N.
Here’s a screenshot of a splash screen I created based on the above article.