The two key operating systems – Android and iOS – are not the same. So is the case for Windows Phone OS, Palm OS, BlackBerry OS, etc. However, users expect a seamless experience, with all devices feeling and functioning the same way. To that end, cross-platform app design is the latest resort. As it stands, businesses can enhance their reach with cross-platform app design and development.
In this article, let’s learn more about this –
- The rising popularity of cross-platform app design
- Importance of cross-platform frameworks
- Cross-platform app design mistakes to avoid
The Rising Popularity of Cross-Platform Mobile App Design and Development
The method that allows designers and developers to build a mobile app compatible with multiple platforms and OS simultaneously is the basis of cross-platform app design and development.
Businesses are transitioning from conventional native design to advanced cross-platform development because it is faster, agile, and cost-effective. They’re investing in one framework and enjoying the benefits across multiple platforms. For instance, Ionic is excellent for gaming apps, whereas React Native is the best fit for industry applications. Most importantly, these frameworks are effective and scalable, depending on your business type.
Importance of Cross-Platform Frameworks
Cross-platform mobile app design and development frameworks are increasingly popular because they are simpler to integrate with the cloud environment, making them faster and easier to use. In addition, the code can be used for different platforms to save effort and time. Development costs are lower than native apps, making every project budget-friendly.
Cross-platform app design also reduced the risks of technical errors as it does not require any specific language such as Object-C. It is also easier to host subsequent app stores. No doubt, cross-platform apps seep into the market much faster than native apps, having extensive coverage. They further minimize marketing costs as the apps can be readily made available on multiple platforms.
4 Cross-Platform App/Mobile App Design Mistakes to Avoid
Cross-platform mobile app development can significantly cut time and effort. But there are some mistakes that must be avoided to realize the same and prevent loss of money.
1. Losing Focus on the Core Design Elements – Android vs. iOS
Using a formerly designed Android and tweaking it to suit the iOS ecosystem is not ideal. Despite similarities in basic UI elements and navigation, the modalities of reaching UI/UX experience are remarkably different. Let’s see how.
Underutilizing The Spinner Selection
Spinners are different in Android and iOS. In Android, the spinner enables multiple option selections. They are versatile and easy to use. They are used across different functionalities in an app. For instance, spinners are commonly used to select data in a form. When you are filling out a form that asks for your country, the list of countries is presented in alphabetical order. You can choose your country, followed by state, and add other details. In the case of iOS, the action sheet is responsible for this selection.
It is basic to understand these differences and address the design issues. Since both platforms are significantly different, they demand individual attention.
Not Leveraging Tab Navigation
Tab placement is the key factor for the difference in tab navigation between Android and iOS. iOS suggests that the tab navigation is placed at the end of a page, whereas Android keeps the tab navigation button on the top of the page. In a cross-platform application, the challenge is to address both the concerns and deliver equivalent results across the platform. Consistency is the key to maintaining relevance across an application.
In essence, cross-platform app design should be such that it adheres to the same rules and delivers the same output consistently across multiple operating systems.
2. Not Taking Screen Size into Account
If you are not considering screen size as a determinant factor, you are not focused on cross-platform concepts. Android caters to much wider screen sizes than iOS. Device capability and screen size fragmentation have innate design challenges. Android mobile app developers need to ensure that the designs are supple and fluid to adapt to all sizes of screens.
3. Specializing in One Platform
It is a customary practice for developers to write one code for the iOS screen and write a duplicate code for the Android screen. This leads to limited reuse of codes and duplication. As each developer must work on the problems specific to a screen, it takes double the effort. By all means, avoid code duplication. Encourage developers and maximize cross-platform app development investment by addressing similar concerns across multiple platforms before proceeding.
4. Not Engaging Technical Expertise
By all means, cross-platform mobile app development requires technical expertise and experience. Cross-platform development projects are not the same as native apps and entail due diligence. Developers must be well-versed in all mobile operating systems, screen sizes, and design concepts. Besides, the expertise and experience in frameworks, design patterns, and programming languages are important to address. If the in-house team lacks this knowledge or experience, it is best to partner with an external team.
Cross-platform mobile app development is the best option to avoid repetitive work for its versatility and scalability. However, it’s critical to ensure that the development activities are focused and work as per a standing plan, following concrete design guidelines. This lowers the chances of mistakes and helps the business deliver a great product.
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