UX design, or “user experience” is one, if not the, most important part of development. An experienced UX designer will have extensive knowledge in both iOS and Android platforms. They’ll be able to provide advice on what works best for both.
UX design differs for iOS and Android. Both platforms have very distinctive design styles. Apple opts for a more minimalist design and whereas Android uses solid and flat layers, often incorporating bold colours.
To make the design more consistent, a colour scheme needs to be carried through with the branding. This also includes the business logo and icons having the same design. This can then be altered to suit Android, with shadows and dimensions added, and reduce for iOS, making it look more minimalistic.
Button style is also very important for the design of each platform. iOS uses ghost buttons or rounded flat buttons. In Android, they use flat buttons with a solid colour.
Each platform also has its own respective typeface style. Android use Roboto with left alignment, and iOS uses San Francisco which is centred.
There is one key difference in the navigation between the platforms. Android, unlike iOS, has a physical ‘back’ button, which returns the user to the previous screen. This is not available on iOS iPhones and therefore designs need to include an arrow on the screen to navigate back or swiping motion. This could cause some potential confusion for users of one or the other platform.
There is also the difference in menus, with Android choosing to use a drawer menu which is generally located in the top left-hand corner of the screen. Within this menu, it usually shows an app’s functions for an easier navigation experience. iOS apps do sometimes use this, but more often than not the menu buttons are located on a bar positioned at the top or bottom of the screen. iOS also offers users the ability to slide the screen left or right it there isn’t enough room for all of the options to fit on the screen.
There is a lot to consider when planning, designing and developing a mobile app. It’s important to think about the platform you are planning to develop on, and how this can have an overall impact on the app. The guidelines for iOS and Android offer some flexibility in terms of font sizes, placement of features, colour schemes and more.
Whatever you decide to do with your app, the user needs to be at the forefront of your mind. It’s all about creating an app that works well, looks good, follows the platform guidelines and satisfies the user. Your users will be well accustomed to the user experience and the workflow of the apps they use on their devices. Therefore, if yours doesn’t follow the same premises, they’ll lose all interest in using the app.