Why Should I Pay for iOS & Android Design Both?
Sometimes, people calling for app development wonder why they should pay for both iOS and Android design. Why not make a single design and use it for both OSs.
Still, a client might not be and commonly is not tech savvy. Thus, it is our job, as full stack app developers to tech the clients. Saving money on the design for two platforms is not the best solution for them and the users of their app. Making native design is knowing what the users expect from iOS and Android platforms. In this blog post, we would share key differences between iOS and Android design. By the end, you’ll be more confident about the money and time spent on designing for both platforms.
General design style
The differences start with the style of iOS and Android design. While Android with their Material Design documentation leans towards naturalness in their design. iOS style, instead, is plainer and less realistic. Such control components as check boxes, date pickers, toggles, and switches should be given a native feel too. Since the platform users are accustomed to certain UI patterns and there is no need to confuse them.
The first and most obvious difference between Android and iOS design concerns “back” button. Android devices commonly have 2 options: use a physical back button to go back to the previous screen in the app, or include it in screen design. IOS, instead, doesn’t have a physical button. Thus, one should consider including it in the navigation bar. Navigation bar slightly differs in these two OSs. The main difference between them is that on Android the title is placed on the left, and on iOS – it is centered. Still, both Apple and Google advise not to change it, as they are native elements. The biggest point of difference between Android and iOS platforms is menu navigation. iOS design commonly uses the bottom tab bar menu for navigating throughout the app. Android, instead, leans more towards ‘hamburger’ menu / three-button component, or more rarely, to the top tab. If you’re targeted at the top level app, you’d rather plan out two separate menus depending on each platform requirements.
Fonts & Buttons
The system font family on iOS is San Francisco. On Android it is Roboto. Still, if you don’t want to go with default system fonts, you can go for the following free fonts for mobile design. Another difference in OSs’ fonts is their use for buttons. On Android, the text is bold uppercase, while, on iOS it uses regular styling. Another difference in buttons’ design correlates to the general style of both platforms. The buttons on Android have a noticeable shadow underneath that creates a 3D effect. On iOS, buttons are flat, as well as the general style of this OS.
Icon design is quite a flexible issue. You can design your own icons, but take in mind that there is a particular style native to each OS. Overall, the iOS system icons have a thinner outline in comparison with Android ones that are sometimes entirely solid. Besides, there is some particular icons’ design for each platform. A good example for it is the “share” icon button. Most designers advise on the native use of “share” icon for each OS. While Android users would be hardly confused by iOS icon, the Apple users may have trouble recognizing the Android one.
To roll up the visual differences of Android and iOS platforms, it’s worth considering the app icon design. This is the icon that appears on the menu or home screen together with other apps. The main difference here is that Android gives you more freedom with the style of your app icon. iOS, instead, offers you a strict template of a rounded rectangle shape inside which you should place the icon.
In the nutshell…
There is a well-established misconception that one design would cover Android and iOS platforms altogether. However, interface elements and UI navigation of both platforms are not the same. Your customers are used to the platform of their choice. Give an iPhone to a man used to Android devices only, and he would be stuck with the navigation through it. Being aware of the OSs’ differences we mentioned above you would be insured against the obstacles towards user engagement. Don’t leave half of your users behind just to save time and money on design for one platform. The users accustomed to another UI navigation will notice it.