Developing cross platform apps that address all platform specific features and design attributes is a Herculean task. It requires experience along with technical knowledge. The developer has to acknowledge that every platform is unique and requires peculiar attributes for proper functioning of apps. It is a challenge to build apps that work seamlessly and provide a great user experience. In order to do the same a cross platform app must provide a combination of device specific features along with native capacity on each platform. The catch is to strike a balance between core consistency and native capability along with a high degree of platform independence and responsiveness.
1. Looks matter: The look and feel of the app should coincide with the platform it is supposed to work on. It is important to retain the identity of the brand and make the aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. The basic platform should be made independent that delivers core aesthetics for all platforms. Upon that brand focused design elements should be added and integrate to other platform specific elements. This is the key to maintaining design consistency and diversity. To achieve this end, high-performance tools like Appcelerator may be used.
2. Platform specific coding for UI and UX: Reusing code while developing cross platform apps is useful in the sense that it helps maintaining the core app logic but does not help in tweaking the user interface for each platform or maintaining separate user experience for all. Therefore the coding should be original except reusing the code in the core area. Cross platform development tools maybe used as far as core app logic, content and functionalities are concerned but not for platform independent UI/UX elements. A high degree of uniqueness has to be maintained while coding to create brilliant UI and UX.
3. Take a cue from platform independent web service: The most common mistake that most developers make is to get attached to a particular platform mostly the one that the app is being tested upon. This is a blunder in cross platform app development. It causes obstructions in decoupling the app logic from the platform it has been attached to. Therefore, it is a smart idea to build apps like platform independent web service. Just like a web development service, the UI should be segregated from the core app logic. It is advisable to take help from frameworks and modules offering help regarding the same.
4. For each platform, a unique UI attribute should be provided: It is advisable to deliver a unique set of look, feel and usability for each platform since each mobile platform has a set of its own requirements and guidelines. There is an array of platform specific differences and it is important for the developer to address them appropriately. If the developer has a personal user experience with similar apps, it may help him develop better designs and address the differences in a better way.
5. Take help from tested API modules: The use of API modules not only reduces development time but also provide robust exposure to all native SDKs of various platforms. These native SDKs are helpful as the development progresses. App development modules contains native develop frameworks making development faster, easier, flexible and value added. The best third party app development modules contain a wholesome cross platform frameworks and tool sets to create the best user experience in a particular platform.
6. Test, re-test, repeat: Last but not the least, the final appearance and functioning of the app is not just important but essential for the app for the app to perform effectively and appeal to the users. Repeated testing on all platforms surfaces the glitches and loopholes and help improving upon optimizing the design and functioning. Frequent and exclusive testing on all platforms helps addressing issues in a focused way and makes the developer more confident of the app performance. It is always better to be safe than sorry and therefore testing at the initial stage shows the faults at the initial level and prevents the surfacing of the same at later stages where it could prove to be counterproductive. It saves time wince testing at later stages is a lot more hassle than doing the same in the beginning.