Love Thy Mobile Platform

About Objects Design Team


3 min read
An artistic rendering of two developers coding, one wearing an Apple shirt, the other an Android shirt

Observations from the Trenches
  • Recreate foreign design patterns that are expensive to maintain — the ‘not invented here’ syndrome.
  • Can be ‘Debbie Downers’, adversely affecting the energy and excitement of your team.
  • Don’t understand or even care about the iOS platform’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) or the Android platform’s Material Design.
  • Don’t promote the mobile platform they work with.
  • Invest just enough effort to finish and move on to the next app in their career.
  • Leverage platform design patterns well, resulting in less code and easier to evolve solutions — they ‘use the force’.
  • Promote excitement about their platform, instilling confidence in their team.
  • Are ‘one’ with the HIG/Material Design, ensuring their apps have a natural fit and finish that feels good to their users.
  • Are always promoting the mobile platform they work with.
  • Can’t get enough of the new stuff from Apple or Google, and can’t wait for Google I/O or WWDC.

Love Conquers All
  • Align with your vendor. Vendor lock-in for rapidly evolving technology is actually a good thing! Think of Apple and Google as your strategic partners, helping you to easily integrate the innovations you’ve come to expect from them every year. They provide a path forward that will be clear the moment it is made available to you.
  • Don’t try to outsmart your vendor’s frameworks and build your own. You will create technical debt that you’ll wish you didn’t have. Even if you think you are smarter than Apple or Google, limit your innovation, and stay in the lanes.
  • If you have to build your own frameworks or use open source frameworks, then be prepared to rip them out when Apple or Google deliver similar solutions. They usually do.
  • Relish change and adapt fast. Build systems that are easy to keep current. The shelf-life of mobile apps is short (three to five years) because of changing business requirements, and because users demand the latest innovations from Apple and Google.
  • Build small, effective teams who love their respective platforms. They will keep you close to the vendor, and ultimately bring your enterprise more value than you can ever imagine. Passionate teams build the best apps.
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