Since it was launched a few years ago, React framework almost became an instant success with developers all around the globe, finding it useful for cross-platform app development. Soon, React, keeping all its core capabilities intact further came with a more helpful library for native development across both iOS and Android, two leading mobile OS platforms. Well, since then React Native almost became the de-facto standard library for app developers to build robust cross-platform apps with specific native design elements. 

React Native is now considered to be the most powerful platform for building feature-rich, scalable and native platform optimized apps for multiple mobile OS platforms by using the same codebase. The best thing about this framework is that while it allows cross-platform development with ease, it never misses out the platform-specific design elements that make React Native great.

But how can you mitigate the design-centric differences with the UI elements of Android and iOS? Yes, you need to optimize the UI design for each of these two leading platforms separately. Here we are going to explain to you the most effective UI design guidelines for Android and iOS UI design with React Native. But this requires having the basic idea about the UI design principle of each platform.

Android Material UI Design 

This design principle and language developed by Google back in 2014, was conceived to emulate the perception of material objects with their edges, surfaces, corners, curves, shadows and seams. This design principle also uses light and shadow like real-world materials to create a visual perception of depth. This design principle, apart from being used across all Google apps, is also used by many third-party Android apps across the niches.

iOS Human Interface UI Design

The design principle, followed by Apple iOS for all their apps, is called iOS human interface UI design. This design principle named by Apple as Human Interface design boasts of clarity, depth and deference with surrounding objects. Instead of prioritizing the look and feel, human interface design focuses on the content first, and all elements basically work together to make the content stand out visually.

Designers and Developers Need to Follow Specific Guidelines for Platforms 

The design is no longer just about grabbing the attention of the audience, but it is now the integral part of the user experience and hence, in any app project designers and react native app developers basically work hand in hand to deliver the perfectly platform-specific user experience to the users. While so-called native development takes months of effort for each platform, React Native allows you to make this process shorter with reusable code. But even while working with reusable code, you need to understand the specific UI design guidelines of each platform and accordingly design and develop the app.

Mind The Navigation Of The App

The navigation is of utmost significance for user experience, and you need to give particular attention to this. Let us offer some of the key questions that you need to ask for understanding the navigation.

  • Where do I stand?
  • From here where else can I move?
  • What I’ll find by going to all those places from here?

Your navigation should clarify these aspects. The users should be allowed to navigate seamlessly throughout the app. They should not have any hardships in trying to use the features or getting access to their required content at any point in time. They should be allowed to search the app easier to find out what they need. There should always be an intuitive help function to guide them whenever they feel confused while using the app. While offering platform-specific navigation, you need to make use of native navigation elements of each platform.

Use Icon Packs 

React Native comes with an exhaustive range of icon packs with extensive documentation about using the icons for each specific platform. Since icons are about relevance, consistency and most notably about familiarity, the wrong choice of icons can really have a drastic impact on the user experience. Moreover, as both iOS and Android have their unique styling aspects for a choice of icons, you need to very much platform-specific and convention loyalist for using icons.

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The Difference In The Choice Of Typeface

A typeface for any interface does the job of the light rays. Just as we never see the light itself but the object being visible in the light, the typeface should not grab our attention unnecessarily, but it should only present the contents in a more readable and breathable manner. Besides conveying the messages typeface should be breathable as a visual design element that perfectly brings harmony with the backdrop and all design elements.

Keeping the above core principle in mind you need to choose typefaces for each platform that perfectly meets the demands of the convention, visual coherence, balance and demand for consistency. Since, both iOS and Android have some preferred and conventional fonts. You need to make a choice for each platform within these preferred options. 

Give Attention To A Color Scheme

The choice of color scheme is one of the most challenging design decisions for cross-platform app development projects. First of all, you need to maintain consistency and coherence with the colors chosen for other interfaces and real-life storefronts or your brand presence. Secondly, you need to conform to the rules and semantics of effective colors for your niche. Thirdly, you need to confirm to the platform-specific design elements with your chosen colors.

While Android uses stark contrast with a mix of lighter and darker shades, in iOS, vibrant colors are chosen with a soothing effect. Apart from a platform-specific color scheme, you always need to choose colors based upon their impacts on the audience and the overall aesthetics.


The final piece of advice that we must give designers working in a React Native cross-platform development project is to use some effective tools and libraries for platform-specific UI design. There are plenty of useful UI libraries for React Native developers out there.