The beat of a different drum

Apple has a total of three apps on the Google Play Store. One is an app for additional control for your Beats Pillâ„¢ speaker, and another, comically, is an app that helps you migrate from Android to iOS more smoothly.

The third was Apple Music, a project I'm proud to say I helped bring to market.

The new "Should Designers Code?"

Honor the brand or honor the platform?

Honoring the brand

Integrity to the Apple brand persisting in the app experience is important to establish brand equity, especially in a foreign environment to (potentially) non-Apple users.

Honoring the platform

Respect the users by adhering to platform-specific conventions to reduce cognitive overload. If Android users are accustom to a way of doing things, don't break that trust by breaking conventions.

Where we netted

We first established what was core to the Apple Music brand: the layout, use of color, typographic treatment and iconography. From there, we were able to easily translate iOS UI patterns to patterns we felt were core to the Android experience.

Some of those key decisions: hamburger menu instead of a tab bar, standard Android controls: bottom sheets, list views, tab bars, and the use of the system font Roboto.

In sum, when designing across platforms, having real empathy for users from a platform perspective goes a long way. Moreso than just being observant or informed, become familiar with all the nuances of that platform.