It doesn’t all need to look the same.

I’m sure I’m not the only person mildly frustrated by apps where it’s instantly obvious that the Android app looks identical to the iOS one at the cost of platform fit on both platforms¹. That topic has been discussed to death, and I’m not going to go there, but David Smith’s post on a watchOS design conundrum this week made me consider something more subtle.

You should read the whole post, but the gist is that he ended up tweaking the positioning and spacing of how a UI element looked for every different watch size. It’s a beautiful demonstration of meticulous attention to detail. In isolation, everything appears to be in just the right place in every screenshot, and because of that, an untrained eye may not even see differences. In reality, there are reasonably significant details that change on each device.

You probably won’t have to go to this level of customisation very often, but It’s worth remembering that consistency is only important for things the same person will see regularly. With David’s watch designs, every person (apart from David) is only ever going to see one version of that rounded rectangle and will never know that other versions exist, and that’s worth bearing in mind next time you’re trying to make an app layout work across a range of device sizes.

¹ There are plenty of good reasons to make a cross-platform app, and it’s the correct choice in many cases. I also understand that cross-platform design is often a consequence of that decision. But I do notice it.

Dave Verwer  



Business and Marketing


SwiftUI and TCA Developer @ MFB Technologies, Inc. – We make Align, an enterprise platform used by top trial lawyers. Looking for a motivated dev to join our iOS team and help us add new features and integrations to our iPad client. The client app is written entirely in SwiftUI using The Composable Architecture (TCA) framework. U.S. residents only. – Remote (within US timezones)

Tech Lead @ Learn Chess with Dr. Wolf / – Millions of students have learned chess from the kind and patient Dr. Wolf. “Learn Chess with Dr. Wolf” started as an indie labor of love. With your creativity, dedication and attention, we can bring the joy of chess and learning to many more people. – Remote (within US or European timezones)


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And finally...

Hey Siri, use ChatGPT. 🤖