Considerations for Building Cross-Platform Desktop Applications

By July 9, 2018

Developing desktop applications is a sure way to stay in the minds of your customer base while bringing your services closer to them. The apps should not only represent your brand and its superior qualities but also offer customers enough value for them to retain it in their lives. One issue, however, that bothers software developers is whether to design a native app for a specific operating system or to work with a cross-platform app.

While there are plenty of reasons to opt for native apps, developing cross-platform desktop apps has its advantages, especially for startups. Other than the fact that coding the application will take less time and money vis-à-vis the native app option, the apps are typically easier to launch and faster to market. Perhaps the most inviting advantage of such apps is the fact that brands can embrace consistency in design and branding elements across the different platforms.

Here are a few insights into creating cross-platform apps for your business:

Maintain Brand Consistency

Brand consistency is not only great for your current application, but also for the products that you might later launch on the same platform in the future. A consistent brand representation on the app will allow customers to easily relate to your brand independent of the platform that they are using your application from. This further builds your identity and credibility.

Urge your developers to create apps that will be standardized in terms of UI and the design. This will include using similar call to action buttons, typography and page colors. Since the technical differences in the various platforms that you want to launch your applications in will impact your brand, working hand in hand with developers from each platform is critical.

Avoid Mimicking the Appeal of Other Platforms

The aim for designing a consistent interface is to make the apps seem similar in different operating systems. However, designers might end up copying the design elements of another platform which will make the application seem out of place. For instance, using the navigation menu of a windows application on a Linux platform will make the app look unnatural.

You ought to design the app with the appeal of the platform in mind. Pay attention to parts such as the navigation menu which help tell apart the differences between the two platforms. To be on the safe side, according to AppOptics, you can use a responsive framework that will make the app look appealing on each platform while increasing the ease of monitoring the software.

Let the Designers Work Independently

While letting designers work on a single app feature on their respective platforms concurrently will seem like the intuitive path to take, the chances are that they might face bottlenecks down the line. Once one of them finds a bottleneck in their platform, they will need to each brainstorms a solution before any of them can go on to find a solution. This might kill your goals to maintain consistency and app development speed.

Instead, encourage the developers to work independently on different features on their platforms. Once they are done with a feature, they can then share the solutions for the other developer to apply it on the other platforms. Holding whiteboard sessions while using such a strategy will make working in collaboration quite easy, according to Forbes.

Leverage Pre-Built Components

Just like in designing native apps, you do not necessarily have to develop the app from scratch. There is a diversity of pre-built app components that can help you make the development process more manageable. The more experienced a developer is, the more tools they can make use of, as noted by an TMC Net article on choosing the best developer for your business.

Talk to your developers to learn about what extent of the app development process will be done from scratch. In case there is a prebuilt component that will streamline the development process without producing hiccups, urge them to use it. What you want is fast app delivery with assurances of smooth performance and functionality.


The extent to which you can enjoy cross-platform apps depends on how you design them. The trick is to make the apps look natural while embracing consistency in design. Considering that more people are accessing apps on different platforms, taking these steps is critical to ensuring seamless cross-platform application access.