I am currently helping out my company with the UI/UX design of apps, and having no experience and prior knowledge, I find myself stuck between whether to follow the guidelines or not.

We're beginning to adopt the card design from Material designs guidelines, but I find that there is too little space for too many items. Our app specialises in travel, and these are a few problems I've met:
1. Name of place too long. Material design states that the title has to be 24pt. I think the guidelines say I shouldn't shrink the words, and I feel that I should keep it to a single-line.
2. The padding between the image and words (16px top and bottom) would lead to the phone only showing 1 card at a time, which I think is too long.

My question is when can I ignore these guidelines, or do I follow the guidelines only when I use the native elements (like bars)? The most common example is game apps where it contains no iOS/Android elements.(Is it called custom?). Especially for images, I do not now how much padding I should leave, but sometimes I use 8px and sometimes I use 15px (for iOS) and 16px (for Android)

Another question I would like to ask is, currently, I am being tasked to replicate the design of iPhone to both an iPad and iPad Pro. I could not find any guidelines for iPad, so what I did was I kept the same padding and enlarged the text and images. My problem is Sketch does not enlarge the text (as they are in pts), so how does a designer decide on the text size on the iPad? Is there a definite size for both iPhone and iPad, or is there only a minimum and the size can be decided based on preference?

I do feel that it's inefficient in creating a design for iPhone and iPad, plus doing it for Android too, and with so many phone models, it seems unrealistic. I would like to know what would a designer do when creating designs for both OS with different phone sizes.

Thank you.

  • 2
    All the questions regarding whether one should follow Material Design/Apple HIG guidelines in this or that can be answered with the definition of the guideline "By definition, following a guideline is never mandatory. Guidelines are not binding and are not enforced." Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 11:30
  • Also you shouldn't ask two different questions at the same time. "Not sure what you are asking" is a reason to close questions. Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 11:32
  • Sorry, I'll take note about that. Can I confirm with you that by 'definition of the guideline', it's a general info across every guideline even though it's not stated on the Material Design/Apple HIG sites?
    – Kei
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


I've faced this challenged before and I find myself asking why the guidelines aren't working with my intended layout or experience. If your planned experience is fighting with the material design philosophy that much then I would rethink your approach in UI layout.

Regarding your questions

  1. If your titles are not fitting within the paper cards, I would suggest not putting them into card and reserving that for body copy/content.
  2. For the scaling typopgraphy, you should be using a Dynamic font that will scale with the resoltions. here is a resource for Material (https://material.io/guidelines/style/typography.html#typography-other-typographic-guidelines) and for IOS (https://developer.apple.com/ios/human-interface-guidelines/visual-design/typography/)

Hope this helps

  • 1. If for example I choose to not follow the guidelines, is it possible to use 16pt instead of 24pt? I am concerned to whether it will cause the app to be rejected. 2. My text is being combined with the image together as a .png file, which was why I was asking about the text size. Am I right to say that dynamic font means it will be coded by the developers?
    – Kei
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 14:24

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