I am trying to wrap my head around the design considerations one needs to take into consideration as one develops an application for both the desktop and iOS. What seems clear is that the design considerations behind an iOS are drastically different from a desktop application.

For example, a single tap might be considered equivalent to a single click, but a double tap is not necessarily equivalent to a double click.

What other differences in design considerations are there? Are there any good articles on this topic?

I have read the HIGs for iOS and Mac OS X, but they don't discuss their own, separate guidelines in terms of the other. That is what I am looking for....some discussion of iOS programming for Mac OS X programmers in terms of approaching UI design. Again, for example, many desktop applications are dependent upon the double-click to bring up a dialog or to perform some other action. However, the double-click does not necessarily translate to a touch based interface, which more commonly uses it to zoom. What other similar design considerations are there?

I'm sure there have been blog posts on this or other article written, perhaps in MacTech, but I have not been able to locate any.

1 Answer 1


Fitts law is slightly different on touch devices, where you can use both your hands and multiple fingers and with little effort tap multiple buttons. On Mac OS X with mouse input, you have to be careful about not placing things too far apart, so that the user doesn't frequently have to move the mouse over long distances.

Right click to show a context menu in OS X is similar to long press on iOS.

  • Re: Fitts's law: Also, you seldom have infinite edges on touch devices.
    – jensgram
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 8:44

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