When developing a cross platform application should I try to make the application look exactly the same on both iOS and Android or try to keep a native feel to it depending on the platform?

I've read many articles and blog posts about this and found this to be really helpful in pointing out the differences, and was wondering what would be better from user experience perspective?

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In your UX approach, users have to be your top priority.

An Android user will have different habits to an iOS user and vice versa.

You are talking about a "feel". I understand this to mean a graphic feel, and the answer is YES: keep the "graphic feel" common between platforms.

If you're talking about interaction design (navigation, action buttons, gestures etc.) the answer is NO. Think about the consistency of your app in a specific OS environment; for example, an Android user will (mostly) try to find the navigation panel on the top left corner instead of a tab bar on iOS.

Summary: use a common graphic feel but preserve the consistency of your App on a specific platform.

It depends on how the application is going to be used.

The point here is to maintain a consistent experience for the user. If the user is only going to be working with one platform then you need to be consistent with the patterns generally used by that platform.

I found myself working on a hybrid application the other day - part of the app was native and part was responsive web (don't ask!). This meant that I had to find the middle ground between Android and iOS to make the switching between responsive web and native as seamless as possible for both user groups.

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