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I have one specific and rather strange question. Have you heard or saw a website that was designed to look like an application for iOS (iPhone, iPad)? Do you think that's a good idea?

Note: this would not be a mobile web app. I am talking about full-scale computer web browser website with resolution of 1280x1024 (per say).

What do you think are the pros and cons of building a site like that?

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closed as too broad by JonW Aug 10 '15 at 7:14

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I think this would result in some brutal over simplification and either lots of excess whitespace or lots of hard to read text. Single column layouts alone are problematic in most web design, pretending you have no horizontal space is just exacerbating the problem. – Ben Brocka Oct 24 '11 at 14:29
@BenBrocka: I agree if you're referring to an iPhone interface, but an iOS interface would include an iPad's interface. Which I think is fine for a website. – JohnGB Nov 8 '11 at 16:29
What are the pros and cons of smashing square pegs into round holes? – DA01 Nov 8 '11 at 17:10
There is a framework called Framework7, it looks and feels like an iOS 7/8 app. – user70792 Aug 10 '15 at 2:30
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is probably what you're looking for: Vaadin TouchKit. It's a free Java-driven web framework that does a very good (although not perfect) job of emulating iOS in a browser. Looks best on mobile devices, but it will work on regular browsers as well.

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@BetaSve This answer doesn't answer the question about the pros and cons of a website looking like an app. Is your assumption that "Other people do this, so it must be OK."...? – JeromeR Aug 10 '15 at 3:50

There are lessons that can be learnt from mobile design and there is a pool of thought that states designing for mobile first will help provide a better experience when you design for the desktop: As it makes you focus on what is of most important on each screen (as you are designing for a smaller screen) Some sites seem to be adopting this approach: less interactions per screen, larger buttons, more space between items etc.

Personally I wouldn't make an iphone app exactly the same as a web app, as peoples expectations on these platforms are different. They are not totally seperate so consider all your platforms when you design, keeping common elements throughout.

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Sheff, I consider your reply truthful. I have a problem designing a site like that too. Not sure what will happen in the end though. Anyway, have you ever seen a site like that? (very similar to iOS app) – BetaSve Oct 23 '11 at 20:45
To be fair, though, you can pay attention to (minimizing) content complexity without developing for mobile. It's just that mobile is more punishing when you don't, and thus more people do pay attention to it. – PixelSnader Aug 10 '15 at 9:54

Two websites that come to mind are by Facebook and Both of these have been designed around iOS paradigms throughout their environments.

Pro: the user is already familiar how the product looks in other environments, so it's easy to get along.

Con: user would be confused if you product is not mobile-first and so will have to learn using the web product first.


Hope it helps.

I'm at @gbaheti

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