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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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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

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 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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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

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