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Is it good to make different website for Desktop and iPad? or same site is more better?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you can provide a better experience on a different kind of device, do it!

Things to consider:

  • Don't make a page for iPads specifically but for tablets in general (touch and medium screen size optimized)
  • Don't confuse your desktop users - it shouldn't be completely different from your standard website
  • Always provide the option to switch to your standard site

Hope that helps, Phil

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A good reference for this is on Safari's site. It goes on to say that:

"The mantra for cross-device development is: one site for all is the ideal but it's not always possible. Whichever strategy you adopt, there is one vital point to remember: Mobile users are task-focused users. And so are all users

Many developers and usability pundits advocate making mobile-only sites because mobile users are in a hurry; they're on the go and want to perform one specific task and then finish. A common example cited is that of a restaurant site. The mobile user wants to find the location, the menu and the opening hours so, the argument goes, the mobile site should contain this and nothing else.

This is a good argument, but it's only half true. If it were 100% true, what would be on the "full" website? Presumably, a movie of the decor, some atmospheric music, animated representations of the house special dishes, and a downloadable menu in some fancy font. The fallacy here is that users of desktop computers are not task-focussed and have time to waste on an immersive branding experience. The truth is that all users are in a hurry, and all users want to find the information, then leave your site and go and do something more interesting — like taking their partner out to dinner. You should therefore make an effort to reduce clutter and save time for all users — one site should be able to serve the needs of both mobile and desktop users.

Mantra #2: just because a desktop site allows you more space to fill, it doesn't mean that you should."

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I think it's a good thing to have different sites for different devices, but it must work properly.

Pros:
- Can make it simpler to touch navigate
- Can reduce interface noise, like adds and related posts etc
- Can use native looking components
- Can use an alternative solutions for eg. hover functionality

Cons:
- Don't show the user a wap-version of the site.
- Don't remove any essential functionality

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1  
An explanation for the down vote is always appreciated :) –  Jørn E. Angeltveit May 13 '11 at 16:44

Naturally this would depend on the content and target audience, but from my point of view I would design a website with mobile, iPad and desktop in-mind from the very start. Not just from an asthetic point of view but also how the visitors will expect to use the site.

For instance:

  • Will the site need to have the full set of functionality available on all devices, or are mobile / portable users only likely to be interested in a sub-set of the site? (i.e. news websites will probably need all content available on all devices, but an airline website will probably only need the flight status information available on a portable system).

This is quite an open question really. I know the standard answer is 'It Depends' but that really is the answer in this case.

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Different websites for different devices; no, you shouldn't do that. You should, however, design and build your site using what is now being referred to as responsive web design. A site should scale things (font, images, etc.) based on device resolution, remove "fluff" when there isn't room for it, and maybe even rearrange content via CSS, but you shouldn't be doing this on two (or more) separate sites.

There are several reasons for this:

  • You now need to maintain two separate code bases for the two separate sites
  • All of your content will have two URLs, which hurts search ranking (yes, Google introduced the "canonical" meta tag, but that isn't widely in use by search engines yet - I don't even think they have completely rolled it out yet).
  • Users trying to share your links is much more difficult if you have separate URLs. If I try copying a URL on my phone for a site with a "mobile" version and email it to someone else, and they open it on their desktop computer, now they are looking at the very unfriendly (in that environment) mobile site and may not know how to see the full version.
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2  
Sorry Charles, I have to disagree. Different layouts and even contents for different devices can make sense. Of couse you shouldn't make a mess with your URLs - but you don't have to. Take a look at amazon.com or tripadvisor.com or other big websites - they do it like this and it works really well. –  Phil May 13 '11 at 15:33
    
@Phil - that is what responsive web design IS. Did you read that article I linked to? –  Charles Boyung May 13 '11 at 15:55
2  
There is more to mobile/touch optimized sites than rearranging content, scale things and remove "fluff". Sometimes things have to work differently (e.g. minimize the need for keyboard input) and you can take advantage of mobile features (e.g. location services). For me responsive web design is the way to go when there is no need or budget for a real mobile/touch solution. –  Phil May 13 '11 at 17:37
    
Also, did you just downvote my answer? An explanation would be appreciated... and don't take it personal if I don't agree with you. I've seen many answers by you and usually I agree ;) –  Phil May 13 '11 at 17:49
1  
Sometimes different sites are needed, sometimes not. I'm not a fan of splitting the code until necessary, though. In the end, there are many project-centric variables that go into deciding this. –  DA01 May 15 '11 at 20:27

No. You should not make a different website. But your website should work on an iPad if it's important for your client or you have a significant amount of visitors using an iPad. In this case you should not use Flash and you can provide a iPad specific CSS. You could also extend the website with touch specific features if they don't interfere with the user experience on regular desktop machines.

Maybe this site is good inspiration: http://www.informationarchitects.jp/en/ Try to scale your browser window or compare the site on a regular browser, an iPad and on a mobile phone. Even though it's the same website the content is rearranged and (on very small resolutions) changed with the approach to have an optimal user expierence on different devices.

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It will be good,as it will easy for you to work on them, if something went wrong to any site. Complexity will be less so if any issue arises one can take care of that easily. But if someone creates a website and optimize it for both desktop and ipad, complexity will be more and any single issue can affect a website on both devices.

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