I have an iPad-specific website which has had the "zoom-in" feature disabled on it as I have horizontal and vertical fixed navigational elements that I do not want to go out of view.

I would like to know the opinion and feeling with regards to disabling the "zoom in" feature on an iPad/iOS to achieve this? Is this likely to frustrate users who believe that, if there is, for example, some text on the site they would like to zoom in on or if there is an image that they'd like a closer look at then this functionality should be available to them (considering the Safari web browser offers this as standard).

As I say, there is good reason the functionality has been disabled - however, I would be keen to know the feeling amongst the UX community and if there is another way I could achieve what I want without disabling the zoom feature.

  • 4
    Closely related: Should Mobile-optimized sites allow Zooming?
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 16:47
  • I would add, from an accessibility perspective (at the end of the evening, when I've left my glasses out or arm's reach) I'll use the iOS integrated zoom to make the UI readable, rather than pinch-zoom a page. I doubt, however, that most users even know what three-finger tapping does on their iPad.
    – msanford
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 15:27
  • @msanford "three-finger tapping" - no I certainly don't.
    – crmpicco
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 15:48
  • @crmpicco A simple double-tap with three fingers instantly zooms in and out 200% and you can double-tap and drag three fingers to dynamically adjust the magnification between 100% and 500%. apple.com/accessibility/iphone/vision.html
    – msanford
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


If your site is iPad-specific, disabling zooming is definitely ok.

iPad users are definitely comfortable with non-zooming UI. Consider iPad native apps - they never require zoom for normal navigation. Zoom is only used for very specific controls in apps - such as enlarging images/photos/maps. If your content in native-app form would not include zooming, it's ok for it not to include zoom in web-app form.

Let's take a live example by Apple. The Apple developer docs website has an iPad-specific version. I don't currently have my iPad with me, but if I remember correctly, this website does not support zoom for the traditional navigation (the side-menu and such). If it's good enough for apple, it's good enough for me :)

  • Just checked with my iPad and indeed the Apple developer docs website has zooming disabled on iPad
    – talkol
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 16:39
  • 1
    "iPad users are definitely comfortable with non-zooming UI" - absolutely disagree. When browsing on my iPad, I hate sites that disable pinch zoom. If you want to infuriate your mobile users and drive them away, then disabling zoom might be the right thing to do.
    – Steve Kuo
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 3:46

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