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In desktop web development, a big user experience no-no is to create a behavior that is not native to the browser. Such as:

  • Disabling the right-click mouse button
  • Creating your own context menu
  • Not allowing a user to browse backwards
  • Overriding shortcut keys used commonly in browsers
  • Etc.

In the mobile web world, does this axiom stick or is it applied differently?

For example, the equivalent of creating your own context menu on right click is to create your own context menu when a user taps and holds a certain portion of your site. Chrome for Mobile pops up its own context menu.

Another example is the use of swiping left or right to browse what is a "forward step" or a "backward step". However, the default behavior of Chrome for mobile is to switch between tabs.

Any thoughts?

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It kind of depends on the platform recommendations. This is dependent on whether or not the behavior will clash with users' expectations. There is an acknowledgement that user expectations on the web is mostly driven by the browser. I know that for Windows 8, right-click is meaningful (hence should not be over-riden or it would clash with an OS-level UX pattern) but I do not know about tap and hold.

I would look at the different platforms you are trying to target, and look for each of them if they have any pattern they are enforcing.

UX Guidelines for Windows 8 Store apps

UX guidelines for IOS

UX guidelines for Android

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