I am making a Web page where normally, the user navigates some content by clicking "Next" and "Previous" arrows.

For people who use the Web page from a touch device, I can either leave the arrows as they are, or implement jQuery functionality that mimics a "swipe".

I have two reservations/questions about the latter:

  1. Have all the little details of a native iOS swipe been implemented to perfection in jQuery, or will the user perceive the response and smoothness of the simulated swipe as sub-standard?

  2. Is it generally worth the effort to replace "Web" conventions with "Touch" conventions? How annoyed will users be having to "tap" rather being able to "sweep" and other fancy gestures?

  • Just to be clear, you're only talking about altering the way the user interacts with the page via touch? How do you plan on handling the case where a device supports multiple input types (touch + keyboard + mouse)?
    – cimmanon
    Sep 26, 2013 at 16:16
  • Keyboard is not an issue here. It's only a question of replacing mouse clicks with gestures, basically.
    – forthrin
    Sep 26, 2013 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


With regards to your concerns:

Concern 1: I made use of jquery mobile to do exactly this. I didn't have any issues with the "smoothness" of the gesture on iOS.

Concern 2: My personal opinion is that as a user, I want a consistent experience on a device, so when on a desktop I expect certain behaviour from using my mouse and keyboard and similarly when on a mobile device I want to be able to use the available gestures in the expected way e.g. pinch to zoom, swiping left to back and swiping right to go to the next item.

I would leave the next and previous buttons there though, because there aren't a lot of sites which do this currently, the expected usage is for a site to behave the same way as it does on desktop, without gestures, so users may be confused when the buttons are missing. That being said if no one makes an effort to use gestures it'll never change from this. So maybe just display a small notification indicating to the user that they can use gestures to navigate through.


Given time and resources, it is a good idea to implement gestures.

Take fire gestures for example, it tries to eliminate mouse clicks with 6 kinds of gestures

Thats comes very handy one you don't have to go to top left screen, to just go one page back

  • Considering there are browsers with mouse gesture capabilities, custom gestures within the webpage sounds like more harm than good. I already have to disable JavaScript's ability to intercept right mouse clicks so that websites can't interfere with gestures.
    – cimmanon
    Sep 27, 2013 at 18:48

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