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Native UI web design

Web and apps are 2 different ecosystems by nature. The UX gap is narrowing thanks to increasing bandwidth and device performance. This opened the gate to "Native (mobile) UI" web design.

Blurring the lines between app and web is not just a niche for web apps (or designer personal websites). Many websites these days opt for a Native mobile UI look and feel. Less column, more stacks, consolidated navigation...

The web 2.0 "responsive" hit a plateau a few years ago already while product design keeps pushing the envelope. It's a tad unfair to classic web design as it has to cater to both large and small screens, but still...

I appreciate that this approach suggests good practices, like accessibility and performance. Accessibility stems from the massive organizations that have tested and refined their patterns for a while now. Most of us are comfortable with it. Native is fast, fluid, and sharp, versus the static, freeze-reloads of the web.

The most common Native UI design systems, apple, and android suggest a certain rigor regarding information hierarchy that tends to lead to minimalist layouts and UIs. The extensive documentation, high quality, and abundant examples in our pockets are likely responsible for it, in a good way, for once.

There is the aesthetic question: Is Native UI neutral or is the choice of it reflecting something? – I see Native UI as the Bootstrap of web3, merging contexts for the smoothest UX. I perceive a desire to convey a blend of optimism and conformity in those going for it.

When it comes to UI, I see homogeneity as a common good, commoditization of it for the benefit of all, like the printing press. We all know how to use a book, a newspaper… a website, an app.

It's that striping of the branding ego that feels good to me. The content-first design approach is struggling to keep up with the pace of the ecosystem. Native UI provides the container that brings the focus back to the content.

I'm personally interested in how Native UI flexes for more editorial/showcase web use cases. I love how web design has been coming back in since the crypto-boom (winter 21–).

← Index / Published on 2024-03-21