STOP Double-Clicking!

There is nothing on the internet that requires a double-click. Let me say that again…


This morning there was a harmless post over at creative bits about not being able to configure a double-click button on the new Apple Might Mouse. This story sent me into a little rant about a subject that has annoyed me for years. It’s double-clicking. I’ve said it before, but incase you weren’t paying attention… There is nothing on the internet that requires a double-click! So, stop doing it!

Have you ever watched people browse the internet? Try it sometime. You’ll see them double-click on everything. I don’t know how this started, but somehow people have gotten it into their head that they should double-click links. People, people, people… the internet (and most CDs) are a single-click environment. Do not double click! Double-clicking works great for opening files (or folders) on your hard drive, but the internet is not your hard drive, there is a difference.

I’m always shocked at how many people I see doing this. I even have to yell at my girlfriend, constantly, to stop double-clicking. Again, there is nothing on the internet that requires double-clicking.

At this point, you’re probably saying… WOW! What gives? Why is he so obsessed with this? Well, it comes from being a developer of websites and CD-ROM presentations. You see, double-clicking often breaks things in a single-click environment. Usually the first click initiates an action, but the second click either cancels, or changes that action. Example: you have a link that is meant to open a small window containing a movie or image. The first click opens the window, but the second click holds the main window in front… forcing the smaller window to go behind it. At this point your client calls you and says the site is broken, the window won’t open. Uhm… no, it did open, it’s behind the main window… you double-clicking punk-ass. Fortunately, this has become less of an issues with modern browsers. Many times the second click is ignored. But still… what the hell are you double-clicking for?

People please, keep the double-clicks confined to your operating system. They have no place on the internet or in CD presentations.

Anyway, that’s my little rant for today. Let’s try to get some momentum going here. I want everyone who reads this to post a similar story on their site, or just link back to this one. If we can get this out to enough sites, maybe we can stamp out double-clicking forever.

9 thoughts on “STOP Double-Clicking!”

  1. LOL that was great. This has bothered me for years as well. Both my parents are guilty of this and it drives me absolutely nuts. Glad you addressed the issue. Most people are in dire need of basic computer lessons.

  2. Hi! This comment is irrelevant to the topic, but just wanted say that I like the flag icons. Did you create them yourself? They look pretty. Great blog too. I enjoy reading it. Keep it up!

  3. I’ve actually received manuals for the webinterface we use at work where it explicitly details “doubleclick the link…”.
    The person who wrote it gets more money than me. Bastards.

  4. Regarding the double click: I wholehearedly agree with you, the Internet is not a double-click environment, but since the biggest demographic of the users that visit (depending on the project, ofcourse) will be new to the internet, or not really technically savvy.

    I see this as a mean to make sure your project is as fool prof as possible. The example you mention can be fixed with a little code in the new window that makes sure the window has focus (see for instance) I know that you are most likely aware of this, and just used that as an example, but I will submit to you in general, that most user errors can be avoided by careful planning and some additional programming.

    Other than that, nice homepage, and I hope to visit more often and read your interesting homepage.

  5. I have ALWAYS had this pet peeve. I can’t stop myself from yelling at the older folks who are more frequently the ones who tend to do it… But also, “a lot” spelled as one word makes me crazier. You don’t see anyone spelling “alittle” like that do ya?

  6. On the mac, using “focus” is fine. But In Windows (at least in IE), focus can actually override OS dialog boxes. For instance, if your link opens a small window that uses focus, and the user tries to print, the resulting print dialog box gets stuck behind your popup. And, since Windows won’t let you do anything else while there is an open Print Dialog box, you effectiviely lock someone out of their computer, because they can’t click the “OK” on the print dialog.

  7. I did not know that, Paul, and you are indeed right that it would not work. My point was simply that some (aparently not most) problems can be fixed by planning/programming.

    I dont want to start an argument or anything, I’m just saying that when planning/producing a homepage, the target group should be kept in mind. Your homepage for instance is for above average MAC users or technology interested people, and you can therefore make assumptions as to their skill/knowledge.

  8. Thems fightin words, Lars. Just kidding :)

    I totally agree. Consideration of your audience in one of the biggest factors in planning a project, and a solution can usually be found to overcome any problem.

    I still want people to stop double-clicking though. It’s just annoying :)

    Thanks for the input.

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