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User Experience

The Education of Single Click

On 14, May 2009 | 7 Comments | In User Experience | By Ryan Feeley

Ever notice how latecomers to the web will often double-click links? In my usability work, I’ve observed this happening countless times. Such activity almost certainly doubles the users risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). It also raises the ire of environmentalists, as it doubtlessly shortens the life of an average computer mouse by half. In order to do our part to curb this dangerous behaviour, I teamed up again with Andrey Petrov to build this simple javascript that aims to strengthen single-click behaviour.


UPDATE: If you are using jQuery or Prototype.js, follow these examples which only affects links. Otherwise use this original version, which affects all double-clicks.

Feel free to propagate in your HTML to end the senseless double-clicking of web links forever!


  1. Would probably be nicer if the message wasn’t written to make people feel stupid for double-clicking (re: “… from the very first web browser”). Just sayin’…

  2. The message is completely customizable allowing you to control the level of snarkiness like Mom’s controlling sugar in Kool-Aid.

  3. Beony

    What’s super annoying about this though is that if I double-click to highlight text it still pops up. It would probably be nicer if it was only applied to links and/or buttons

  4. Great idea Beony! Know a way to do this unobtrusively and elegantly in javascript?

  5. Love it! My only complaint would be that it blocks the UI.

    If you use a framework such as prototype or jQuery, then making it show up just for links is fairly straight forward.

  6. Thanks Gianni: I updated the post and was using jQuery already for Wideslide.

  7. Is there a PayPal link or other way to contribute to this cause?

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