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As a web designer building a shopping cart for the iPad, I find the lack of down and click states difficult.

What's a good way without raising a confirmation pop up or something terrible and ugly to convey to an iPad user that he has clicked something?

The buttons are not INPUT elements, but are styled DIV's with background images.

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Could you clarify a bit more what you're trying to achieve? Possibly a more detailed scenario or a screenshot? – GotDibbs May 21 '12 at 19:17
You don't click at all on an iPad. The concept is irrelevant. You do tap. And when you tap something, there should be an interaction as a result of that tap. – DA01 May 21 '12 at 19:26
@DA01 What kind of interaction is meaningful and concise without being overwhelming? – Wesley May 21 '12 at 19:52
It'd all depend on context, but, in general, pretty much what you'd do with click events elsewhere. – DA01 May 21 '12 at 21:46
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Use the same affordances you would with any button. When you register a click event, animate the given item to indicate that it is depressed. Exactly how you animate it depends entirely on your interface; you may be doing 3d emulation with highlighted borders, you may be doing flat style where you just increase the saturation, but make your items animate the same way they would for a desktop.

The only difference is that on an iPad you will animate it for a timed interval (perhaps 1/4 second) rather than reacting to two separate events (mousedown and mouseup) and performing the separate parts of the animation based on the mouse button state.

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you can use touchstart and touchend if one desires. – DA01 May 21 '12 at 19:27
Oh, nice, I didn't realize there were touchscreen events for that. – Myrddin Emrys May 21 '12 at 19:40

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