On a desktop and touch devices, I'd like to know is there is a way to tell the user that some control could be clicked (one action) and long pressed (another action)?

Real-world example:

  • We have column chart

enter image description here

  • Tap performed on column 2007 (single selection)

enter image description here

  • Tap performed on column 2009 (single selection)

enter image description here

  • Long press performed on column 2010 (single selection)

enter image description here

Current situation is that user doesn't know that chart has possibility to multi-select columns (perform long press). How to indicate that it is possible?

  • Is the long press possibility the only possibility of the button, or can the user also perform a short press? May 11, 2017 at 9:51
  • @NGAFD yes, click is also possible (e.g on click items in a list behave like radio button group, but on long press we can select several items like checkbox group). May 11, 2017 at 9:58
  • Take a look at Material design - Selection Patterns.
    – Alvaro
    May 11, 2017 at 10:10
  • @NGAFD example added to a question May 11, 2017 at 10:25

2 Answers 2


Since the bars have both a click and a long press, i reckon there are a couple of ways to acheive this.

  • Write a small info note at the end informing the users about the long press
  • Give some visual feedback , like a small circle filling up as the user makes contact with the page/touches the page.
  • one more form of visual feedback : start 'filling' the bar with color when user makes contact. click will make the bar fill up instantly, when that is seen . i guess the user will make an attempt to fill it up slowly, i.e long press .
    • in the above scenario, once user has long pressed, i'd recommend elevating the selected bar above the others to make sure it was selected via long-press or use a different fill color.

We used the last scenario for an app where user had this same confusion , but then again those were cards and not bars. But i hope this helps :)


Changing the color of the column may be too little for the user to know that he have selected something. Along with the color change, you could display a top toolbar showing how many items the user selected along with the option to cancel selection and other specific actions.

Someting like that:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

I hope it helps :)

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