Hello UI & UX Designers & Developers!

I'm just wondering if there's any issues (more so in relation to accessibility & usability) if I were to disable the tap highlighting as seen on mobile webkit-based browsers.

Do users use this tap highlight feedback to know they've tapped on something?

I am thinking along the lines of how removing the element outline when :active is generally considered bad UX since you're unable to determine if they're using their keyboard (Tab key) to navigate the site.

  • Generally I would recommend keeping both the :hover and :focus states as non-mouse users can use them to navigate links on a page. I'm not sure where :active fits into that use case though. Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 8:32
  • I think you misunderstood what I meant, what I'm trying to explain is how on mobile devices when you tap on a link, button etc they get highlighted with a semi-transparent black overlay, my button already has an action/animation to show when you've tapped or clicked on the button but I'm just wondering if there's a problem I'm probably going to run into. Just found a Github repo for a CSS reset with an issue relating to this, github.com/necolas/normalize.css/issues/23 although it doesn't give insight in to why the user uses that tap feedback and if it can be replaced with another
    – brandito
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 1:50
  • I don't think I misunderstood your question. You were asking about possible accessibility issues coming from the removal of the :active state on links and buttons. My comment said that I was aware of issues around the focus and hover states but not on the active state. I'm still not convinced that there are any significant statistics relating to accessibility issues around the use of the active pseudo class. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


Found an answer on an issue on the Bootstrap & normalize.css repo's on Github

So currently it appears to be part of the design to remove it for all elements that aren't in or relating to a form and then to add it back in for those form elements (input, a, button, select, radio, checkbox etc)


  • How does this answer the question about accessibility and usability? This appears to simply say that changes have been made in Boostrap but doesn't give any reasoning or justification from a UX/Accessibility stand point Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 8:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.