If the minimum tap area is 48x48dp (reference: material design accessibility), then what is the logic behind chips being 32dp in height (specs here) and buttons being 36dp in height (specs here)?

1 Answer 1


Based on the Layout & Technology section of the Accessibility page, the tap area continues to be, at minimum, 48x48dp, thanks to padding:

Touch targets are the parts of the screen that respond to user input. They extend beyond the visual bounds of an element. For example, an icon may appear to be 24 x 24 dp, but the padding surrounding it comprises the full 48 x 48 dp touch target.

I can't speak to the intentions of the Material designers, but in my own work, some elements may appear smaller in order to effectively communicate hierarchy and reduce cognitive load.

  • 1
    While I appreciate the reply, this does not fully answer the question. I'll provide a real example. Search for material design in google on mobile, and you get a card with some chips in it that are 32dp in height. imgur.com/XFgg0rg If the minimum tap area is 48dp, what is the logic behind these chips being 32dp? If it is to create visual hierarchy at the expense of tap accuracy, I can accept that. But was hoping to see that reason documented somewhere. Thx.
    – Eric
    Jul 22, 2019 at 18:40
  • I'll provide one more example from desktop google calendar. Obviously a calendar control with 48 x 48dp sizes for days would be unwieldly. But if you were google, how would you put into words defending the varying button sizes. See screenshot with some annotations: imgur.com/a/X2vtj45
    – Eric
    Jul 26, 2019 at 16:39

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