I had a situation on an auction website recently where I clicked an action button to investigate what the consequences of it were, but an accidental double click ended up committing the action (with financial repercussions, and terrible support to get it reversed, but that's another problem).

There was an item I listed that I wanted to see what the fees were for withdrawing it, so I click the "Withdraw listing" button, expecting to see a confirmation dialog, which did appear. However, the dialog opened up with the "Confirm" button positioned directly underneath the cursor, and accidentally double clicking confirmed the action.

It got me thinking, is there any general suggestion that confirming an irreversible action should require definite user input, e.g. moving the mouse to a different button, typing 'confirm', add a timer?

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I think you've given an excellent example of a poor implementation of 'pacing the user'. The confirmation dialog was there, but it was too prone to erroneous input.

In my opinion however, having to type 'delete' for everything you ever delete is pretty ridiculous overkill. Rather, the effort that a user is asked to make, should be proportional to the severity of the consequences.

In your example it's not entirely clear whether you moved the mouse in between clicks whereby coincidentally pointing the cursor at the new button, or if they presented the second button at the same location as the 'withdraw listing' button. I'll assume the latter.

It sounds like withdrawing the listing equals permanent deletion, and that resubmitting it might require a lot of time. I think that they'll eliminate a lot of click noise if they simply swapped the 'Confirm withdraw' and 'Cancel' buttons, assuming they have an abort button (as they should).

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