Long touch has become a common input action on touch devices. Does anyone know of any sign or symbol that means "this only responds to long touch?" On all the long touch uses I've seen you have to learn that the only way to accomplish some things is via a long touch, so some kind of visual cue that something (button like thing) is long touch activated would facilitate the learning of the app.

2 Answers 2


I don't know of such a symbol, however, you could use an animation of a process to emphasize the duration required for the click.

Example 1: a button that is shaped like a screw head that screws into place while you hold your finger down on it, until it is in place (and if you let go beforehand, it screws out by itself).

Example 2: a lever that moves slowly into position when you hold your finger down over it.

  • Animation could make it easily discoverable, when the user tries a fast press first. I would opt for a more simple, generic animation though, such as a growing circle, or a progress bar. Oct 25, 2013 at 7:23
  • A progress bar could cause the users to think they have to wait for something to happen. I think a lever may be the best symbol, because it is an operational control like a button, but it doesn't respond as quickly. Oct 25, 2013 at 9:20
  • In a touch environment, people expect levers to be actually flippable by a gesture, not long-pressable. Oct 25, 2013 at 9:22
  • Good point. Can you think of any other physical controls that slowly go inwards? Perhaps a pedal could work. Oct 25, 2013 at 9:25
  • Pedal is an interesting idea. Oct 25, 2013 at 9:28

Mobile Tuxedo has an interesting array of options for touch gesture icons, and their solution is to couple it with a timer icon (4th column in their matrix). If there's a specific duration of hold you require, or it changes by control, I think placing the minimum duration in seconds along with or in place of the timer would work.

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