I'm building a mobile app with clickable text passages from a book. How can I indicate that the text can be clicked?

The app kind of looks like this image below (minus the blue text). In my app, every paragraph is clickable. There are also paragraph numbers on the left side that could be a part of the affordance.

(source: calpoly.edu)

  • 4
    It may be most appropriate to not show "clickability", since everything is clickable. You don't want to highlight the affordance of something when that something is everything. My gut reaction is finding the best way communicate (perhaps through first time use tutorial) that every paragraph is clickable. Where do these paragraphs go? What do I do after I click on one? That might help in finding "click indication" that works in parallel with the paragraph itself. Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 22:19
  • When you say every paragraph is clickable, do I understand that correctly to mean every word of every paragraph? Does each paragraph link-out somewhere else or have a special media associated? Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 7:55
  • The paragraph as a whole is clickable, so that users can add a note on that paragraph.
    – mikala
    Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


You should not only show the paragraphs are clickable. More important is to add sense and meaning for this action.

Does this have any meaning for a user?
enter image description here


Some points to consider are:

  • usefulness of the hyperlinks

    Hyperlinks largely work on the premise of ‘promise and deliver’ – which is to say that the link will tell you what the following page is about, then the page itself will deliver it

    from The art of naming hyperlinks.

    The entire paragraph text as hyperlink violates this point, as "promise" is too ambigous and fuzzy and hence -- unpredictable for a user.

  • sense and meaning of the huge hyperlink
    numbering paragraphs has little sense for a user. Use established solutions for providing metadata for the paragraphs. Just fit it to your interaction strategy. You can see an example below:

    enter image description here

  • test the interactions
    as huge hyperlinks could be pressed accidently and this could be very annoying for the users.

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