I have noticed that in some cases the action associated to double click happens after the second mousedown and not after the second mouseup(windows desktop for example). This may make the application open faster but a user cannot "cancel" the action by not performing the second mouse up. On a button for example you can cancel the click action by not performing the mouse up action. I dont know what happens in other operating systems but most applications i tested under windows work the same way as the windows desktop . Is this the proper way to implement it when developing a Dekstop application?

P.S I believe clicking an element means to press and release the mouse button on the same element, meaning that the click action is performed after the mouseup although i am confused since many actions labelled as click do not involve a mouseup on the same element and happen at the mousedown.

P.S 2 I dont care about mouseup,mousedown and click events and the order of firing since this depends on the platform. When talking about mouseup and mousedown i am just referring to the pressing and releasing action of the mouse button.

  • Can you explain what you mean by "the proper way"? Proper for whom? In what context? Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 20:14
  • You are right about the context. Its for a windows dekstop application control but i would like a general answer/recommendation citing some sources if possible.
    – Marios
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


I believe your first assumption is wrong.

Click for click sound

When you ask someone to click something, it means press (or push) it down.

There's an important UX aspect in play here - the click sound serves as an auditory feedback which means the action has been mechanically achieved, and you get the click sound when you push the button (mouse or keys) down.

For people who have no idea about mouse up and down, 'click' means press - when they hear the click sound. Thus a double-click means double-press. If it would be mouse-up based, a more proper name would be double-release.

As such, it seems to me that the double-click action takes place after the second press, not after the second release.

The drag business

You have to remember that a mouse-down can be the first step in a drag-and-drop action. Users may wish to highlight a part of a long link (like on the right bar of this page), so a single click typically happens on mouse up (for drag and drop sake).

But there's no real convention to double click followed by drag (press-release-press-drag) other than what happens upon double click, and then a normal drag. So the fact that double click happens on the second press is just fine.


Anyhow, the press-release actions involved in click - and particularly a double-click - are fast actions, so I doubt any consideration was given to allowing users to hold the (second) press down and drag outside the region of the clickable area - neither most users would be aware of such behaviour, nor it serves as a proper guard for user errors.

  • Nice answer. Microsoft ux guideline seems to agree with you also.
    – Marios
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 19:24

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.