I have a mobile interface with a button and an auxiliary text saying something like "click here to complete the action".

The problem is: The marketing team is not comfortable with removal of the auxiliary text, not even changing "click here" to "touch here" (better in my opinion).

Is there any evidence-based study proving (or disproving) that "click here" in touch interfaces could lead to confusion for the user?


You can reference Apple design guidelines:

Avoid lengthening alert text with descriptions of which button to tap. Ideally, the combination of unambiguous alert text and logical button labels gives people enough information to understand the situation and their choices. If you must provide detailed guidance, follow these guidelines:

Be sure to use the word “tap” (not “touch” or “click” or “choose”) to describe the selection action. Don’t enclose a button title in quotation marks, but do preserve its capitalization.

  • The word "Tap" is iOS specific. Android refers to touchscreen actions as "Touch". developer.android.com/design/style/touch-feedback.html – nightning Jan 30 '15 at 20:10
  • Thanks! I still have the problem of translating tap to my language (in portuguese is the same as touch). But the Apple Guidelines is the kind of document I need. – marciobda Jan 30 '15 at 20:10
  • @nightning - I don't see where in that link Google provides a guideline to use the word "touch" as a verb to instruct the user. I think they are just talking about touch interfaces, so they are using the word touch. To Marciobda -- I think the answer below by rewobs is great and I agree with him. I don't think you actually need the help text. You can just have "Complete" or "Complete _fill in with word about what the user is doing" as text on your button. Given the context, that should be clear to the user what to do. But if you must use the text, then "tap" should work. :) – Lauren Dankiewicz Jan 30 '15 at 20:18
  • That was not the best link. Here: developer.android.com/design/patterns/gestures.html and the new material design gesture guidelines google.com/design/spec/patterns/gestures.html – nightning Jan 30 '15 at 20:23

"Click here" or related "Action here" have become a bad practice for navigation.

In case you want to use a text, I would be better just to specify the action (continue, buy, finish, next, etc).

If for some reason you HAVE to describe a "mechanical action", tap / touch are the options.

I don't have scientific support for this but here some reasons from:

It’s bad for usability. Using ‘click here’ for a link forces users to read around the link to find out what they should actually be clicking for. It’s a bit like labelling the up and down arrows for a lift to ‘press this to go up’ and ‘press this to go down’!

It’s bad for readability. ‘Click here’ invariably leads to clunky and overly long winded text. Why use ‘Click here to download the file’ when ‘Download file’ will suffice?

It’s bad for search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines like Google will use the text for links going to a page to help determine what that page is about. Using ‘click here’ is about as useful to Google as a chocolate teapot (which thinking about it could be surprisingly useful, just so long as you like cold, chocolaty tea).

It’s bad for accessibility. Don’t forget that some users might not even be using a mouse so can’t ‘click here’ even if they wanted to. Also screen reader users will often deal with links out of context, such as bringing up a list of all the links on the page. A list of ‘click here’ link is obviously going to make their lives somewhat difficult. A list of ‘click here’ links would make no sense within a screen reader

It’s patronising. Users know how to follow a link. They don’t need being told that they should ‘click here’ to do something, like it’s their first time using a computer!

  • A chocolate teapot... sounds weirdly awesome. – Paul Redmond Jul 7 '15 at 15:06

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