My dilemma is pretty simple, I'm making a web game and for the object inventory if you press one of them it will pop a modal where you can see the object info and some options on the bottom, one of them being the possibility to destroy/delete/dismiss that object.

My question is, is it a good practice to make the user to double click the button to trigger the action(destroy the object) or just make it single click and the it pops a modal asking if you really want to destroy it?

Of course, if it's double click I will include additional info near the button briefly explaining its behaviour.

For me the easiest way to make it would be the double click to be honest and I don't think it's a bad practice either.

  • 1
    Do users click in the wild in the heat of the game and could hit the destroy button by mistake? I mean, what problem does a double click solve?
    – jazZRo
    Apr 15, 2016 at 10:19
  • @jazZRo, that would not happen because a modal is used to show the object info so other elements are "hidden behind it and a black overlay.
    – UzendayoNE
    Apr 15, 2016 at 10:22
  • 1
    Depends also on how many time this need to be done. If they need to delete items often, then make it as simple as possible with the possibility of a recycle bin to undo the last delete. If they rarely do it, a good old pop up "are you sure" would be good. I've also seen dragging items to a trash can instead of a button.
    – the_lotus
    Apr 15, 2016 at 15:34
  • @the_lotus I think it will be an uncommon feature because I really want them to keep these objects. They are unique and it takes a lot of time to get.
    – UzendayoNE
    Apr 15, 2016 at 15:37
  • More broadly: blog.codinghorror.com/double-click-must-die Apr 15, 2016 at 17:00

5 Answers 5


As you have pointed out, the double click is not a standard behaviour that your users are familiar with in the situation you are describing.

It's not good practice to use non-standard interactions where you could use a standard one.

Irreversible actions (such as deletion) are usually followed up with a 'sanity check' like "Are you sure? [Yes] [No]".

  • Thanks, I was trying to be creative but I guess that was a bit too creative for the actual user behaviour standard! :')
    – UzendayoNE
    Apr 15, 2016 at 10:23
  • If you are going to use shortcuts for things, avoid using actions that standard for something else. Double click means Open in many cases, so if you feel a shortcut is needed - use something else. From the top of my head - Ctrl+shift for example. When Ctrl+shift is pressed, the item can show a button that says "Delete". Maybe totally improper in your case, but that's the way you should approach the problem :) Apr 15, 2016 at 13:40

Double-clicking buttons is odd. Usually, in the OS, double-clicking is a shortcut for clicking once (selecting the file) and selecting "Open."

Rather than an "Are you sure?" confirmation I prefer an undo action. Confirming every action you take gets tedious real fast, and after a while users click the "Yes" button without thinking about it.

Undo, on the other hand, allows people to make mistakes, as they do, and get back to their desired state. (Even Gmail now provides an undo after sending a message.)

  • Nice approach to my dilemma! I'll try that for the inventory objects :') thanks!
    – UzendayoNE
    Apr 15, 2016 at 11:34

How about a right-click?

Do you store the users control options? Maybe you could give them an option to use double-click (or maybe even right-double-click) without the warning from now on, after their confirmation.

  • My game is still not published, it's still in development. I can implement something to store user control options for the upcoming test and decide what to do later. Thanks for the suggestion :')
    – UzendayoNE
    Apr 15, 2016 at 13:35

RuneScape has a pretty good idea here, honestly.

Items can be dropped by right-clicking and selecting the "drop" action. This would drop the item to the floor, which can then be picked up by yourself for the first minute, and after that by anyone for another minute. If the item was not tradable, it would just disappear after a minute instead.

If the item is extremely valuable or of high importance (think of an item needed for a quest), it would show a confirmation screen asking you if you're really sure. This would also be shown for items that cannot be dropped, but only be destroyed.

This makes it difficult to accidentally drop an item. If you do drop an item by mistake, it is still easy to undo your action. This is probably the most important aspect, as you want to make it easy to drop an item, but you do not want to cause the player to perform an action they will regret.

So, you could show a confirmation screen, but use it sparingly for only the most important items. If you're going to drop fifty items, would you want to click a confirmation screen fifty times? For all other items, it's nice to just "assume yes" and drop it, allowing the player to pick the item back up if they made a mistake.

  • RuneScape has a good approach but the objects are all equally important, the only thing that makes them different is their rarity that is my way of telling them which object I enjoyed the most developing. My point is I would rather make them confirm their choice with each object and/or make a checkbox giving them the choice to not ask again to confirm the choice made.
    – UzendayoNE
    Apr 16, 2016 at 3:15

Imagine that you have dbl click on single click I mean your mouse need a repair i.e you click once but mouse behave like you made a double click so then what?

Maybe if some object is valuable, to delete user must type the name to confirm? Inspiration from deleting repo on GitHub

  • Well, that is a reeeeaaally strange case but if it does happen the player is literally F.... I'm joking, if that was the case I guess the player would avoid destroying inventory objects. Also I don't plan on making an inventory capacity limit just because I expect them to get all the objects.
    – UzendayoNE
    Apr 16, 2016 at 3:07
  • using a sanity check as somebody wrote IMO so using confirm dialogs would be a good idea this also prevents from mistakes how about holding left click of mouse to cancel sth? Player to cancel sth should turn on mind so to hold a left click, clicking is automatic action but holding requires of thinking
    – Grisza
    Apr 16, 2016 at 3:18
  • I think it would be a better practice to substitute the destroy button with and undo one. I'm saving the holding left click for another feature(whatsoever it can be a bad practice).
    – UzendayoNE
    Apr 16, 2016 at 3:22
  • I've seen the "type ... To destroy" feature in WoW and it prevents you from making a stupid decision. It's a nice idea. I'll save this one!
    – UzendayoNE
    Apr 16, 2016 at 3:28
  • I played WoW btw in Burning Crusade this was the feature? I don't remember. Playing games is a learnability of UX :) . I knew in WoW about UI so when I had java lessons I understood GUI interface
    – Grisza
    Apr 16, 2016 at 3:29

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