People Still Double-Click Online

During our most recent research study we once again found that a surprisingly large number (more than 50%) of the people aged 40+ still double-click on links and form buttons online.

This gives us a tiny glimpse into the vast proportions of novice users out there. These people are not stupid, they just have better things to do than learn that they have to treat links and buttons online differently from the documents and folders on their desktop.

When dealing with forms, this can actually be a real problem, since double-clicking the button will likely cause two identical posts to be made. The classic example of course being the e-commerce store, where the same order will be purchased (and billed) twice. disable their “Continue” button immediately after you click it.

Of course, we can get around this problem rather easily. You can either disable the submit button immediately after it has been clicked, or you can code your back-end to ignore identical orders made within e.g. a 3 second timeframe. Do both if you want to be on the safe side.

As it often is with usability, the technical solution is fairly straight-forward - it’s identifying the problem that’s difficult.

Thoughts? Have you identified similar problems?

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Comments (5 so far)

Matt van Wyk February 5, 2010

Curious — what was your sample size?

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Jamie, Baymard Institute February 6, 2010

Thanks for your question – it’s a very relevant one of course!

This observation is based on 26 people of which 15 regularly double-clicked links and/or buttons during the test. They were all aged between 40-60.

Note: this data is from multiple studies, not just our most recent study (the one I refer to in the beginning of this post).

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James June 13, 2011

I’m really surprised to see some major e-commerce sites rely on only a text warning to keep users from double-clicking the submit button. I assume they haven’t coded the solution since the text says I’ll be billed twice if I click twice.

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Saúl July 13, 2012

I know this post is old, but a solution is using a token per form. CSRF token is recommended.

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Florescu Adrian October 15, 2012

I am a Front End Developer and I still click twice on submit sometimes because I am used to have a feedback on click.

Great read!

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