Thanks to touch, 9 Billion websites need changing; is yours one of them?

Does your website make a basic error in its user interface?

Out of curiosity I decided to see how many sites on the internet used the word "click" (according to Google).


Because ever since the emergence of the web, the standards bodies, user experience experts and design specialists have always said "don't use the word 'click' for links". They did that because using the word "click" pre-supposes the type of device that the viewer is using - namely a mouse of near equivalent.

But it has always been recognised that users have alternative access devices available to them. For the first decade of the web it was always felt that speech input would be the #nextBigThing. (It hasn't really happened yet, although google voice search on your smartphone is pretty cool these days and works really well in my experience).

Futhermore, "accessible" versions of browsers (e.g. text browsers) typically used alternative input methods, such as numbers on the keyboard to choose links.

"Clicking" therefore is not relevant to everyone. And never has that been truer, with the explosion of touch devices: smartphones and tablets. Apple's share of that alone is over 100 million and 15 million devices respectively at the time of writing (Summer 2011).

"Touch", "Press", "Swipe" and so on is now a predominant action for many users. "Click" is old hat.

So, what did I find?

searching Google just for the word "click" returns 9.12 Billion sites.

The phrase "Click Here" occurs on 2.97 Billion sites. Delightfully, the very first result returned by Google's automcomplete is the W3C's advice page saying "Don't use "click here" as link text".

Too bad - that's between 3 billion and 9 billion sites that need changing. (Some of mine included).

Should've listened to that advice after all.