What is the expected timeframe of a double click?
In the web application, the user draws a polygonal area on a map each click setting a vertex. A double click allows the user to finish the area. Due to technical circumstances, I have to detect double clicks myself in code.
What time span in milliseconds do users subconsciously expect for a double click? What are the default time spans on desktop applications?
Please consider touchpad users double tapping, which can get close to a second. Also, mobile users are not that used to double tapping.
this is a user setting on windows see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc978662.aspx (allows for 100ms to 900ms defaults to 500ms)
Instead of double clicking to finish, you could:
- Click the starting point to close the shape (assuming all shapes are closed in)
- Have a button nearby labeled "Finished" or "Close Shape" or "I'm Done" etc. that closes the shape
If you aren't able to use the OS to detect double clicks, I'd avoid them altogether. I've seen people with disabilities have the double click speed in windows set to the slowest setting and still struggle to do it fast enough. And double clicking on tablets or touchscreen computers can be quite difficult.
Yes, this might be a suitable fallback route if double-click as the only option isn't appropriate. Perhaps have the 'Finished' button available anyway *along with the double-click*, which might help cover some bases there. However, one issue I can think of here is that when you're moving your mouse over to the 'Finished' button you'll still be dragging the path with you, which might not feel all that natural to the user.
If shape creation is an important/common activity in your app, perhaps allow each user to change the double click speed in the app settings.
Agree, detecting double click without the OS's help can be irritating for users because the timing may be off what they're used to. Another option would be shift-click to exit the mode (or control click, etc.).