Is there a known minimum physical size for reliable touch select triggers, considering only selection (no long-press or drag). From personal experience, I would guess it to be about 5x5 mm (0.2x0.2 inch). Is there a canonical answer?

Context: I want to make my chess-like game board have as many cells as possible, but I still want users to be comfortable selecting cells, as it will be a frequent action.


1 Answer 1


There's a comprehensive question on UX about touchscreen button sizes. The recommended size depends highly on your game, but the minimum size is quoted as 9-12mm, about half an inch, and this is based on the size of fingers.

Keep in mind that this is a guideline, and the cost of ignoring it is that your users will tap the wrong thing on occasion.

Depending on your game, you may need to go bigger - sometimes much bigger - than this minimum guideline. Here are some factors that will affect accuracy:

  • Do you need to tap quickly? Faster means less accurate
  • Will players use their thumbs? Less accurate
  • Is your demographic experienced gamers or younger? They may have above-average accuracy
  • Will your touch zones be right next to each other or have gaps in between? Gaps make it easier to use

You may also decide to accept a certain amount of input errors, as long as you make it easy for your players to correct themselves. Consider:

  • Allowing players to adjust their input after the initial tap
  • Add a "confirm" step
  • Add an "undo" function
  • Add clear feedback during the input to show what the game thinks the input will be
  • Reduce the impact of errors
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 Good answer, but I'd recommend against adding a confirmation step. User's tend to quickly click a button without thinking through the consequences. As a user, it's more friendly to provide an 'Undo' feature. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5, 2014 at 12:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also important: Users are often not aware touch targets are too small. They tap something, and think it "didn't take". Therefore, small touch targets often show up as users complaining about an unresponsive or slow game. Account for that in your user testing. \$\endgroup\$
    – uliwitness
    Nov 24, 2014 at 5:51

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