Instagram Made Me Rethink About Touch Targets

Feb 14, 2020

Optimizing Touch Interaction for Better User Experience

As digital marketers, we often focus on optimizing websites for search engines and crafting engaging content. However, it is equally important to consider the user experience and how visitors interact with our websites. Instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms, has recently made me rethink about touch targets and their impact on user engagement.

The Rise of Mobile and Touch Interaction

In the digital era, mobile usage has skyrocketed, with smartphones becoming an integral part of our daily lives. With the increasing reliance on mobile devices, users expect seamless and intuitive touch interactions when browsing websites. This shift necessitates the need for web designers and developers to prioritize touch targets.

Understanding Touch Targets

Touch targets refer to the areas on a webpage that users interact with using their fingers or touch-enabled devices. These targets can include buttons, links, form inputs, and other actionable elements. Optimizing touch targets ensures that users can easily navigate, tap, or swipe without frustration, resulting in improved user experience.

Importance of Accurate Touch Targets

Poorly designed touch targets can lead to user frustration, accidental taps or clicks, and increased bounce rates. An optimized touch target provides a larger surface area, reducing the probability of users clicking unintended elements. This improves the overall usability and accessibility of your website.

Best Practices for Optimizing Touch Targets

1. Size Matters

Ensure that your touch targets are large enough to accommodate different finger sizes. The recommended minimum size for touch targets is around 44 x 44 pixels. This allows for comfortable tapping and minimizes the chances of accidental clicks. Remember, bigger touch targets are always better!

2. Adequate Spacing

Proper spacing between touch targets is crucial to prevent accidental taps. It's important to provide enough separation between buttons and links, especially on small screens. A cluttered layout can make it difficult for users to accurately tap their desired elements, leading to frustration and a negative user experience.

3. Contrast and Visual Feedback

Make sure your touch targets have sufficient color contrast to enhance visibility. This allows users to easily distinguish between interactive elements and other page content. Additionally, providing visual feedback, such as highlighting the selected touch target or displaying a subtle animation, reinforces the user's action and enhances engagement.

4. Testing and Iteration

Testing is key when optimizing touch targets. Conduct user testing and gather feedback to refine your touch targets' usability. Analyze user behavior to identify any pain points or areas for improvement. Continuously iterate and experiment with different designs to find the optimal touch target configuration for your specific audience.


Instagram's popularity and its focus on touch interaction highlight the importance of optimizing touch targets for a seamless user experience. When users navigate our websites effortlessly, they are more likely to stay engaged, explore content, and ultimately convert. Prioritizing touch targets and following best practices can significantly enhance user satisfaction, improve website performance, and lead to higher conversion rates.

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David Pavlik
Great insights on optimizing touch interaction for better user experience with Instagram's example!
Oct 4, 2023