A lot of mobile sites with click-to-call advertising or services require 3 clicks for click to call – first you click on the ‘click to call’ link then a new page loads often with a confirmation message e.g. ‘Click the link below to call Acme!’, after that the phone itself will ask for confirmation you really want to dial a number – that’s 2 clicks too many.
What’s happening is that the first click is registering the click through with the ad server/tracking engine, so that commission can be charged or whatever charging mechanism is in use. You can’t easily do that on a a “tel:” URL because the mobile intercepts the click and dials the number (the server never knows about it). To the end user its annoying – “Why didn’t the first click just connect me?”
Luckily there a ‘trick’ to get rid of one of the clicks.
It works like this:
The click to call link should hit the server e.g. be a http link, this should register the click with the tracking engine. The server should send back a HTTP response 302 – a redirect. The redirected URL should be the “tel:” link. To the user there is a slight pause while the server is contacted, then their phone will prompt them to allow the call. 3 clicks have been reduced to 2. That leave one click to obey the ‘3 clicks to anything’ rule aspired to by mobile UI designers everywhere.