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I'm working on a website on which each character of a cartoon has a score, and the user can choose a given fixed number of characters to "hurt" and to "heal" (a user can only hurt so many characters and heal so many characters). However, my teammate and I can't decide between two designs:

  • My design represents "hurting" and "healing" using buttons associated with each character.
  • His represents the "hurts" and the "heals" with draggable daggers and first-aid kits.

I'm emphasizing the action of voting (while offloading the number of remaining votes to separate indicators), whereas his model emphasizes number of votes and minimizing the number of components.

I suppose that this could boil down to: Should limited voting be represented like a verb or a noun? ("I can vote this many times" vs. "I have this many votes to relegate")

A comparison of a button-based and a token-based hurt-and-heal system

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

In your particular example I find the tokens variant to be more clear, because the information boils down to one element the user has to focus on. If there are no more tokens, it is obvious the user can not distribute those any more.

With the buttons variant, I imagine unexperienced users hammering the up or down buttons for a while before realizing that the indicators symbolize the number of votes left.

If you are confident the drag-and-drop functionality on the token variant causes no usability issues to your application, I deem it preferable in this scenario - which is to say, that the decision on those two alternatives has to be a problem specific one, and there are scenarios where the buttons variant might indeed be suited better.

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