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I'm currently designing a small mobile application which requires fast clicking. Among other things, it measures how many times you can click in 30 seconds. I am not sure what put between a preparations screen and an interaction screen. I thinking about 2 approaches.

  1. Countdown. On the down part of the preparation screen there is an instruction for interaction screen and the Start button. When User click Start it shows the interaction screen with the countdown in the middle. 3, 2, 1, 0 and the fast interactions start.

  2. Start button. On the down part of the preparation screen there is an instruction for interaction screen and the interaction screen button. When you click the button you jump to the interaction screen with the Start button in the middle. Once you click it you start the interaction. The clicking starts in the middle on the screen, so your finger is already at place. Also it will be counted as the first click.

I should also add that interaction will always start from the first click on the interaction screen. So the countdown is there only to calm down the user. (There is countdown and after it ends system stil wait for a user response.) It can be kept in the mental model by not informing user that system is waiting for him/her to start. After all most people will start the clicking immediately after the countdown... Does this make seanse?

Also most users won't use this function more than once or twice.

I see pros and cons of both solution and it is hard for me to chose one just using logic. Thanks in advance.


*I can't tell you exact name of the button because my client asked me to keep the project a secret. Also I don't think the name is relevant. However the name isn't vague and it is shorter.

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It's always a good idea to give the user a countdown when they are expected to perform rapid, precise interactions. A countdown allows the user to know the exact moment at which the interaction will begin. Without it, a new or a lesser-skilled user might miss the cue and have to restart. You want the first experience with the app to be as smooth and friendly as possible for the sake of retaining users.

On the other hand, you will likely have a group of advanced users who might grow tired of waiting for the countdown and would like to disable it.

If you are really torn between one or the other, you could could provide a toggle for this behavior in a settings menu that let's the user decide what they prefer. In this scenario, I would recommend implementing the countdown as the default behavior and notifying the user of the option to disable it in a one-time prompt.

  • I should also add that interaction will always start from the first click on the interaction screen. So the countdown is there only to calm down the user. (There is countdown and after it ends system stil wait for a user response - the first click.) – Ada Nov 5 at 8:10
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Neither of both, as they are controversial with "start from the first click" interaction.

Users are afraid of missing the first click if they would think that the timer starts right after the countdown or after the button press. And countdown stresses users even more instead of calming down, as it is an anticipation of the test. The existence of either countdown or Start button will hint that the timer will start straight after anyway, as this is what the users are used to.

I would suggest having a clear message stating "Start clicking when you are ready", and something like "Nice one! Let's do it once more for better results. Start clicking when you are ready" between approaches.

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