I'm creating a web app where people can organise football games, played in the real world (screenshot below to give some context).

I'm struggling to choose a good name for the button, which allows you to leave/stop/unjoin/cancel the current game you have joined. I choose unjoin because it's opposite state is called join. However I've had users complain that they think it's not good english.

What do you guys think? Is there any research on button naming conventions?

Thanks :)

  • 'Leave game'? 'Unregister'? or use my kind of approach--add a field showing 'Joined on' showing the date user joined the game and a small button/link next to it which allows user to 'undo' or 'leave'.
    – Fr0zenFyr
    Jan 14, 2014 at 5:43
  • 1
    I like your idea with the date. Thanks. Leave game sounds like the way to go.
    – Paul
    Jan 14, 2014 at 5:58
  • 3
    Please stay away from newspeak -- it's doubleplus ungood ;)(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak)
    – Erion
    Jan 14, 2014 at 12:53
  • 1
    "Unjoin" doesn't mean what you think it means. It means to separate two or more joined things, not to leave a group.
    – Dan Hulme
    Jan 14, 2014 at 14:34
  • @DanHulme: "It means to separate two or more joined things, not to leave a group." - "to leave a group" is separating two joined things (you and the group). (Of course, it's an unusual expression in the context.) Feb 5, 2019 at 15:31

7 Answers 7


"Leave game" sounds way better than Unjoin.

Also, you could give your users the choice to leave the next game or all the games using a drop down button like the one in the screen capture.

enter image description here


Good post. The words leave/stop/unjoin/cancel are all correct to use but wait!

When deciding on some names or words to use for a particular button especially when it comes to an interactive environment, you have to be very careful in choosing what will not psychologically put off a new or an engaged user.

UNJOIN "Unjoin this app". The meaning, at first thought refers me to inanimate objects like "unjoining" a paired or tied wood or material. We humans see an app as a "virtual" friend that we use in the absence of our "real" friends. so though the name unjoin is correct but never seems so to a natural human. So pls dont tell me you want to unjoin me.

STOP "Stop this app". Sounds like something bad has happened and needs immediate disconnection. Like an unforeseen error occurred and needs to be stopped. Just needs to stop becomes I now hate you. Why continue with you when you have hurt me, all i need is to pls "Stop me now"

Cancel "Cancel this app" Seems like the second best option but i will personally not use it in this scenario because am thinking that after I cancel you, there is no option of bringing you back. Take for instance when you taking a multichoice exam with a biro. A done mistake cannot be erased. Rather a fresh sheet of paper is needed or your work will look untidy.

But Leave "Leave this app". Sounds very temporal. Meaning that I am not yet through with you but will be back another time. Very modest and soothing to a human being. Its response is never harsh and came without any harm. So I leave you for now and go and do other things but will back someday for another ride.

So I give it up for Leave this app or any text with "leave" as the best option to use in this scenario and likewise.


The accepted answer is decent, but I think there are better options. Below is a list of synonyms for leave. Of that list, these are the ones I think would work better:

  • drop out
  • opt out
  • pull out
  • quit
  • withdraw

Here is the complete list:

  • abdicate
  • back out
  • bail out
  • bow out
  • chicken out
  • cop out
  • cut loose
  • desert
  • discard
  • discontinue
  • ditch
  • drop
  • drop out
  • duck
  • dump
  • dust
  • flake out
  • fly the coop
  • give up the ship
  • kiss goodbye
  • leave
  • leg it
  • let go
  • opt out
  • pull out
  • quit
  • run out on
  • screw
  • ship out
  • stop
  • storm out
  • surrender
  • take a powder
  • take a walk
  • throw over
  • vacate
  • walk out on
  • wash hands of
  • withdraw
  • yield
  • Some of those suggestions have a bit more 'character' to them than 'leave', which might go better with the overall tone of the text used in the software. Drop out would be similar to the actual footballing terminology of being 'dropped' from a team.
    – PhillipW
    Jan 14, 2014 at 20:30
  • @PhillipW - I agree. Leave just isn't as intuitive or descriptive as drop out, opt out, withdraw, etc. Jan 14, 2014 at 20:35

Unjoin isn't incorrect but is really awkward, awkward enough to avoid (I strongly suggest don't use Unjoin in a UI). I would say "Abandon game". But it depends on the semantics. Abandon implies a some amount of, well abandonment, like I don't care about this anymore.


Leave is more associated with the user and its the user who "Leaves" but when you consider "Unjoion", that means your perspective is community and community leaves out something. Since it is the user who is thinking, the "Leave" is more appropriate and relateable.

  • I like the way you put the problem in perspective. This makes me think that a button like can't attend anymore might be suitable as well.
    – Paul
    Jan 14, 2014 at 6:07

Referring to, "people can organize football games", I am inclined to think there is an organizer / team and then there are observers. If this was the case, then based on the user account, options could be:

  1. Leave the Game == I don't want to be part of this game anymore (member)
  2. Stop Following == Not interested any more... (observers)
  3. Leave and Close the Game == End the game (organizer)

Inspired by the suggestions by @TotemFlare I had a look how Facebook deals with people leaving events and I really like their approach. It makes leaving an event less accessible (which is good as it's not a desired action)

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.