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We are designing an UI of a game like the following:

enter image description here

Once you enter the Green button (Start) you start to fight. However, there's a limit of restarting the fight. When it come to the limit, the game is going to ask you to buy more admissions for restart the fight. Moreover, there is a limit for the shopping. Once it's over 10 times, the "Buy more admissions" button will be unveiled.

Here is the question:

My colleague designed it as changing the button content "Start" to "Buy more admissions”,and the open a second-level UI to shop more admissions for the fight. However, I prefer no changing of the button and open the admission-shopping UI directly, and tell the players what to do.

Actually, I don't know whether my coleague's design is common in UI Design. It seems not a big deal about the two ideas, but I want to know some suggestions about that.

  • I have a strong feeling that users read text labels on buttons (at most) once - to learn what the button does. The second time they will press it without reading. Users would go fatigue if each control had to be reevaluated before each use, and users are lazy and act on instinct! – Henrik Ekblom Nov 25 '14 at 14:01
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Pressing "play" and seeing a page that asks for money counts as a disappointment. Pressing "pay for more games" means you're properly managing your user's expectations. This will lead to less "stress", and it is probably the best thing to do from a user experience point of view.

User Thor84no brought up a valid point as well; if possible, you could change the look of the button to signify a change in function. In this case, since you went with green, an orange or yellow color might immediately convey the same emotion as the text change, without people having to read.

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    If you notice that the text has changed I think this is valid. However, I think it's worth making the change more obvious than just changing the text to ensure that users don't simply click the button expecting it to do what it did last time without reading it. – Thor84no Nov 25 '14 at 13:46
  • Fair enough. I'll add a bit to my answer. – Dirk v B Nov 25 '14 at 22:21
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Two aspects. Meeting user expectations about UI element placements and psychologically meeting their expectations from a game. I only have enough data to talk about the former.

In general, there are websites, which have adapted a pattern where the button function changes. but these functions are generally not more than two, and are closely related.

Like if you submit a form, then that button changes to a process indicator to instantly show that the request / action is processed, or in addition might also provide a cancel action. User is in context and knows what triggered this change.

You need to consider how user will perceive the change on screen, and can s/he related it to why it happened. As a general rule of thumb, user should always know how he got there, what to do there, how to do there, and how to head back if he wants. Applying that logic here, as long as you show the user why the button changes, and how it changes, it would be fine provided s/he can relate to why that happened.

Adding a gaming element to this discussions, you'd expect a lot of excitement and reduced attention to detail on the form level as a whole, because user would be deeply in anticipation of the fight he wants to be in. You need to factor in that disinterest in interacting with the menu, while educating the user what is changing and for what.

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