For my sports project I'm introducing an achievement system to reward users with digital items when achieving a goal. The user can view his trophy cabinet and see a silhouet of the to be rewarded achievement and underneath it we want to explain the achievement is still 'locked'. I'm looking for some other term to make it more human.

Does anyone know some good term to 'achievement still locked' ?

  • 1
    Achievement locked?...
    – MCMastery
    May 13, 2016 at 20:17
  • 2
    If it's just language you're after, the English Language stack might be a good place to ask this
    – Tim Malone
    May 14, 2016 at 3:21

8 Answers 8


I think simply "Goal not met" seems fairly straight forward,

BUT, an even better user experience would be using that space to give information on how to achieve the goal. Like so:

enter image description here

Now instead of telling the user that they don't have the trophy they will know how to get it. You can simply put the entire goal "take 2000 steps in one day" or make it dynamic to the user's current state "1427 steps left to unlock".

  • 2
    Shouldn't Marathon Man have to run 26 miles, 385 yards? May 14, 2016 at 15:17
  • @DavidRicherby valid point haha, that would be more accurate
    – DasBeasto
    May 14, 2016 at 15:47
  • Thank you DasBeasto. Perfect answer! I was thinking of adding a description indeed so people know what to do to achieve it.. but this takes away mystery how to receive it =)
    – rwzdoorn
    May 17, 2016 at 16:04

You could frame it as 'Achievement available' which is more positive language which encourages the user to try and unlock it.


How about: you have not won the trophy? As that appears to be your metaphor, with a trophy cabinet.

More thought on things that athletes do, which might be relevant:

  • Win trophies
  • Win medals (gold/silver/bronze often represent levels of achievements)
  • Set records
  • Qualify for events/levels of competition
  • Building on that; it could be a series of trophy cabinets and you need to unlock each one (or each door) to see the trophy inside. May 13, 2016 at 15:24

You could call locked achievements 'opportunities' which invites the user to try for them.


In addition to the answer provided by DasBeasto, you could also add a small status bar at the bottom of the grayed out trophy to indicate how close they are to unlocking that achievement.

  • This is a nice option, although some achievements can use a progress bar (like 5 of 10KM = 50%) but some are pretty simple like share on twitter (yes / no). Maybe one for the future!
    – rwzdoorn
    May 18, 2016 at 10:17

I don't see anything wrong with saying "achievement locked". But you could just show a padlock icon over the silhouette and leave the text field blank.


Perhaps something sports-related? Still on the last lap, third and short, just a bit outside, off the post, or on the warning track all come to mind fairly quickly. Anything that gives a sense of not quite being to your destination would be useful while still adhering to the theme of the site.

  • "Still on the last lap" doesn't really seem to suit, and I wouldn't understand any of the others. (Of course, if they happen to be terms related to whatever sport the project is about, that would be no objection at all.) May 14, 2016 at 15:20

Reward available
(still unclaimed)

Current Record: 1 mistake
(Record Not Yet Smashed)
(Record still not yours)

Target: zero
Current progress: three

Or, combine your own alternative words:

Thesaurus: achievement
Thesaurus: unfulfilled (but ignore the first part about dissatisfaction... look in the later areas)

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