Coin Confirmation Requests are really a UI design issue

V e s p o
V e s p o
Force to be Reckoned With
Joined Jun 2015 Posts: 1,839
SO we've been told Coin Confirmation will *not* be happening, and we will not be given an actual reason. This is not a difficult technical challenge, which creates the impression that this is a "business decision" rather than the result of a technical impediment.

So, rather than dwell on it, lets examine the root cause of the problem-

It's far too easy to coin a repair accidentally- especially on mobile where the vagaries of small touchscreens combined with lag effects means that a touch aimed at a specific point on the screen becomes a probability cloud- so when you click a certain button lots of times per day, the probablility of your tp being registered unintentionally on an adjactent button approaches 100%.

Let's look at a similar problem in another common UI found in the technology world:



Look at the two marked items- they perform related, but very different actions- one of which is potentially destructive-

remove from inventory simply removes an item from inventory, but it can be re-registered, the item right below it does exactly what it says and destroys the item. Since this is a screenshot of the VMWare Virtual Infrastructure management console- the "Items" are virtual servers that actually perform work. the first item is something you might do during certain maintenance tasks, the second could end your career if hit at the wrong time/circumstance... so this could go down as one of the most epic UI design failures in history. VMWare solved this problem by adding a popup confirmation button (equivalent to what we've been asking for here)


There is another way to resolve this problem- adjust the UI design- put some white space between the two selections, or bury the destructive on in a sub-menu.

In the case of Vega, being touch screen driven, the sensible thing to do is to move the repair button and the coin/free repair button further apart. There are all sorts of studies out there on touchscreen accuracy (google "accuracy of taps on a device relative to a user’s intended tap target") so someone with a good math/statistics background can probably take any button shape and project a heatmap of probabilities for any attempt to tap a specific button- just move the buttons a distance apart that takes them out of whatever probability they are at now and puts them in a noticeably lower probability of misclick. You'll still get some percentage of misclicks, but you'll have fewer customers making angry support calls about misclicking away 2000 coins on a repair with no chance to cancel.

Statistically speaking, that very misclick WILL happen every few weeks/months in any mobile user's experience with the current button positioning.

Let's take a look at it:



There is obviously enough real estate to give the "repair" and the "coin" button more clearance, even more if you consider that you can shift around where you have the "formation" and "launch fleet" buttons- even more if you consider that "Launch Fleet" is almost never intentionally used and could probably be dropped altogether. (I find it to be a nusiance personally, YMMV)

Lets consider an easy layout change that would probably reduce misclicks by around 50% (no I haven't done the math on this, that's a gut estimate based on experience):




There is more than enough "black space" between the repair button and the Res cost display to move the button up- and there is enough black space between the coin repair button and the formation button to move the coin button down a little.

Ideally, I think a better UI design idea would be to leave the coin button where it is and just move up the regular repair button. It looks a little awkward in my five second GIMP/Photoshop mock up, but nothing that a small artwork adjustment can't fix.

This may not be a perfect solution- it may not even be "The" solution- but it clearly shows that there are options to keep the buttons functioning as-is to avoid further "unforseen complications" from derailing progress, and showing the player community that you are aware that mis-coining is an issue, and you're willing to explore ways we can compromise on a solution that will satisfy everyone.
  • V e s p o
    V e s p o
    Force to be Reckoned With
    Joined Jun 2015 Posts: 1,839
    Looking at it a little more, there are a whole host of workable options here- this one is even better than what I posted previously....


  • RaniRahn
    RaniRahn
    Force to be Reckoned With
    Joined Sep 2015 Posts: 1,703
    take a picture of on going repair view and see where u want to but the buttons then.
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  • ChandraArgentis
    ChandraArgentis
    Incursion Leader
    Joined Jul 2015 Posts: 1,120
    It's obvious that they want us to accidentally coin things.  It happens and it sucks.  What sucks most is that you get one refund, period.  If the policy was one a year, that would be acceptable, but once ever?  That's a bit much.  Personally, I'd prefer to get the coins back and lose whatever it was I just coined (such as a ship build).  I don't see why that can't be done either.
  • V e s p o
    V e s p o
    Force to be Reckoned With
    Joined Jun 2015 Posts: 1,839
    With the current mobile UI design, you can expect to misclick around once or twice a month, just based on raw probability- even if you are careful about it.
  • TooGround
    TooGround
    Potential Threat
    Joined Jan 2016 Posts: 74
    It's obvious that they want us to accidentally coin things.  It happens and it sucks.  What sucks most is that you get one refund, period.  If the policy was one a year, that would be acceptable, but once ever?  That's a bit much.  Personally, I'd prefer to get the coins back and lose whatever it was I just coined (such as a ship build).  I don't see why that can't be done either.

    And you don't even get a "refund".     Pretty much their customer service script allows them to offer you a refund of coins if you agree to them to "delete the content that was sped up."    So.. if you accidentally speed up the last 3-days of a 9 day build, they will gladly give you back the coins, ONCE, but you lose the ship, the resources and all of the time spent.    I am pretty sure that they frame the offer this way, because most people simply live with the coin spend rather than everything else (time, resource, ship, etc.)

    Confirmation boxes are already rampant in the game.   Try to relocate sometime without getting "are you sure you want to relocate next to xyz in sector 123?".    Try to cancel anything and not get the "are you sure you wish to cancel this.  After 5 minutes you won't get a refund of resources".   TRY to put in a support ticket to get an "accidental" relocate or "cancellation" undone, and I'll bet anyone any amount of money you don't get the "as a one time courtesy" speech.   I can't think of any valid reason why confirmation boxes would be "acceptable" and not subject to "unforeseen problems" for things that didn't relate to $$, but not to things that do.

    The coin confirmation button very clearly interferes with their revenue stream - plain and simple.  There is no other explanation for the feature being done but not implemented.  They aren't motivated in the slightest to change it.   If you really want it changed, start **** to Apple, Google and Steam and once they make it a requirement to be on the platform all game companies will have no choice but to comply.  I can guarantee Apple, Googles and Steam's CS will be much more accommodating given the crowded gaming platform space.   To be clear, I'm not advocating using the gaming platforms customer service to get refunds, but to drive a policy change that will improve all gamer/customer experience.  Then again, I haven't read apples, googles or steams existing software policy, so this may already be covered.

    Though I don't have direct proof, I suspect that the UI is intentionally designed to promote accidental/unintended coin use.   Look at the recent change to the base repair dialogue.   The coin cost was moved from LARGE OBVIOUS numbers within the button, to a smaller font in gold colored text in the paragraph above WITHOUT the gold icon that is present wherever else coin spend occurs.  Sure the information is all there on the screen, but I don't think I was the only one who hit "INSTANT REPAIR" without a clear understanding of how much I was about to spend.



  • ChandraArgentis
    ChandraArgentis
    Incursion Leader
    Joined Jul 2015 Posts: 1,120
    TooGround said:
    It's obvious that they want us to accidentally coin things.  It happens and it sucks.  What sucks most is that you get one refund, period.  If the policy was one a year, that would be acceptable, but once ever?  That's a bit much.  Personally, I'd prefer to get the coins back and lose whatever it was I just coined (such as a ship build).  I don't see why that can't be done either.

    And you don't even get a "refund".     Pretty much their customer service script allows them to offer you a refund of coins if you agree to them to "delete the content that was sped up."    So.. if you accidentally speed up the last 3-days of a 9 day build, they will gladly give you back the coins, ONCE, but you lose the ship, the resources and all of the time spent.    I am pretty sure that they frame the offer this way, because most people simply live with the coin spend rather than everything else (time, resource, ship, etc.)

    That isn't my experience.  I kept my "content that was sped up" when I had my one-time refund.  I tried to get a refund and lose that content on my second occurrence, but they wouldn't hear of it.
  • TooGround
    TooGround
    Potential Threat
    Joined Jan 2016 Posts: 74
    I'm not sure if there was a shift or not, but I was given a choice a week ago - you can have the ship you finished or the coins you used to speed it up, but not both.  In the end, I kept the ship.   It just means that going forward I don't buy coins until I need them and then in $5.00 increments to limit my potential loss.   
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