We’ve revealed it before that Flattr button is displayed over 10 million times each day. That of course makes me wonder if the button is effective enough in getting attention of site visitors, or if it’s even too effective with its poke-me-in-the-eye-green. Two great questions we have pondered for a while and would love solve are:

  • Is the button to much alike a sharing button?
  • Can we do something with it do help potential users to understand what it is?

To this we have one solution and one question. Lets start with the question.

Is adding a word in the button to explain Flattr a good idea?

We are thinking of adding a "Donations"

Replace the zero (zeros are sad and boring) with “Donate to site” or “Donate” and show the real click count by adding it. (The small button won’t fit all that). Another word we have thought of is “Support” rather than “Donate”.

Good, crazy, ugly, pushy? Speak your mind in the comments please.

The second solution is something a lot of you have requested.

Explanation "popout" you get when hovering the button
And when you actually flattred

This nifty little thing is actually already live. But it’s not on by default yet. As browsers are a tricky thing we need some time to test it and make sure we don’t mess up people’s pages. I would love your input on the content of the popout. Anything you miss, feel is to much? Do you hate or love it?

Again, speak your mind in the comments.

PS. If you want to see the popout in action you can do that here: http://blog.youtify.com/

22 thoughts on “Buttons evolving – more social, more context

  1. I think it would be fantastic. I’ve got a page explaining flattr to visitors, but they have to click and then read it.

    A simple “donate” on the button would be very efficent, imho. Also zeroes *are* boring ;-) As for “donate vs support”, I can think of reasons for both, really. But I don’t think it matters much.

    finally, the explanation popup is also great + the social network integration. hate them or love them, everyone uses them…

    So I think both ideas are great, I can’t wait to show them off on my website :)

  2. I like the first idea, but it should only have the word donate. Donate to site won’t be always correct, as not all buttons are for websites, some are for projects.

    Donate is much better than “support” as many “typical users” would confuse the word support with looking for tech support/help.

  3. More options for the buttons would be great. I like the first idea, too.
    But every option should be optional so that we, the webmasters, can customise it in order to make it fit our website perfectly.

    For example you could add a way that makes it possible to change the word manually.

    Regards Kevin

  4. I like the second solution. It’s familiar–just what people are already used to seeing on many “liked” pages. (Though, like other cool Flattr features, I’m not sure if I could actually use it with my free blog, but I like it anyway!)

    Regarding the first solution, I am not sure I would use a word at all–one of the main reasons I love the Flattr button is that it IS subtle and unobtrusive and not a direct call for donations. Of course, I don’t actually have any data to know what is actually more successful (it’d be really interesting to test it and find out!) And I’m with Kiwi, that OPTIONS are best.

    Regarding word choice, at first I thought the opposite of Cyber Killer – that “Support” is better than “Donate.” Again, I think it’s just my preference for subtlety when it comes to money–just semantics really. However, now thinking about it, I think he/she is absolutely right that the word “Support” could easily be confusing for people.

  5. In general a good idea, but there should definitely always be a possibility to opt-out. We already had that “donate” vs. “support” discussion several times and I don’t think we get closer to an agreement only by repeating it again and again. Technically it must be possible to choose the word per button, like the Facebook “verb to display”: “like” or “recommend”.

  6. Great input.

    The first thing is what to change the “normal” button to. Options are great, but most people (the wast mass) will go for default setting. So the question is what is the best version for default.

    We agree that a button without text looks better, but a button that is used for donations that does not tell that in any way will people that want to support find it?

  7. Every option users need to decide about is a hurdle so forcing people to choose is a no no. Adding the ability to opt-out or change is something else.

    Besides the fact that if the button does not look the same everywhere people might get confused and think “this is another type of flattr button”.

    Tough choices =)

  8. Using the word “donate” might be a problem for users in many countries. For example here in Finland receiving donations is very much regulated and one can get in all sorts of trouble for soliciting donations without permission (which is only given to non-profits). Flattr is already in a very grey area, spelling it out might push it over the edge :/

  9. I think that a combination of both would work great.

    adding “Donation” to the button makes it clear, then you’d end up hovering and getting the popup. At least there’s the possibility.

    You can try it out in a few chosen sites, and see if it has the desired effect, right?

  10. I like the popups. They help.
    But I agree not everyone will like them. Choice is good.

    As for Donate. I think it helps. Even though I see flattr as something more than a donation system. But I guess if you have one word to describe what you do Donate is the way to go.

    For me it’s more like the web equivalent throwing a coin in the hat of a artist on the street. And this whole cultural flatrate idea…
    Hard to put that into one word. And artists can always put some context around the button if they like.

  11. I like the first idea of replacing the zero with something more explanatory. This helps people understand what the button is for, if they do not already know flattr. :-)

  12. I can confirm what Urho writes. The moment Flattr makes it unavoidable to have “donate” on the buttons, our charity would have to take the buttons offline. We could not take the risk to get into trouble, and this has happened to many NGOs already for smaller reasons – therefore the “paranoia”.

  13. Great to know that the word “donate” can be tricky in some counties. I would argue that a word or not a word on a button does not change how authorities sees the button. But it might make them not understand it longer ;)

    We will always have it as an opt-out if you don’t want it there. Even if we push it as default. Like it will be with the popout.

    We also agree that “donate” is not the perfect word, but we can’t figure anything better. In due time the word will be “flattr” =)

  14. You might consider options, Support verses Donate or even the classic Flattr. For me, it is the color more than anything else.

    I like the popup, but I can see where people would rather not see a bunch of unknown picture saying they support. It almost feels like padding the box (look other people donate, you should to!) but then again, that might not be a bad idea.

    I’m not excited about integrating the social networking in the pop-up though. I think that the Flattr button should do one thing well and that’s it. Leave it up to the site designers to figure out how to put it all together.

  15. Don’t like either support or donate due to the critique that has already been brought forward. Other suggestions:


    The best fitting word would be ‘patronage’ but might not help since many people don’t know the significance of it.

    Endorse I like a lot since it signifies you support the blog/project. +potential for new people clicking it when they like something and finding out what Flattr is.

  16. this is an awesome idea many of my friends have asked me what that button is and i allways need to explain it to them so a text that says donate is a preatty good idea ;)

  17. > Is adding a word in the button to explain Flattr a good idea?

    No. Not in sense of “bad”, but in “useless”: Who know Flattr – don’t ask, who don’t know – most probably will not go to register, fund cash…

    > The second solution is something a lot of you have requested

    Ugly FB-style, waste my time and reader attention “Who are these boys, why they shown to me?”

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